Friday, August 03, 2007

YMCA: putting it straight

In a desperate bid to try and change the course of history, Victor Willis is trying to dampen down the surprisingly popular belief that the Village People were the gayest thing ever. Although since he says he left the band because the others were too gay and flamboyant, even he may recognise that he's going to have an uphill task.

But he's trying, anyway, with a claim that YMCA isn't about having sex with men:

Willis, best-known for portraying the cop and the naval admiral in the '70s disco group, also reveals "Y.M.C.A." was written in Vancouver and was never meant to refer to gay cruising, says his publicist Alice Wolf.

Wolf says the group was on tour when Willis wrote the lyrics at the behest of the band's French producer, Jacques Morali, who wrote the music. But Willis never intended the homosexual innuendo that many fans read into the song.

"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."

See? He meant fellas, for god's sake, not chaps. Why on earth would people assume that just because a bunch of guys dressed up as fetish types and started singing about "doing whatever you feel" and "ways to have a good time" that it was somehow gay.

Oddly, Ray Simpson - who is still with the band - doesn't seem totally swayed by Willis' arguments:
All I can say is: for every story, there's another story

In tomorrow's papers: Tom Robinson insists Glad To Be Gay was merely a 1970s reworking of Whistle A Happy Tune.