The Vietnam War was over and America seemed in the midst of a nationwide party. The self-proclaimed Me generation was flocking to discotheques, recreational drug use was high, and sexual taboos were being shattered nationwide. Then The Village People appeared on the music scene. Never before had gay sexuality been as up-front and in the face of America. The Village People struck a cultural nerve and fueled a craze that had them playing to sold-out crowds at Madison Square Garden. Even today, few adults could not at least hum the tunes to Y.M.C.A. and Macho Man. Because of the unique role they played in the United States of the late 1970s, The Village People are able to provide a powerful lens through which to view the emergence and development of gay culture in America. In Macho Man, readers can travel back with one of the first gay icons in popular music, and a top pop culture biographer, as they describe this complicated process of change.
In these pages, Randy Jones, the original cowboy in the band, takes us inside the time period, the discos, and the new musical style that was in many ways unprecedented in giving a voice to a previously closeted gay culture. Assisted by Mark Bego, one of the most popular and prolific pop culture authors working today, Jones shows how the fast-lane rise, fall, and rebirth of this novel band paralleled activities across the last 40 years within the gay culture and gay rights movement. The work concludes with a gayography a listing of openly gay musicians and performers in the United States before and since The Village People - along with a discography and filmography. This work will interest pop culture and music enthusiasts, in addition to scholars in gay studies.
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About the Author
Randy Jones was the original cowboy in The Village People. The band, perhaps best known for hits like Macho Man and Y.M.C.A, sold 50 million albums, earned 45 Gold and Platinum record certificates around the globe, performed in worldwide tours, starred in its own camp classic film, and made the cover of Rolling Stone. Since leaving the band in the early 1990s, Jones has continued a career of stage acting and music performance. Since 2004, he has starred with Cathy Rigby in the musical Meet Me in St. Louis and also starred in two stage musicals in New York City, Sodom & Gomorrah: The Musical and I Want to Be Rosie, about the life and career of Rosemary Clooney. He debuted his solo act in Trump's Taj Mahal in 2005, and in the fall of 2006 released his first solo album in 20 years.
Mark Bego is a professional writer who has authored 45 books involving rock n' roll and show business, with two New York Times bestsellers, a Los Angeles Times bestseller, and a Chicago Tribune bestseller. Bego's subjects have ranged from Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna, The Monkees, and Bonnie Raitt, to Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio. Bego also authored the Rock & Roll Almanac published in 1996. He has written articles for People, US, Cosmopolitan, Celebrity, and Billboard, was Editor-in-Chief of Modern Screen magazine from 1983 to 1985, and Film Editor for country music's Twang magazine in 1996 and 1997.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: Connecting the Dots
CHAPTER ONE: Ancient Gay History to the 1900s: Icons and Diversions
CHAPTER TWO: Homosexual Hollywood and Show Business
CHAPTER THREE: Stonewall, the 1970s, and Bisexual Chic
CHAPTER FOUR: Greenwich Village, Cowboys and Indians, In the Navy, and the Y.M.C.A.
CHAPTER FIVE: The Birth of Disco and the Formation of Village People
CHAPTER SIX: Post Disco Gay World, AIDS, and Safe Sex
CHAPTER SEVEN: Important Gay Movies
CHAPTER EIGHT: Take a Walk on the Wild Side: Important Gay Rock Songs
CHAPTER NINE: A Brave New Gay World
VILLAGE PEOPLE / RANDY JONES DISCOGRAPHY
ABOUT THE AUTHORS