Today is the birthday of Oingo Boingo guitarist Steve Bartek, who was born in 1952 in Garfield Heights, Ohio. Despite the fact that the name "Oingo Boingo" is fun to say, their wacky new-wave songs were never particularly fun to listen to, and the group was never very successful outside of California. They formed in Dayton, Ohio out of the bizarre theater and comedy troupe Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo, and debuted in 1980 with a self-titled EP, followed by the full-length Only a Lad in 1981. Although the group-- comprised of Bartek, vocalist and wizard Danny Elfman, bassist Kerry Katch, keyboardist Rich Gibbs, drummer Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez, and Sam Phipps, Leon Schniederman, Dale Turner and Avila on horns -- recorded several albums together, it was their occasional soundtrack appearance which earned them nationwide recognition.
They contributed "Weird Science" to the movie of the same name, a single which topped out at #45, as well as songs for Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Beverly Hills Cop. Elfman became distracted by solo projects --the theme music for Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and the scores for Tim Burton films like Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands. The group's last album, Boingo, was released in 1994.
Other birthdays: Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane/Starship), Steven Stills (Crosby, Stills & Nash), Steve Marriott (Small Faces), Phil Collins, Marv Ross (Quarterflash), Jody Watley and Mark Eitzel (American Music Club). -- Beth Winegarner