Stephen King says wife threatened to leave him over ‘Mambo No 5’

Stephen King has recalled how his love of Lou Bega’s hit song “Mambo No 5” was so extreme his wife threatened to “leave” him over it.

The 75-year-old writer, best known for horror novels including Carrie and The Shining, has been married to fellow author Tabitha Spruce, 74, since 1971.

The couple have three children: Naomi, 53, Joe, 51, and Owen, 46. Naomi is a minister, while Joe and Owen have followed in their parents’ footsteps and are writers.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, King was questioned about his love of the 1999 party favourite.

Explaining that he was a “big time” fan of Bega’s song, King explained: “My wife threatened to divorce me. I played that a lot.”

He continued: “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 f***ing leave you.’”

King said that he was most likely at the time working on 11/22/63, his 2011 novel about a time traveller who attempts to prevent the assassination of John F Kennedy.

“When I write, there are things that I can listen to a lot. And a lot of it is techno stuff or disco stuff, but techno in particular,” King admitted, listing LCD Soundsystem and Fatboy Slim among his favourite writing soundtrack artists.

King opened up about his listening habits while writing (Getty Images)
King opened up about his listening habits while writing (Getty Images)

Generally, however, King said that he listens to less music when he writes nowadays.

“I think it’s because I’ve slowed down a little bit, or the thought process is not as limber as it was when I was say 30, 35, that sort of thing,” he said. “But I still do listen to it when I polish, when I rewrite, and I listen to a lot of loud rock’n’roll.”

King is an outspoken figure on social media, and was one of the prominent voices to speak out regarding Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter earlier this year.

With Musk now in charge, the platform has changed its name to X, and stripped verified members of their blue tick in April. However, King was confused to see he still had a blue tick, despite not paying for it under the new Twitter Blue subscription plan.

“My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t,” King wrote.

In response to King, Musk wrote: “You’re welcome namaste,” with social media users claiming the Tesla CEO was “trolling” King.