The Wiggles, greatest band ever?

On a two hour road trip this weekend, we played through three Wiggles albums for the first time in years. Fun was had by all, nostalgia was had by three (two parents and son - our daughter born three years later grew up with non-Wiggles music).

The Wiggles are a four-person music-for-kiddies group formed in Australia. Three of the four were early childhood educators, and it shows in their songs. Not brilliant music, but they make an effort to sing about healthful eating, safety lessons, other cultures, and silly things.

Around 2001, we bought a Wiggles videotape and watched it over and over. As our son danced with happiness, and I often danced with him, we adults made short back stories as grown-up minds are wont to do during kid shows. The leader, Greg (yellow shirt), was an affable dork on the surface who subtly but effectively rebuffed any attempt by other Wiggles to take the lead. Anthony (originally green shirt, then blue, and the first Captain Feathersword 'til they found another actor) was a lothario, a permanent beta who WANTED to take charge but couldn't stop carousing enough at night to pull a coup together during the day. Murray (red shirt) was even dorkier than Greg, and just wanted everyone to get along. Jeff (purple shirt) was a political prisoner held against his will. These backstories/coping mechanisms kept us amused for years.

We took our son to see The Wiggles when he was about two. Great energy in the theater full of toddlers and happy parents. Murray even made it up to the balcony to say hi and delight the kids.

Greg had to leave after several rampantly successful years with shows in many countries, including choice placement on the Disney Channel and huge tours. He had a cardiac problem. He was replaced, but we didn't track The Wiggles past that point.

But enough of my yakkin', let's boogie.

"Hot Potato" is The Wiggles version of "Satisfaction". If they didn't perform this song dutifully for their fans, riots may erupt. Video features the friendly pirate Captain Feathersword (he's the pirate with the feather sword) and "Paul" a chef-looking dude who must be a mate of theirs in real life:

Found an early version, with Anthony in green, that's much sloppier. This is like finding a lost Stones demo. Watch it for an example of how Anthony seems to be struggling relative to the others.

Less fun (because they're all sitting) but a better tune is "Fruit Salad". To continue the Stones analogy, it's their "Honky Tonk Women".

Close to my favorite song is "Shaky Shaky". Video quality here is shoddy (alas, friendly pirated media!) but it's an Elvis nod. When watching the Disney Channel was a daily occurrence in our home, I noted Disney aired this bit on Elvis' birthday and the anniversary of his death. Clip is enhanced by the sounds of a toddler in the room:

Yes, I did want to be a Wiggle, and eight or nine years ago would have been ready to don a colored shirt and hit the ground running. Though I've fallen out of practice, if called I will serve. Hope you are taking it easy, Greg. And good work. Beauty, mate!