Oh yes we did! We saw the Village People at Epcot! April was quite the month for me, the Doobie Brothers and the Village People within a few days of each other! Talk about blasting back to my past!
For those of you who are too young to remember the Village People (I really think everyone knows their music), they are a disco group that formed in 1977. They were known for their on-stage wardrobe that copied American cultural stereotypes, as well as their sexy dance music.
Speaking as someone who was in my early 20's, living in the Midwest, I was very aware of the group and had no idea that they were originally created to target disco's gay audience by featuring popular gay fantasy personas. The name "Village People" comes from New York City's Greenwich Village, which had a large gay population in the 70's. I was clueless at the time, I just knew that the music was fun, good and easy to dance to!
During Epcot's Flower and Garden show, they offer free "flower power" concerts on the weekends. We actually picked our week to visit because we thought this concert would be so good and we weren't disappointed. The group retains two original members, Felipe Rose (the Native American) and Alex Briley (the soldier). Ray Simpson (brother of Ashford and Simpson's Valerie Simpson) is almost an original, first joining the group in 1980. He is the lead singer and portrays the Cop and the Navy Officer for In the Navy. Glenn Hughes, the original biker, died of lung cancer at age 50 in 2001 and Mark Mussler, the original construction worker for the first year, died of AIDS at age 33 in 1987.
The guys range in age from 47 to 66. We weren't exactly sure what to expect considering we remembered the costumes and the dances of the 70's. To quote my daughter, "these guys can really move for old men"! They certainly could. For those of you that remember their moves...and all the things they did with those microphone stands...they can still do them! They also sounded exactly the way I remembered. My only complaint is that the show was too short as Disney has them do 3 shows a night. What I appreciated seeing as we were leaving was that they stayed out in the audience giving autographs, shaking hands and talking to the super fans. It also should be said that they had one of the largest audiences my daughter has seen at one of these concerts and it was a very interesting and colorful audience!
In case you have forgotten what made this group famous, click and listen to: Macho Man, In The Navy or a current version of YMCA. A Good time was had by all!
There are times when I am doing something that
I just can't quite believe I am doing it...
this was one of those times!