From “wild thing” to angry man releasing an Iraq War protest song

Nov. 19, 2006 – A charity fundraising event at The Academy Basingstoke at the weekend was chosen by the legendary Pete Staples to launch his new work.

Pete was guitarist with THE TROGGS whose international hits of the 1960’s, songs such as “Wild Thing” and “Love is all around” (featured in the award-winning film “Love Actually”), are still massive favourites on the dance floor today.

Music is still Pete’s passion and he spends much of his time penning new songs. His latest song I DON’T KNOW WHY has been recorded by his protégé Karen-Ana and he introduced her to an enthusiastic audience at the south of England’s principal 24/7 snooker & pool hall, sports bar, Chinese restaurant and live music venue.

Karen-Ana sang it beautifully but this lovely ballad has a hard edge and may well become an anthem for the anti-Iraq war movement.

So what motivated this “wild thing” of the 60’s to become involved in a war thousands of miles away? This is the question of particular interest to people who know Pete – one of the nicest, gentlest, people in the pop music industry.

As Pete explained: “To be caught up in a war that never seems to end must be one of the most depressing situations imaginable; especially when you were led to believe that the end was in sight.”

“This is the plight of the Iraqi people. These thoughts led me to compose this song in sympathy.”

“My emotions were intensified last year when I lost both my mother and sister six weeks apart. At the time I was half way through composing a Christmas Carol and I just never had the will to complete it.”

“After watching and listening to all the awful events that the Iraqi people were experiencing and the huge loss of life, it occurred to me, that I had found a ‘home’ for my tune and set about composing the words and completing the song.”

“What more can I say, it’s been written with a sense of loss on my part and also in recognition of all the Iraqi people who have also lost their love ones.”

“I am proud of the finished product and owe a great deal to Karen-Ana who is one of the finest female singers I have ever heard. Chris Holland’s talent on the arrangement, keyboard and engineering has made for a first class production. This, combined with Andy Jones superb guitar skills, all go together to produce one of the most haunting songs you will ever hear. Iraqi people – my thoughts are with you.”

I DON’T KNOW WHY was released on 20th November in the UK and available as an Internet download on 5th December. Further details are available at where a haunting clip of the song can be heard.

So why Basingstoke? Pete explained: “Not only are Karen and I residents of Basingstoke but so are Andy and Chris who is a local teacher. In addition, the recording studios are also located in Basingstoke. There is a huge amount of musical talent in Basingstoke and we chose The Academy to host our launch party because it is a leading live music venue in the region.”

This protest song will have its political dimension but DJ Danny Dee at The Academy who played at the launch commented: “I am sure clubs will play this for the melody rather than any message it sends. It is a great song and I will watch out for it int he charts over the next few weeks”.


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