Music | News | Victor Willis | Village People

Village People Cop: Y.M.C.A. Not About Gay Cruising


Victor Willis, the cop from the Village People, says the lyrics in Y.M.C.A. were not meant to be innuendo about gay cruising but about hanging out with your straight buddies.

(uh, straight buddies like Bob Allen and Ted Haggard, perhaps)

VillagepeopleSays Willis' publicist Alice Wolf: "Victor Willis wrote about the YMCA and having fun there, but the type of fun he was talking about was straight fun," insists Wolf, adding that Willis has nothing against homosexuality. 'When he says, 'Hang out with all the boys'... he's talking about the boys, the fellas.... But it's one of those ambiguous songs that was taken that way because of the gay association with Village People.'"

Willis is "mounting a comeback with a tell-all book detailing his frustration with his flamboyant gay bandmates and why they ultimately caused him to leave the group in the early '80s" according to the Canadian Press.

Now sober, Willis has been in the news most often recently for drug abuse and arrests. In July 2005, Willis was arrested after police found a loaded .45 and crack cocaine in his convertible Corvette.

He's mounting a "comeback show" in Las Vegas on August 31st that will serve as the opening for a string of international performances.

"Wolf says Willis's stage performance will include all of his biggest hits with the Village People, and several costume changes involving the group's trademark personas."

Which of course, aren't gay at all.

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  1. Of course he's writing a book and mounting a comeback, but who cares?

    Posted by: BeeDee | Aug 3, 2007 10:17:58 AM

  2. How kind of Willis to have "nothing agaist homosexuality"...since without gay people, he'd have been a big, fat, zero. Such a shame he's frustrated that people thing his songs are gay because of his flamboyant band-mates... Add him to the Donna Summer school of biting the hand that feeds him. Then close the book. For good.

    Posted by: Nathan | Aug 3, 2007 10:30:53 AM

  3. So how does he interpret the line that goes " can do whutEver you feeeeeel..."?

    Posted by: Michael W. | Aug 3, 2007 10:42:26 AM

  4. Macho Man was the gay song anyways.

    Posted by: homer | Aug 3, 2007 10:42:57 AM

  5. Oh, and good point, Nathan!

    Posted by: Michael W. | Aug 3, 2007 10:43:53 AM

  6. The mad whisperings of a crackhead.

    Isn't part of a successful recovery program all about getting real with yourself?

    Posted by: Becks07 | Aug 3, 2007 10:56:21 AM

  7. Is he out of his freakin' mind?

    Posted by: Big Dave | Aug 3, 2007 11:08:21 AM

  8. No, Becks, part of a successful recovery program is in the last week or rehab, they teach you to write a tell-all memoir to pay for the bar tab at the spa... er... rehab unit.

    So after hearing about black men on the down low from Oprah, what is left to tell? Or is this [ex]crack head trying to paddle up de-nile river after spending 30 years adrift at sea[men]? "Ohmygod! I sobered up and found a dick up my ass! A lot!"

    Posted by: Rad | Aug 3, 2007 11:30:10 AM

  9. as my good friend miss sonia once said, "oh lady, please."

    Posted by: the queen | Aug 3, 2007 11:40:47 AM

  10. What an idiot. I suppose "In the Navy" isn't about the seven seas, either.

    Posted by: Frank L | Aug 3, 2007 12:06:22 PM

  11. Jesus Christ, now SONGS are jumping on the "ex-gay" bandwagon.

    Just like gay people, that gay song can go back into the closet but it'll always be as gay as a three dollar bill.

    Maybe Exodus will start using YMCA as their new ex-gay theme song.

    Posted by: Zeke | Aug 3, 2007 12:22:14 PM

  12. Oy. So all those songs like "San Francisco (You Got Me)" and "Sodom and Gomorrah" among others that were so frequently prominent in gay porn films of the era were completely taken out of context, I guess?

    Hell, even Victor Willis's (far more famous) ex-wife probably knows how full of shit he is on this one.

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 3, 2007 12:27:55 PM

  13. Good one Zeke!

    Considering how YMCA is so popular at weddings, I should think it helped promote gay rights by making it all less threatening. I mean, when grandma is up there singing it along with everyone else at the reception, who's going to pass sodomy laws? They never do In the Navy at weddings though. It doesn't have the obvious "dance" moves.

    Posted by: anon ( | Aug 3, 2007 1:11:01 PM

  14. Victor is right, dammit!

    I always thought the song was about young Christian men cuming together for fellowship. And now your telling me it was about conducting gay marriages at the YMCA. I hate subtext.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 3, 2007 1:28:36 PM

  15. All those straight people still dancing to it at weddings have no idea it's a gay song. And I would have to argue that "Go West" is the gayest Village People anthem of all.

    And the fact that I would "argue" that point at all suddenly has me very alarmed.

    Posted by: mark m | Aug 3, 2007 3:37:55 PM

  16. Str8 fun @ the YMCA??? Surely u jest! :o)

    Posted by: DaK | Aug 3, 2007 3:45:26 PM

  17. so if you hang out at the Y and work out half-naked and admire each other's muscles and take a steambath and a shower with your "buddies" isn't that kind of ..uhh.. gay ?!?

    Posted by: el polacko | Aug 3, 2007 4:31:34 PM

  18. Even when being gay was not in, the YMCA was gay. The song, the group and the movie about the group are all gay. Nothing will change that. This poor shelf of a never-really-made-it-singer crack-head alcoholic is trying to change history. The pity here is that if you attack him with the truth you are being a racist gayness-lover. What Mr. fake policeman needs os to smoke another rock and drive up the 5 Freeway into the horizon. Book, no way I'm buying that crap.

    Posted by: Oscar | Aug 3, 2007 7:40:11 PM

  19. Strange that he is opening a show that encompasses "his" hits with the Village People since the Village People are touring all over the world and in fact have never stopped.

    I smell Klymaxx.

    Posted by: Br!on | Aug 3, 2007 9:01:42 PM

  20. Victor Honey, even after some 40 years and even if he really didn't day it, it still rings true today....your 15 minutes were up a loooooong time ago. Bye bye now


    Posted by: David in Iowa | Aug 3, 2007 10:59:16 PM

  21. If you remember Kevin Kline in the movie Soap Dish, his character "Jeffery Anderson", is reduced to doing dinner theater in Florida for a handful of sleepy, senile 80 somethings. So Victor, watch this scene from Soap Dish BEFORE you open on the 31st. You may have been the lead singer, but YOU were not the Village People...all mediocre things must come to an end..Bye Bye.

    Posted by: Mike in AZ | Aug 4, 2007 9:11:10 AM

  22. Yall gotta admit, this Victor Willis looks goooooood! And he sounds good too. I wonder if he still looks as good today? In any event, what I gather from the story is that he is simply saying that Y.M.C.A was taken the wrong way.. it was not about gays having sex, but instead about men simply having fun there, i.e., playing basketball, pool, cards, swimming, etc., you know, what the Y.M.C.A. is really about. As a GAY, I am not offended that Victor Willis is simply settinbg the record STRAIGHT! uh, no pun intended.. So there's no need to be attacking him here. Yall sound like a bunch of psycho-say it isn't so

    Posted by: Sasha | Aug 4, 2007 4:37:29 PM

  23. Please allow me to stand on Victor Willis side for a moment, and to all those still suspicious naysayers out there, by picking up just a quick random selection of VP tunes, let me to clarify you that:

    * "Go West", does definitely not refer to San Francisco or L.A., but to the cardinal direction as a generic definition; and the line of the song that goes "there where the air is free, we'll be what we want to be", refers to being freely straight and feeling good about it, as we all know how tough such stand can sometimes be for all straight people in this country.

    * "In The Navy", is a clever observation of life in the navy as it is, and definitely not any metaphor of straight people inviting new recruits to join their lifestyle without any kind of fears, for only by joining "you can put your mind at ease"; "make a stand"; "give a hand"; and "join your fellow man", even if some would feel that they are - as the line goes - "afraid of water!".

    * "Liberation" is definitely an anthem song crying out for the right of all straight men of the wolrd to live their life as they want.

    * "Macho Man" is... ...oh, please! Does this one really require any clarification on how it's unmistakably exclusively referring about straight men and their natural cultural association with "manly hot bodies" and how they like to "explore", "adore", "tease" and "please" them? Oh, and the "Mister Eagle" mentioned in the song, refers to a generic straight member of the American Eagle Association, not any possible patron of some fetish-oriented bar location somewhere out there.

    * Other non-hit single titles such as "Key West", and "Fire Island" refer to straight lifestyle in commonly known Christian coalition-preferred destinations.

    I could go on with other legendary golden songs of V.P.'s discography, such as "Hot Cop", "I'm A Cruiser", "Milkshake", "My Roommate", "Big Mac", "Fireman", "Sleazy", or "Sodom And Gomorrah"; but it would become practically repetitive to keep discovering how all of them only represent clear innuendos about typical straight lifestyle related references.

    So, yes, Victor, very well thought out strategy to position your come back. All the best!

    Posted by: Cristian | Aug 4, 2007 5:01:24 PM

  24. Oh--so now Willis is claiming that he left the group because of problems with gay band members--not that he was forced out because of his drug problems?

    The group was always Jaques Morali's vision and he was very well aware of what YMCA was about.

    Posted by: db | Aug 6, 2007 3:19:51 PM

  25. It's obvious why they got rid of him: Willis has had a serious drug problem going back to the 1970s. His replacement since 1980 as lead singer, Ray Simpson, brother of my neighbor Valerie Simpson of Ashford & Simpson,is a terrific guy. I met Ray a few times at private events that they performed at. BTW, the gay aspect of the Village People was a marketing gimmick ("gotta have a gimmick") since they are straight. I also saw them open for Cher a few years back and they were terrific. Probably the most popular music for proms, bar/bat-mitzvahs, and wedding receptions.

    Posted by: leo | Aug 6, 2007 7:49:12 PM

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