On March 4, 2001, one of the great mustaches of all time passed away. His name was Glenn Hughes and he was the biker aka Leatherman of the clown princes of disco, the Village People.

Needless to say, people discount disco the same way they discount big, burly, horseshoe mustaches, but ultimately, most people that discount disco amount to homophobic racists. Yes, disco did get out of hand, but it didn’t get out of hand until the heroes of said homophobic racists started making disco albums. Specifically, I’m referring to the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, and other similar “rock” acts all of whom released garbage disco songs (though I like Kiss and Queen’s disco albums). As long as disco was strictly a black and gay thing, there was no “backlash.” In the words of Craig Werner, “The attacks on disco gave respectable voice to the ugliest kinds of racism, sexism, and homophobia.” Of course, there was also the fact that the hippies were getting old and people weren’t grooving to their shitty music and culture anymore. This, needless to say, warranted a further backlash (at least in their twisted, entitled minds).

Regardless, I always loved the Village People, and I still do just as I still love disco. No the Village People weren’t Chic or Donna Summer, but they were amusing, and fuckin’ A, their songs were undeniably catchy.

Nevertheless, Glenn Hughes was neither gay nor was he black. He was genuinely a motorcycle enthusiast and it is his basso profundo that you hear so prominently exclaiming “Cruisin’ everybody that’s cruisin’ by my way/ Cruisin’ everybody/ I’m cruisin’ you today,” in the song “I’m a cruiser.” In 1979, he was listed amongst People magainze’s “50 Most Beautiful People.” and he also happened my favorite Village Person (thus proving that I’ve always been attracted to mustaches).

He died of lung cancer at age 50.

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