The story goes that songwriter Jacques Morali and his business partner, Henri Belolo were looking for some kind of hook for a musical group. They wandered into a bar in the Village, and inside they saw an “Indian” tending the bar and dancing. While watching the “Indian,” they noticed a “cowboy” also watching the “Indian” dance. At that point, both Morali and Belolo had the same idea. They saw these characters and began to ask themselves, “What are the characters of the American man?” With those in mind, they put together the Village People.

The Indian bartender/dancer was, of course, Felipe Rose. They also had their lead singer in Victor Willis, who had previously sent them a demo tape and committed to singing lead vocals in their at-the-time non-formed band. In order to garner the services of the other “Village People,” Morali and Belolo placed an ad in the newspaper that read, “Macho types wanted: Must dance and have a MUSTACHE.”

Those macho, mustachioed dancers turned out to be the leather-clad biker, Glenn Hughes, the construction worker, David “Scar” Hodo, the GI, Alex Briley, and the cowboy, Randy Jones.

A couple of notable facts about the Village People:

In the song “Macho Man,” Victor Willis exclaims, “Dig my big, thick mustache.”

Aside from Felipe Rose, all of the members of the Village People did indeed have mustaches.

Victor Willis, and his mustache, were formerly married to Phylicia Rashad, most prominently of “The Cosby Show” fame.

The Village People—i.e. Glenn Hughes, David Hodo, Randy Jones, Alex Briley, and Felipe Rose—and their respective mustaches genuinely sing all of the backing vocals on all of the songs.

Felipe Rose, and his non-mustache (I’d guess he can’t grow a mustache) currently reside in Asbury Park, NJ, former residence of yours truly, 402 6th Ave., Apt 6 (that was where I lived; not Felipe).

Henri Belolo allowed the US Navy and their various mustaches to use the song,In the Navy” in a recruiting advertising campaign, provided that the Navy helped the Village People to shoot a video for the song. Less than a month later the Village People arrived at the San Diego Naval Base. The video was shot on the USS Reasoner (FF-1063). The Navy, because it didn’t have the mustache to handle the Village People, canceled the campaign.

As for me and my mustache, we admittedly have no use for the Village People without Victor Willis, who left the band at the end of their international 1979 tour.

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