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Thursday, May 04, 2006

More on the Village People and Their Women and Men (They - Want - YOU! Part Two) 

Followup. Early this morning, I commented:

I thought I read once that half of the original Village People were gay, and the other half were not. I'll need to confirm this, once I satisfy my curiosity about the respectability of slave traders (the research life of a blogger is ruff, ain't it?).

Once I dispensed with my ruff research, I had time to play my gay-not gay game. However, most of the Village People (past or present) apparently aren't important enough to merit detailed biographies, so the information I found was sketchy.

Let's start with the Original Cop and the Current Bad Boy, Victor Willis. The excerpt below comes from a page that includes an interview with Henri Belolo:

One fun fact about Victor Willis is that he actually was married to Phylicia Allen (later Rashad) for two years in 1978-1980. Phylicia actually also recorded an album in 1978 entitled Josephine Superstar which was produced by no other than Jacques and Henri, even the Ritchie Family girls and the Village People were singing background vocals on the album. But most known is Phylicia for her role as Mrs. Claire Huxtable, the mom in the classic TV sit-com - "The Cosby Show".

Jacques Morali is dead, by the way. But Randy Jones isn't. He left the Village People shortly after Willis did, and he recently got married:

The cowboy from the Village People has gotten married. MTV News reports Randy Jones married acid lounge artist Will Grega Friday at a New York club.

Grega and Jones have been together for 20 years. Grega proposed that night and they were married on the spot.

Gay marriage is still illegal in New York state, but Jones says, "It's only a matter of time before the courts rule in favor of what's morally right and humanly decent." Grega, meanwhile, points out, "I have a lifetime membership to the YMCA."

And the late Glenn Hughes' replacement is at least acting straight (emphasis mine):

In 1995, California metal band vet Eric Anzalone was looking for work. He stumbled across a musicians-wanted ad: "Well-known pop/disco group seeking singer who has passport."

"If they're asking if I have a passport, they must be working," he thought. Anzalone submitted a photo and tape. A month later, he got a callback. He was about to become the new Leatherman.

Glenn Hughes wasn't out of the band, per se. He just wasn't up to the demanding tour schedule anymore. "We knew Glenn was sick, but he didn't want to retire," says Rose. So Hughes remained part of Sixuvus—complete with salary, pension plan, and health benefits—and helped run the business . . . including grooming his replacement.

"I affectionately called him my Sleaze Coach," chuckles Anzalone. "After we'd rehearse a number, he'd always go, 'Eric, stop! You're not moving your hips enough!'"

Anzalone, who is married and has a young daughter, says he had no trouble stepping into the chaps of one of history's most recognizable gay icons, although occasionally there are awkward run-ins with aging gents who mistakenly claim they "dated" him back in the day. Glenn Hughes died of lung cancer on March 4, 2001. Anzalone attended the funeral with the rest of the band.

Well, after all that research, I finally found some bio pages, including ones for Eric Anzalone (daughter Samantha; no longer married?), Ray Simpson (wife Leslie and daughter Alayna), Alex Briley (silent on his love life), David Hodo (ditto), Felipe Rose (ditto), Jeff Olson (ditto).

Well, there's more heterosexual sex in the Village People than I realized. Learn something new every day, I guess...

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

I have a lifetime membership to the YMCA.

Ok, NOW I've spewed my coffee. LOL :D
I still remember the line from "In the Navy" - "What am I gonna do in a submarine?"

If you follow the link, I got the text from one of my fellow baby seal clubbers berating the AP for inaccuracy for referring to a "marriage" when, according to law, no marriage took place.
Hey guys...this is Eric Anzalone, from the aforementioned group! While enjoying my morning coffee, I stumbled across your blog, and I thought I'd shed a little light. For the record, the Village People have never been a completely gay group. Since its inception there have always been straight members. I’m not at liberty to discuss each member’s sexual preference but, as if it matters, you got it right--I’m straight. Every member of this group since 1977 was hired because they were musicians/singers and, because this is showbiz after all, they fit the costume. Sexual orientation was not included in the job description.
Disco was pretty much born in Gay clubs and African-American dance clubs in the mid 70’s. Yes, Jaques Morali knew what he was doing when he geared the group toward a certain core audience. However, our audiences these days are very diverse, even my seven year old daughter’s favorite acts are Avril Lavigne, Green Day, and the Village People. Either way, the reason we shrug off a lot of articles and questions about the whole “gay” thing is because “Who the hell really cares?” It’s about the music and the vibe, end of story. I mean, why aren’t we all still talking about how Britney Spears and Madonna must be lesbians? Hell, they tongued each other on television! Our tongues stay in our own mouths, because, I’m here to tell you, it’s impossible to sing YMCA or Macho Man or In The Navy without your tongue firmly planted in your cheek!
We’re just a band. Later- eric anzalone, Village People (www.officialvillagepeople.com)
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