Oingo Boingo

From Academic Kids

Oingo Boingo was the band of composer Danny Elfman from the mid-1970s to October 31, 1995. An early version of the band (who produced a novelty record about kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, "You've Got Your Baby Back") was known as The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.

The band is probably best known for appearing on a number of soundtracks in the early-to-mid-1980s. Their well-known song, "Weird Science" was, in fact, written for the John Hughes movie of the same name. The band made an appearance playing their hit "Dead Man's Party" on stage in the memorable party scene in the movie Back to School, and their 1983 ska classic "Who Do You Want To Be" was featured in Bachelor Party.

They also made a cameo appearance as the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo in the movie Forbidden Zone, written and directed by Richard Elfman, the brother of Danny Elfman. In this incarnation, the band was essentially a musical theatre troupe. Most of the members performed in whiteface and clown makeup; a typical show would contain music ranging from the 1890s to the 1950s (some of which was covers, some of which was original material either parodying or based on music of another era.) This version of the band had as many as 15 members at any one time, playing over 30 instruments between them. Unfortunately, very little recorded material from this period exists. Because of the expense and difficulty of maintaining an ensemble of this size, Danny Elfman decided in 1976 to reduce both the band and its name, dropping the "Mystic Knights" moniker. Around 1994 it was yet again shortened, this time to "Boingo".

Oingo Boingo amicably parted ways after their annual Halloween concert in 1995, because it was "time." The final concert is available on both audio and video recordings.

Frontman Danny Elfman has had a very successful film scoring career since, often using Boingo guitarist Steve Bartek as orchestrator. Their film scores have included Batman, Good Will Hunting, Proof of Life, Men in Black, and dozens more. Elfman also wrote the theme for The Simpsons.

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