The Mondragón Orchestra is a Spanish musical group created in 1976 around the personality of the presenter and singer JAVIER GURRUCHAGA. It is considered one of the pioneer musical formations in the fusion of music and theater in Spain. In its beginnings, the band was based on two great scenic pillars: the singer , Javier, funny and eccentric, and Popotxo Ayestaran, a comedian who, using only mimicry, turned each song into a small humorous gag.


The name of the group comes from the Gipuzkoan town of Mondragón. When the group was founded in the 1970s in San Sebastián; Mondragón’s name was almost automatically associated in the Basque Country (especially in Guipúzcoa) with the famous psychiatric sanatorium existing in the town (the old Santa Agueda spa where Cánovas del Castillo was assassinated). For Gipuzkoans, therefore, sending someone to Mondragón is equivalent to calling him crazy. The name of the group is therefore intended to be a praise of the spirit of madness with which the group 1 was born.
The band released their first album, entitled Inflatable Doll in 1979, after a warm-up concert tour that took them all over the Basque Country, including the Colegio de los Ángeles, a school where Javier had studied during his childhood. A year earlier, in 1978, they had reached Madrid , having established communication with the producer Julian Ruiz, who was the one who got them a recording for the EMI label, thus appearing in 1979 on the market their first album, which had the collaboration of Eduardo Haro Ibars (author of the famous book Gay rock ) as a lyricist. It received excellent reviews from both the public and the specialized press. From this first album, hits such as «Put on the wig» or «Muñeca inflable» itself can be extracted.


Already in 1980, the group launches its second work, entitled Bon Voyage. This second album again had the production of Julián Ruiz and meant the confirmation of the Orchestra in the Spanish music scene. Songs like “Viaje con nos” or “Little Feroz Little Hood” belong to this album. At the time, guitarist Jaime Stinus had joined the group, who participates on the album as a composer as well as an instrumentalist. The bassist at that time was Jose Luis Dufourg and the drummer Angel Zelada.
In 1982 they recorded the soundtrack for the film Bésame, silly, a film in which Javier starred alongside Paola Dominguin and which marked his first foray into the world of cinema. The Orchestra continued to reap success throughout the eighties; however, his two subsequent deliveries, both Happy Birthday, corresponding to the year 1983, and Es la Guerra, belonging to 1984, did not obtain the expected results and during the tour of 1985, Gurruchaga and his record company decide to take stock of that first stage. The result of that tour is the album Rock & Roll Circus, a work that includes many good versions of Mondragón songs.
Meanwhile, Gurruchaga had appeared as a supporting character in Pedro Almodóvar’s film What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984).
In 1987, what is considered by many to be one of his best works came to light, entitled They prefer fat women, the name of the most important song on the album. The Orchestra did not return to the music scene until 1989, when they released the album A smile, please, a work with which they managed to sell more than fifty thousand copies. In view of the results obtained, Gurruchaga decides to venture out and try his luck by releasing his first solo album, titled Music for Chameleons, released in 1990. However, this album did not obtain the estimated results and two years later Javier brought Mondragón back to life by releasing the album El Huevo de Colón, a release that coincided with the celebration of the Fifth Centenary of the discovery of America. In 1995 they released the album Memorias de una vaca, in which they review some of their best songs and interpret them in an acoustic version, although the star song is a version of the song «Imagine» by John Lenon


During the subsequent years, the period between 1996 and 1998, constitutes a hard moment in the biography of Javier Gurruchaga , when he was involved in the so-called «Arny case», from which the showman was acquitted. After these difficult moments, the last installment of the Mondragón appears in the year 2000 and is entitled Take it easy, an album that combines a great diversity of styles, from rock to blues or ranchera. At the same time, Javier Gurruchaga continues to work on projects for television or theater such as the tribute broadcast on TVE to the Catalan musician Xavier Cugat or the theatrical adaptation of Historia de un Soldado, by Ígor Stravinski, together with Nacha Guevara and Paquito de Rivera.
On May 16, 2006, EMI, the record company that saw the group’s greatest successes, published a new CD called ¡Viva Mondragón!, which in addition to collecting the most remembered songs of the band and five new songs, among which it is worth highlighting « The blues of Don Quixote», in homage to the character of Cervantes, and «Dancing with the wolf», a disco remix of the classic «Little Feroz Hood», is accompanied by a DVD that includes some of the best performances of the orchestra on TVE.
In November 2006 they make a series of successful presentations in Mexico City to present their anniversary album: ¡Viva Mondragón, appearing on November 2 at the Zócalo of that city and on November 5 at the Teatro de la Ciudad. , with a full house.
Currently (December 2008) resides for seasons in the Cd. from Mexico and presents its Rock, Circus and Cabaret show every Thursday at the AMAPOLA CABARET located in Insurgentes Sur.
In 2009 they announced their next album, Why don’t you shut up?, in which artists such as Sara Montiel or Molotov will collaborate. The title of the album alludes to the famous phrase said by the King of Spain, Don Juan Carlos de Borbón, to the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, in the plenary session of the XVII Ibero-American Summit.