The Strangeloves had hits before they existed. In 1963, producers Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer lucked into penning a number one song when The Angel’s recorded “My Boyfriend’s Back.” To continue their success, they created an alter ego group, the Strangeloves.
In the early days of the British Invasion, Feldman noticed audiences clamored for foreign bands. He figured the more foreign, the more popular. Convincing his fellow producers to don faux zebra fur and African spears, the newly formed group adopted the fictional persona of a family of experimental Australian sheep farmers financing their musical aspirations by inventing a new breed, the long-haired “Gottehrer.” The absurd backstory did not exactly move albums, but it allowed them to write the garage rock stomper, “I Want Candy.”
Both the Strangeloves and “I Want Candy” have had quite the after-life. Though the band flamed out rather quickly, all members left for continued music careers. As one of the cofounders of Sire Records, Richard Gottehrer played a key role launching influential acts like Blondie, Madonna, The Ramones, Talking Heads, and The Go-Go’s. Appropriately, the New Wave sound Gottehrer shepherded into the mainstream ensured The Strangloves’ legacy. Bow Wow Wow’s incandescent version remains a perennial Halloween playlist favorite. Thankfully, Aaron Carter’s version is never heard outside of Lizzie McGuire reruns.