Village People still rocking out
By Jerram Watts
They've been wearing the same silly costumes, doing the same dances and singing the same songs for almost 35 years - so how come the Village People are still smiling?
“We've been fortunate that when things go quiet in the States when can go to Europe or Australia and New Zealand,” says band member Jeff Olson. “We travel, and that’s what we've been doing for the past 35 years.”
“You know, someone told us the other day that we are just babies compared to the Rolling Stones who just celebrated 50 years,” says fellow member Alex Briley.
There's only three original members left - Felipe, Alex and David; Jeff and Ray joined in 1980, and Eric in 1995.
It's the band’s multi-generational reach that they credit for their ongoing success.
“We have children, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, college students doing 70s parties who love the music, they live vicariously through us,” says Felipe Rose.
And while they're superstars in their own right - they admit to sometimes being star struck.
“Felipe, remember that time we shared a flight with Mick Jagger? He came and sat between me and Felipe and I'm going, ‘Oh God, it’s Mick Jagger’, because he's my rock idol, and Felipe was like ‘Oh hey Mick, how’s it going?’,” says Olson.
And while YMCA and Macho Man are big hits, Native American Rose reckons Kiwis like something a little different.
“You guys love Milkshake, and you guys love Cant Stop The Music, you guys just go bananas,” says Rose.
So if you're feeling fruity - the Village People play New Plymouth tomorrow, Auckland Saturday and Matakana on Sunday.