Former Shaggs member returns to perfoming
A music legend's journey continues
Former Shaggs band member Dot (Wiggin) Semprini of Epping poses with her pug, Newman, and the album from her new band, the Dot Wiiggin Band. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)
She could retire, but instead she's working two jobs, caring for her diabetic pug dog, Newman, and is now the star of the Dot Wiggin Band.
Nearly 40 years after she and her sisters disbanded The Shaggs — a band their late father formed in hopes of turning his daughters into rock stars — Semprini is writing lyrics again and performing with her new band.
"The fans loved it," Semprini said.
The band is set to kick off a tour in January that will take it to places like Atlanta, Nashville, and Philadelphia.
"This wasn't in my plans so I have to do a lot on my end to make it work," Semprini said.
Semprini was sometimes bothered by the way some people talked about her band and its music, but said, "I always look at it that everybody is entitled to their own opinion and freedom of speech."
Music legend Frank Zappa called them "better than the Beatles."
There was innocence and honesty in the music they wrote and performed.
The Shaggs produced their first album, "Philosophy of the World," in 1969 and at the time, The New York Times called it "maybe the best worst rock album ever made."
Their father's death in 1975 brought an end to the band. The girls stopped performing and never planned to hit the stage again.
Their music has developed a following in the decades since they disbanded and most recently their story inspired off-Broadway musicals in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.
"I just became obsessed with them. It's part of my DNA now. Those songs mean everything to me," he said.
Krakow convinced Semprini to form the Dot Wiggin Band after he directed a musical tribute to The Shaggs in New York City last year to benefit the Fremont Historical Society and the town's 250th Anniversary Committee.
"I think a lot of people view The Shaggs as a cult band or a joke band, but we chose this music because we love this band. When I think of New Hampshire I think of The Shaggs. It's from the heart," said Krakow, who has a tattoo of Semprini's cat Foot-Foot on his right shoulder.
Semprini is still trying to get used to all the traveling for performances. She admitted that it's a bit overwhelming.
So far, the band's performances have attracted standing-room only crowds.
"I think it makes Dot feel good to know people really love her music," Krakow said.
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