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30.5.07

The Shaggs - Harmony sisters

The Shaggs were three sisters, Helen, Better, and Dorothy (Dot) Wiggin, from Fremont, New Hampshire. Despite the fact that they had shown no musical inclination, their father, Austin Wiggin had the idea that his girls could be the next 'big thing', like the Beatles. He named the band for the long, shaggy hairstyles then in fashion. On his textile factory worker's salary, he bought the girls their instruments and paid for their lessons and booked studio time. Nine hundred of the original thousand copies of "Philosophy of the World" vanished right after being pressed, along with the record's shady producer. Even so, the album has endured for thirty years. Music collectors got hold of the remaining copies of "Philosophy of the World" and started a small Shaggs cult. Depending on whom you ask, the Shaggs were either the best band of all time or the worst. Frank Zappa is said to have proclaimed that the Shaggs were "better than the Beatles. The music is winsome but raggedly discordant pop. Something is sort of wrong with the tempo, and the melodies are squashed and bent, nasal, deadpan.

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