Although Zappa was one of the most notable Shaggs fans, he was probably one of the group’s only fans. The band was assembled by Austin Wiggins who was obsessed with seeing his daughters – Dot (vocals/ lead guitar), Betty (vocals / rhythm guitar) and Helen (drums) – become music stars.

The Shaggs only album, the 1969 release Philosophy Of The World, sounds like three wannabe musicians trying to find a common chord. Even though the band originated as a trio, daughter Rachel eventually joined in on bass.

But while the Shaggs’ music might not be for everyone, the story behind the band is intriguing and at one time was being developed into a movie property with Tom Cruise attached to play the father.

Now the band’s story is being transformed into a musical. However, don’t expect note-by-note renditions of songs like “That Little Sports Car,” “My Pal Foot Foot,” “Why Do I Feel?” and other gems from Philosophy Of The World to get the big-time treatment. With book and lyrics by Joy Gregory and music and lyrics by Gunner Madison, “The Shaggs: Philosophy Of The World” will detail the group’s history while presenting what the girls and their father probably thought the band’s music would sound like, reports the New York Times.

Which, when you think of it, is probably better than presenting the music as it was originally recorded. In fact, Madison said he had never heard of the Shaggs before joining the project and didn’t hear the band’s music until someone gave him a CD copy of Philosophy Of The World.

“I listened to that,” Madison says in the Times, “and I found it profoundly depressing. Other people find a simple joy in it, but for me I just heard how they were forced to do this,” adding, “I can hear where they’re just struggling to find something out of the chaos which is music.”

As to the music he wrote for the play, Madsen said he came up with tunes that are more in the style of the band than sounding like the group’s actual songs.

“To me,” Madsen said, “it sounds kind of like Stravinsky meets David Byrne meets I don’t know.”

“The Shaggs: Philosophy Of The World” is a joint production by Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop and will be presented next spring. For more information, click here for the complete New York Times article.