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Founded: mid-1970s

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA

Website Link(s): Official Site

Oingo Boingo (Template:IPAc-en) was an American new wave band, formed by songwriter Danny Elfman in 1979. The band emerged from a surrealist musical theatre troupe, The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, that Elfman had led and written material for in the years previous.

Oingo Boingo were known for their high energy live concerts and experimental music, which can be described as mixing rock, ska, pop, and world music. The band's body of work spanned 17 years, with various genre and line-up changes. Their best-known songs include "Only a Lad", "Dead Man's Party" and "Weird Science".

As a rock band, Oingo Boingo started as a ska and punk-influenced new wave octet, achieving significant popularity in Southern California. During the mid-1980s, the band changed line-ups and adopted a more pop oriented style, until a significant genre change to alternative rock in 1994. At that point, the name was shortened to simply Boingo and the keyboardist and horn section were dropped. The band retired after a farewell concert on Halloween 1995, for which they reverted to the name Oingo Boingo and readopted the horn section.




Band Members[]

  • Danny Elfman
  • Sam Phipps
  • Carl Graves
  • John Avila
  • Steve Bartek
  • Warren Fitzgerald
  • Richard Gibbs
  • Kerry Hatch
  • Johnny Hernandez
  • Leon Schneiderman
  • Dale Turner

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Band Biography[]

Oingo Boingo started as the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, where they were a live, cabaret/dada type of act. Unfortunately, very little recorded material from this era exists, although this incarnation was immortalized in the film Forbidden Zone and accompanying soundtrack LP. This was the last project of the Mystic Knights, and the band shed some members to form Oingo Boingo, and became a punk/ska band for a few LPs (though with a surprisingly more conservative lyrical bent than one would expect). After that, they tended to go more pop. Around this time, the band had started to be tapped to provide songs for films, and it was at this time that Danny Elfman started scoring films as well. This cut into the time for the band, and Oingo Boingo releases became fewer and farther between. They'd been intending to change their name to just "Boingo" for a while, but the record company wouldn't let them until their last studio record, simply titled Boingo. Strangely, their last album (Farewell had the word "Oingo" prominently featured on the sleeve. After that they broke up, and there have been the occasional rumor of a reunion, but nothing has happened yet. The other members have found careers in producing (like John Avila or scoring Steve Bartek, who often still works with Danny Elfman as well as on his own.)



  • Only a Lad'
  • Nothing To Fear
  • Good For Your Soul
  • So-Lo (as a Danny Elfman solo album, but the album consists of Boingo songs that didn't fit in on other records, and was recorded with Boingo)
  • Dead Man's Party
  • Boi-Ngo
  • Boingo Alive
  • Skeletons In the Closet
  • Dark At The End Of The Tunnel
  • Best O' Boingo
  • Boingo
  • Farewell
  • Anthology


  • Oingo Boingo


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