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This song was originally recorded by Australian rocker Johnny O'Keefe with The Deejays in 1958 as "Wild One." Deejays saxophonists Johnny Greenan and Dave Owens drafted the song over drinks after a particularly wild concert and Johnny O'Keefe later chipped in. The song was an immediate hit and made Johnny O'Keefe the first Australian rock'n'roller to reach the national charts. Buddy Holly and the Crickets heard the song while touring Australia and their drummer, Jerry Allison cut his own version using the name "Ivan," when he returned to the States, renaming it "Real Wild Child." Other versions were recorded by artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis then in 1986 hard rock pioneer Iggy Pop covered it for his Blah Blah Blah album. Released as a single, it became his only UK Top 10 hit.
Johnny O'Keefe (1935-1978) was a pioneering Australian Rock singer whose career began in the 1950s and ended with his early death in the late 1970s of barbiturate poisoning. Often referred to by his nickname, "The Wild One," O'Keefe was the first Australian Rock star.
The lyrics are about youngsters wanting to be cool and wild.
In Australia this has been used as the theme music for the ABC's all-night music video show Rage for over 20 years.
Iggy Pop's version has featured in the movies Adventures in Babysitting (1987) and Problem Child 2 (1991).
A cover by Christopher Otcasek featured in Pretty Woman (1989). Other cover versions include "Real Wild Child" by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts (1993), "Wild One" by Status Quo (2003) and Christian pop band Everlife's "Real Wild Child," which appears as the theme song in Disney's The Wild (2006). (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above)
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