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A little bit of... divorce? The cost of Stephen King’s love of Mambo No 5

The horror writer’s wife also threatened to disembowel him with her ‘sharpest Ginsu knife’ if he continued to play the extended version of the Latin pop song on repeat

Many writers like to listen to something when working – Zadie Smith swears by ‘brown noise’, which is essentially a ‘deeper’ version of white noise, while Saul Bellow favoured Mozart. As for horror writer Stephen King, his song of choice is Lou Bega’s 1999 hit “Mambo No 5”.

King shared his love for the song in a recent interview with Rolling Stone to promote his latest novel, Holly. When asked if he was a fan of the song, King replied: “Oh, yeah. Big time.”

He added that he listens to a lot of techno and disco while writing, naming LCD Soundsystem, KC and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, and Fat Boy Slim as favourites.

Not only is King a certified Begahead, but he also revealed that he played the track so much his wife nearly walked out on him. “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,” he said. “And I played that thing until my wife just said, ‘One more time, and I’m going to fucking leave you’.”

Not only did Tabitha King threaten to leave her husband if he continued to play the 90s summer hit – she also threatened to kill him. In a 2009 interview, King said: “I want to share that my wife once informed me that she would disembowel me with her sharpest Ginsu knife if I played the extended version [of Mambo No 5] one more time.”

He added that he would wait until “she was running errands” to play the song, “not once but several times”.