Many fans know Wang Chung by their catchy 1986 dance single “Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” which went on to spawn off its own catch-phrase of sorts. To this day, fans can’t listen to the song without declaring, “everybody Wang Chung tonight,” but how did Jack and Nick come up with that unforgettable chorus?
“It started off as a little demo that Nick played me with a chorus which he thought I’d hate, because I always liked depressive stuff,” Jack laughs. “But I loved ‘Everybody Have Fun’ and when we did the demo, we came up with this little ad lib, which was ‘everybody Wang Chung tonight’ … when we started with Peter Wolf, who was our producer on that record, he said ‘you have to use that as the chorus.’”
So what does to ‘Wang Chung’ really mean? It’s the question that pops up on everyone’s minds when they hear the song, but not even Wang Chung knows the real meaning behind the phrase.
“It means ‘all you need is sleep,’” joked Nick. “We don’t really know what it means, actually. It means kind of whatever you want it to mean.”
Nick adds that he derived the band’s name ‘Wang Chung’ from a Chinese phrase ‘Huang Chung’ he came across in a book he was reading, which translates as “yellow bell” in Mandarin.
We also asked the duo about a long-running rumor we hear about a time that Nick used Paul McCartney’s bass to record the duo’s other major hit “Dance Hall Days.”
He explains, “I didn’t actually forget it, but my bass wasn’t sounding right. We were recording in Abbey Road Studios, which was a big thrill for us being huge Beatles fans, and I’m a left-handed bass player.”
He continues that the engineer told him he had an idea and to sit tight, when “suddenly this guy walks in with a Yamaha bass, and he’s going on ‘[I’m] from the bass rental company’ and it was Paul McCartney himself with his bass.”