The answer to that age-old question: What happens if you record an album in 1969 with three teenage sisters who seemingly have no desire to play in the same key – or in the same time – as each other?
My favourite story about the Shaggs and their overbearing ‘softball coach’ father, Austin Wiggin Jr., can be found in the liner notes to this 2016 reissue from Light In The Attic. Russ Hamm, an engineer at Fleetwood Recording Studio, recalls:
‘They start playing and…I mean, it’s not hard to burst out laughing. What is going on here? I turn to Austin, and I said “Look, I’m not a guitar player, but I think I can tune those guitars.” And he looked at me and says, “No, no…those guitars are guaranteed. I bought those guitars from Ted Herbert’s Music Mart in Manchester. They’re the finest guitars, and they’re guaranteed.”’
This contender for ‘worst album ever’ (bless ‘em) is definitely my go-to record whenever I need to get people to leave my house. After a party, or a barbeque, it’s got the magical touch of communicating ‘maybe you should leave now.’
Hidden Gem: It’s Halloween