We Love the Shaggs

review from We Love Life Blog Outsider music- The Shaggs

quote ...'Named after a late 60s hairstyle (not their promiscuity) this trio of American sisters formed a band under bizarre circumstances. Their father had his palm read by his mother and she made three predictions, the last of which was that his children would form a pop band. Since the first two predictions came true but clearly not understanding what a prophecy is he decided to take his three daughters out of school, bought them instruments and formed the band.
Despite being forced into it, the girls claim to have enjoyed their musical slavery. The next few years consisted of a few hours of schoolwork from a mail-order company, morning music practice, afternoon music practice and gymnastics. Sometimes they set up their instruments in the living room, but mostly they played in the concrete-walled, concrete-floored basement.
Their first album “Philosophy of The World” garnered no attention whatsoever, the producer ran away with 900 of the 1000 pressed copies – apparently later claiming: “Shock therapy and all the Prozac in the world would never stop the haunting sounds of these banshees”. After their father died the girls escaped their six stringed shackles and moved on with their lives. But in 1980 their album was discovered at a Boston radio station and they became moderately famous and admired for their “innovation”. Here were three teens playing instruments we’ve heard countless times, but this time with none of the familiar signposts – none of the standard rhythms or chord progressions we’ve come to recognize and expect.
They played a couple of concerts and are considered groundbreakers in the field of outsider music. Kurt Cobain and Frank Zappa have cited “Philosophy of The World” as a major influence, with Zappa claiming the band are “better than The Beatles”.
Dot, Betty and Helen Wiggin transformed their own lives into lyrics while performing music as The Shaggs. Through music, they described hope despite disappointment. We love The Shaggs because we share those feelings and hopes.
“The Shaggs love you, and love to perform for you. You may love their music or you may not, but whatever you feel, at last you know you can listen to artists who are real. The Shaggs are real, pure, unaffected by outside influences. Their music is different, it is theirs alone. They believe in it, live it. It is a part of them and they are a part of it. Of all contemporary acts in the world today, perhaps only the Shaggs do what others would like to do, and that is perform only what they believe in, what they feel, not what others think The Shaggs should feel.” – Liner Notes from Philosophy of The World'.

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