LISTEN TO BOOMTOWN RADIO! “ALL the Music That Matters for the Generation That Created Rock 'n' Roll”

The Story Behind the Song – “Mony Mony” (1968)

Tommy James’ “Mony Mony” is one of those great little rock songs from the 60s that has aged very well. Thanks to a cover from Billy Idol in the 1980s, the song was reintroduced to a whole new generation of listeners. But what, exactly, is the song about?
Not much, as it turns out. Tommy James says he and songwriting partner, Ritchie Cordell, were just trying to come with a frat/party rock song in the vein of “California Sun”  or “Money (That’s What I Want)”… something that cut against the grain of all the “serious” rock that was then dominating the music scene.

So, who the heck is “Mony?”
Ah, there is the real story. James and Cordell had most of the song together. They had even created the music tracks in the studio. But they were stuck on a girl’s name. They wanted it to be unusual (like “Sloopy”) and it had to be two syllables to fit the track they had already created.

The pair were sitting in James’ apartment in New York City trying to complete the song. As James tells it: “…finally we get disgusted, we throw our guitars down, we go out on the terrace, we light up a cigarette, and we look up into the sky. And the first thing our eyes fall on is the Mutual of New York Insurance Company. M-O-N-Y. True story.”

And for the first and probably last time in rock history, an insurance company inspired a classic song!

Pop Up Player

Latest Posts–Music

  • ABBA - Voyager
    Okay. A few folks have asked us what we think of the new ABBA album, Voyager – the band’s first release in 40 years. On the whole, we like it A LOT. When we’re not…
  • You Have Been Warned
    Those of a certain age can remember these attacks...
  • Welcome to the Neighborhood
    In case you're new here, a litle something to help you get around...
  • Attack of the One-Hit Wonders: “Rock On” – David Essex
    For American audiences, the David Essex story is rather short and fairly typical of one-hit wonders. He appeared out of nowhere, starring in a film about 1950’s rock & rollers called That’ll Be the Day.…
  • The True Story of the Beatles Logo
    Lots of bands have logos. Chicago made a recording career out of spinning endless variations of their logo into album covers. But the oldest and certainly most iconic is the Beatles logo – the one…
  • 5 Fun Facts About the Rolling Stones
    The drummer at their very first gig was Mick Avory, who went on to become the drummer for the Kinks. Mick Jagger studied to become a ballet dancer. Bill Wyman was only invited to join…