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Monday, September 25, 2017


When I wake up in the morning I usually watch a little TV... the news and the Classic Arts Showcase channel.  However, there is no CAS Monday mornings, so switching stations I then heard Tommy James and the Shondells singing Mony Mony.  I've always liked this song but long wondered what "mony mony" meant.

It was 1968 in New York City, Tommy James and Ritchie Cordell (other contributors were Bo Gentry and Bobby Bloom) had completed writing the tune and just could not come up with a title.  James went out to to the terrace to view the skyline and just happened to see the Mutual of New York building where MONY was illuminated in red.  The song could well have been called Hotel Taft, another sign.  Never could find a red sign on building, located at 1740 Broadway.

Incidentally, MONY was in 2004 acquired by AXA, a French multinational (throughout Europe, Africa Middle East and Asia) insurance firm, which also bought out Equitable in 1991.  Once a month I get a $395 check from AXA, which takes care of my daily expenses.  Not sure why they keep sending me mony.

Mony Mony rose to #3 on the Hot 100 exactly two years after The Mamas and the Papas' Monday, Monday, their only #1 hit. The song has been well-covered by Al Yankovic (entitled Alimony), Alvin and the Chipmunks, Beach Boys and many others, with the most successful by Billy Idol in 1981, which hit #7 on Billboard.  However, Idol's 1987 live recording became #1.

What particularly thrust Idol's version to prominence was that at his concerts and in dance clubs, people would shout a certain formulaically obscene sentence in the two measures following each line, as, for example Hey, hey what?  Get laid, and get -ucked.  Being banned at high school dances is always a badge of endorsement for that affected generation.  Here is a 10-minute finale from Toronto.

Hurricane Marie is keeping away from the USA, while Hurricane Lee got it's act together, will strengthen into a Category 2, but will also soon move away:


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