A cop is suing a cowboy, contruction worker, biker, military man and an Indian. This is either a [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Village People[/lastfm] lawsuit, an amazing coincidence, or a really bad joke! Take door #1, Monty. Victor Willis wants $1.5 million and fast.
(Courtesy of Kathianne Boniello – New York Post)
This macho man wants his money, man.
Victor Willis, the crooning cop in the seminal disco band the Village People, claims he’s been stiffed out of $1.5 million in royalties after he split from the campy crew in 1979.
The village person penned the band’s most infectious hits — including “Y.M.C.A.,” “Macho Man,” “In the Navy,” and “Go West” — and deserves his fair share of the funky financial windfall, Willis claims in a federal lawsuit filed last week. Willis is suing Can’t Stop Productions, which handles the rights to the band’s songs.
In his first interview in two decades, the California native told The Post about his days as a disco icon — and current status as a cult classic so popular that the Yankee grounds crew even grooves to their anthem as it grooms the basepaths.
“He said he had this project and he had a dream that I did the lead vocals,” the reclusive Willis told The Post.
The debut album in 1978 shot to No. 1 so quickly that Morali hustled to hire singers resembling the muscular models pictured on the album cover with Willis.
They filled out the group with the Indian, the Cowboy, the Construction Worker and the Biker, whose costumes riffed on the West Village’s gay grandeur.
As for why he chose to be the Cop, Willis explained his role was to “keep order.”
Willis was inspired to write “Y.M.C.A.” after a clueless Morali asked him about why people went to the Y. The lyrical licks described “what it was like going into a new town and not having a lot of money and needing a place to stay,” he said.
Willis is still blown away by the heavy airplay of the disco ditty.
“I had no idea it was going to be like it is,” said Willis, 59, of San Diego. “I still don’t really know what it is that people get so carried away with.
“They know every single lyric of every single song,” said Willis, who has a new Las Vegas show in the works.
Stewart Levy, a lawyer for Can’t Stop Productions, called Willis’ lawsuit “without merit.”