Behind The Music: Inspired By A Bank [VIDEO]
Tommy James & The Shondells took their song “Mony Mony” all the way to #3 on the charts in June 1968.
James was looking for a song that that had a catching melody, like “Bonie Maronie”. The writing team had so far come up with nothing.
They wanted it to be a girl’s name that nobody had ever heard before, so they searched the dictionary for inspiration with no luck.
Tommy walked out on his New York terrace and just began to stare at the landscape and all of a sudden his eyes caught sight of a sign for the Mutual of New York. That’s when inspiration hit. He took the first initial of each word and came up with “Mony Mony”.
Years later James was quoted as saying that, if he’d been looking in the other direction, the song could have been called “Hotel Taft”.
Tommy James & The Shondells took “Mony Mony” all the way to #3 on Billboard Hot 100 in June, 1968.
As a side-note: As a singer Tommy James never had back-to-back #1’s, and only hit the top spot once (in 1968) with “Crimson And Clover”. But, he is the only artist to have back-to-back #1’s on songs covered by other artists.
It started in 1987 with Tiffany’s version of “I Think Were Alone Now”, which held the top spot for 2 weeks, followed immediately by Billy Idol’s “live” version of “Mony Mony”.