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The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo

The 1970s was the decade in which the Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo ruled.
Oingo Boingo EP & Louis Wain

After 'L.A. In' had introduced us to 'Oingo Boingo', it only made sense to release an EP specifically in their name. The self titled ep , released in 1980, included four songs. "Only A Lad", which was to become the early band's anthem, "I'm So Bad", a song destined to fall behind and become known as a rarity, "Ain't This The Life", another rare song, despite being included on numerous compilations and being played at many of their concerts, and a cover of Willie Dixons "Violent Love". 'Violent Love' was also played at Mystic Knight shows and included on the "Boingo Alive" compilation. 'Ain't This The Life' was sang on "Farewell"....as was 'I'm So Bad'. The song 'Aint This The Life' was recorded twice. The 12" version of the Oingo Boingo EP and the cassette version are different to the 10" version.

There was also a demo version of this ep with a hand painted cover. This, however, is almost as rare as the Mystic Knight ep, restricted to only a limited edition of copies made. This included a longer recording of the classic; "Forbidden Zone".

The "Electric Kittie" - the cat on the EP, was drawn by Victorian artist Louis Wain who's became known for his anthropomorphic cats (cBoingo Demo EPats with human traits, such as wearing clothing and talking). Unfortunately, Wain later developed schizophrenia, and as his illness gained a hold on his life, it gripped his art as well. The cat depicted on the Oingo Boingo EP had been drawn by Wain in the middle of his schizophrenia: the images progressively got more electric, more geometric and soon lost any feline resemblance. "This kind of sums up my attitude towards our music," Danny stated in an interview in BAM magazine, 1980. "We have a schizophrenia about us, yet we're not totally out-there, unfathomable goons."

The Mystic Knight EP

In 1978, the Mystic Knights recorded their first and only record; a two song ep featuring both songs written by Danny. The 'Patty Hearst' song, called 'You Got Your Baby Back', and a small ditty 'Ballad Of The Caveman' are a far cry from the later Boingo days.

L.A In

In 1979, the boys had their first ever listing as just 'Oingo Boingo' when they recorded a song for the compilation 'L.A. In' called "I'm Afraid".
Factoid: Listen to the intro on 'I'm Afraid' and then listen to 'Journey Through The Intestines' on the Forbidden Zone album. Coincidence?

Interestingly enough, ten years down the line, Boingo were the only band from the compilation that was still going strong

The Forbidden Zone

Richard Elfman's directorial debut, The Forbidden Zone has been described as a 'late night cult film'. "If I could describe it any better myself, I would have become a journalist" Richard Elfman once said. True, the film has a class of its own. Shot as a 'no-budget' film (the sets were hand painted by Richard's wife, Marie Pascale Elfman, and the Mystic Knights obviously did all the music. In fact, the only paid actor was Herve Villechaize. As silly, dodgy, or weird the film might have been, respect has to be paid if only for the fact that Danny probably wouldn't be where he is now if it weren't for his 'silly' score performed by the Mystic Knight ensamble. Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman) had been a fan, and it was he who suggested they hire Danny for the score of his new film 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure'.