Hey, hey, the Village People are celebrating their 40th anniversary. In case you missed it, the Village People enjoyed the spotlight during the disco days with the songs, “Macho Man”, “YMCA”, and “In The Navy”. In a nutshell, they were the perfect combination of a boy band and Kiss.
The boy band element is that they were comprised of five men who didn’t play instruments, but instead focused on singing and prancing. Who can forget the grandiose gestures of “YMCA”? I’d like to.
The Kiss element is they were dressed up entities representing something larger than life. In the same way Gilligan’s Island represented the seven deadly sins, the original Village People were supposed to represent the make up of a village. This was the original concept:
- The Mother represents the matriarch who bears and nurtures, in essence, the village itself.
- The Child represents the future of the village.
- The Indian Chief represents history as the original species and nativity of the village.
- The Farmer represents the tiller or tamer of the village.
- The Policeman represents one who would serve and protect the village.
- The Grocer represents the commerce of the village.
- The Construction Worker represents the infrastructure of the village.
- The Sailor represents the pioneer who would protect and navigate the surrounding waters of the village.
- The Cowboy represents the pioneer who would navigate the savage lands surrounding the village.
- The Artist represents the dreams of the village.
- The Doctor represents the taming of the diseases of the village.
- The Landscaper represents the beautification and maintenance of the village.
Altogether, they would represent the ethnic diversity of the world or village, and the importance of harmony and peace within.
Short story made longer for comic effect, The Village People got a major makeover in order to conform to the simple disco pop mindset. The disco rubes were not going to buy the highfalutin concept of The Village People. The record executives came up with an easy and profitable answer by replacing The Mother, The Child, The Farmer, The Grocer, The Artist, The Doctor and The Landscaper with an overtly gay Leather Biker. In fact, they discarded the whole village concept and went for a complete living gay anthem.
The song “All Work No Play” turned into “YMCA”, and “Plot Of Land” turned into “Macho Man.”
So, how do I know all this? How is this a little known fact about me? Am I the biggest fan of The Village People?
My father was cast in the role of the Korean grocer. Our family tastes constant bitterness.