Basic Background Info

Birth: September 5, 1951
Location: Unknown
Band: Oingo Boingo, Johnny Vatos & Friends
Genres: Latin, Blues, Jazz, Punk
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


In the 1970s, Johnny 'Vatos' Hernandez was the drummer and original member of The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, along with Steve Bartek, Danny Elfman, Kerry Hatch, Sam Phipps, Leon Schnederman, and Dale Turner.

Originally, Richard Elfman created The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo as a live cabaret performance art band. Slowly, his interests turned to film and he passed band leadership down to his younger brother, Daniel Elfman. Richard Elfman went on to film the movie Forbidden Zone, which featured his old band. Following the film's completion, the band members cultivated a following in the Los Angeles area by playing their new wave punk music at local clubs. Their crowd pleasing performances became renowned for incorporating elements of theater and orchestra.

Before the band began recording studio albums, it shortened its name to just Oingo Boingo. Then in 1980, both the Forbidden Zone soundtrack and their debut EP (10 Inch EP) were released. They signed a record contract almost immediately and recorded their first full-length album, Only a Lad, in 1981. Oingo Boingo went on to release two more albums over the next two yearsóNothing to Fear and Good For Your Soul.

In 1985, Oingo Boingo recorded their biggest hit, Dead Manís Party. Dead Manís Party eventually went gold and the fame brought them the opportunity to perform in films like Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield and John Hughesís Weird Science. Eventually, Oingo Boingo established a working relationship with director Tim Burton and regularly contributed music to his films, including Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Big Top Pee-wee, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow, and the remake of Planet of the Apes.

After Dan Elfman focused his energy on composing for films, Oingo Boingo (then simply calling themselves Boingo) performed a farewell to their loyal Los Angeles audiences at the Universal Amphitheatre before permanently dismantling in 1995.

Oingo Boingo's stylistic open-mindedness equipped Johnny with tools to perform in a variety of genres later in his career. Since working with Oingo Boingo, Johnny has performed with CID, the Zydeco Party Band, The Jazz Giants, Food for Feet, Dough & The Mystics, and Tito & The Tarantulas. He has also contributed percussion tracks, as well as his own voice, to several television commercials.

Although Oingo Boingo remains officially buried, in 2005 Johnny Hernandez created Johnny Vatos & Friends with Steve Barter, John Avila, and Sam Phipps. They perform Oingo Boingo's best works and bring Oingo Boingo's charisma and pluck to every performance.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1976 Out on the Limb David Diggs
1980 Forbidden Zone Danny Elfman
1981 Only a Lad Oingo Boingo
1982 Nothing to Fear Oingo Boingo
1983 Good for Your Soul Oingo Boingo
1984 So Lo Danny Elfman
1985 Dead Man's Party Oingo Boingo
1987 Boi-ngo Oingo Boingo
1988 Boingo Alive Oingo Boingo
1989 Best of Oingo Boingo: Skeletons in the Closet Oingo Boingo
1989 No Habla Robby Krieger
1989 Rayito de Luna Johnny Hernandez
1990 Dark at the End of the Tunnel Oingo Boingo
1991 Llevame Contigo Johnny Hernandez
1991 No Me Hagan Menos Johnny Hernandez
1991 Tejano Hottest Hits Various Artists
1992 Best O' Boingo Oingo Boingo
1992 Corridos de Hoy Various Artists
1992 Donna De Lory Donna De Lory
1992 En Familia Various Artists
1992 ExposÈ ExposÈ
1992 Self Discovery Johnny Hernandez
1994 Boingo Boingo
1995 Beyond the Thunder Neal Schon
1995 Canta Canta Johnny Hernandez
1995 Poquita Fe Johnny Hernandez
1995 Such Sweet Sorrow Michael Feinstein
1996 Farewell: Live from the Universal Amphitheatre Oingo Boingo
1996 Fiesta Tejana, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1996 Live for Schlitz Little Joe Y la Familia
1996 Live for Schlitz, Vol. 2 Joe.little
1997 12 Corridos Calientes Various Artists
1997 Time and Love: The Music of Laura Nyro Various Artists
1997 Totally Tejano, Vol. 2: Old School Various Artists
1997 Totally Tejano, Vol. 3: Old School Various Artists
1998 Con el Mismo Amor Ram Herrera
1999 Anthology Oingo Boingo
1999 Hungry Sally & Other Killer Lullabies Tito & Tarantula
1999 Santa Sangre Psychotic Aztecs
2000 Cinematix Robbie Krieger
2002 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Oingo Boingo
2004 Better Than Ever Jessy Serrata
2008 Select Trax #3 Bob Gallarza
2009 Dimelo Johnny Hernandez



Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Hardware: Drum Workshop

Pics & Clips