Tommy James and the Shondells released the classic song “Mony Mony” in 1968 which was famously remade by Billy Idol in 1981. Most people think they are singing “Money Money” when in fact the song title is “Mony Mony”
Leading to the question, what is a “Mony Mony“???
As the story goes, in 1968, Tommy James lived on the 18th floor of a building at West 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue. One late night in January, he and his writing partner Ritchie Cordell struggled for hours with the lyrics to a ”crazy song” the band had been recording at 1650 Broadway.
”We were desperately trying to come up with a title,” James said. ”It had to be a girl’s name that nobody had heard of before, you know, a ‘Sloopy,’ or a ‘Bony Maronie.’ Nothing was working.”
Frustrated, the two put down their guitars, James stepped out onto the terrace and looking towards Broadway.
”And all of the sudden there’s this ‘MONY,’ with a dollar sign in the middle of the O, that I’d been looking at for years,” he said. ”We both fell down laughing, because we both knew. It was perfect.”
Here’s the Mutual of New York building located at 1740 Broadway at West 55th Street, NE Corner to West 56th Street.
Here’s the Mutual of New York logo…