Author Stephen King says that his wife threatened to leave him because he wouldn’t stop playing Mambo No 5

Stephen King
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We’ve all had a favourite song stuck on repeat from time to time, but author Stephen King has revealed that one particular earworm threatened to cause the breakdown of his marriage.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, the King of Horror let slip that he once had an obsession with Lou Bega’s jaunty 1999 hit Mambo No 5, and one remix of it in particular.

Asked if it was true that he was a huge fan of the song, King replied: “Oh, yeah. Big time. My wife threatened to divorce me. I played that a lot. I had the dance mix. I loved those extended play things, and I played both sides of it. And one of them was just total instrumental. And I played that thing until my wife just said, ‘One more time, and I’m going to fucking leave you.’”

Sadly, King didn’t fully identify the mix in question so we’re unable to test its addictive properties, but Mambo No 5 is undoubtedly a tune that sticks in your head. And King says that, when he’s working, repetition isn’t something that bothers him.

“When I write, there are things that I can listen to a lot,” he confirms. “And a lot of it is techno stuff or disco stuff, but techno in particular; there’s this group called LCD Soundsystem, and I love that. Fatboy Slim is somebody else. I can just listen to that stuff. If you tried to write and listen to Leonard Cohen, how the fuck would you do that? Because you’d have to listen to the words and you’d have to listen to what he’s saying. But with some of the techno stuff, or KC and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, it’s all good.”

We can certainly get on board with the idea that instrumental music is easier to work to than vocal-heavy stuff, though we’re not sure that many people would classify LCD Soundsystem and Fat Boy Slim as ‘techno’. Still, if it works for King - and, judging by his sales figures, it certainly does - then who are we to argue?

Stephen King’s latest book, Holly, is available now.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.