News from the United States has revealed that Wheatus’s famous “Teenage Dirtbag” is now a middle aged father of two, with a boring 9 to 5 job, and a big fat mortgage. The original teenage dirtbag, Chris Pritchard, was recently uncovered in Parkersburg, Ohio, where he is living his life as an otherwise normal, somewhat boring, member of society.
Pritchard grew up in Northport, New York, and attending the same High School as many of the band members from Wheatus, and his behaviour as an archetypal teenage dirtbag inspired the lyrics of what became a worldwide hit. The song was released in July 2000, and actually found its peak popularity in Australia, where it sat at number one for four whole weeks, and ended up going three times certified platinum, successfully tapping into the timeless teenage angst experienced by every generation.
Speaking about the year following the release, Pritchard has only fond memories. He said, “word spread pretty quickly around town that I was THE dirtbag, and people just lapped it up. I was actually in college at the time, and almost no longer a teenager, but every party I went to people wanted to get their piece of ‘The Dirtbag’. Guys wanted to be me, and girls wanted to be with me. They were heady times.”
But as the song slowly drifted away to become a footnote in alt/pop music history, the party invites started to dry up and Pritchard realised it was time to move on with his life. As he said, “by the time I realised what was happening, I was actually 23 years old, still scratching around at college and not really sure where my life was headed. I eventually finished my degree, got a job, met my future wife, moved to Ohio and started the next phase of my life.”
Pritchard said he doesn’t hear much from the Wheatus boys these days, but is Facebook friends with most of them so keeps in touch online. And as for his important role in history, so far he has shielded his children from the fame. He said, “They’re still pretty young so wouldn’t fully grasp it I guess. But one day I’ll tell them about it and show them the video clip. Maybe when they’re teenage dirtbags themselves. But I don’t want to burden them too much under their father’s enormous legacy.”