By Ginger Coyote


I hope you enjoy the following interview with one of the nicest people in the business...
The one and only RANDY JONES


Punk Globe: What year did you arrive in NYC?

Randy Jones: I got to NYC in August of 1975, after finishing college and doing a couple tours of "Carousel" and "Funny Girl" with Carol Lawrence.

Punk Globe: Had you had any formal training in Theater and Voice in North Carolina?

Randy Jones: Uh, yeah. I got a degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in Theatre, Film/TV, and Communications, where I did about twenty musicals. Then I degreed at University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. There I studied Dance and Choreography. Also there I connected with the great American Choreographer, Agnes De Mille, and performed with her company, the American Heritage Dance Theatre. I also performed with the dance companies of Pauline Koner, Anna Sokolow, Paul Taylor, etc. So I was definitely prepared to deal with the jokers in Village People.

Punk Globe: What were you doing prior to joining The Village People?

Randy Jones: Well, in addition to what I was telling you about, after I got to NYC, I found gigs doing a lot of runway and photo modelling. It seemed that quite a few designers from the period liked how I looked. There were some wonderful gals from that period like Janice Dickinson, Jerry Hall, Iman, etc. They were like the original "Girls Gone Wild." I love 'em. We burned up the runways from NYC to London to Milan to Paris and back! Grace Jones was one of the leaders of that pack. So when she got her record deal in 76-77 for her first LP, "Portfolio," I was one of the two guys that appeared on stage with her and helped to create that early show. Her show was really one of the first, if not the first, to go out into the venues (discos) and present a live-to-track performance. It was a blast!

Punk Globe: The man behind the Village People was Jacques Morali. He had heard Victor Willis, and they recorded a CD that got attention. Can you tell us how you became involved with the group?

Randy Jones: While performing with Grace, producers Henri Belolo and Jacques Morali saw me at our Billboard Dance Forum show in 1977. After the performance, they approached me and said they enjoyed the show, liked my movement, the way I looked, and commented on my mustache...which I thought was a bit odd, but accepted the compliment. They asked if I could sing. I said, "Yes!" They asked me if I wanted to be in a musical group they were formulating. We set up a meeting, in daylight hours, and we decided it was a match and a good thing. The rest is history that you can read about in my new book, MachoMan, published by Praeger/Greenwood.


Punk Globe: You had one hit song after another.. Who wrote the lyrics and music? Whomever it was must be swimming in money... Your music is everywhere - sports events, TV, film, radio, rock shows, raves, 70's & 80's parties, and even in elevators...

Randy Jones: Several people have been involved in writing Village People songs. Henri Belolo is involved with every song, I believe, as a participating lyricist. And you are right, the benefits from our material has been bountiful. Like clockwork, a check arrives in the mail every six months, since 1977. Ka-ching!

Punk Globe: Was "Macho Man" your first radio hit?

Randy Jones: Yes, indeed, you are right about that one.

Punk Globe: Although I was much more into The Clash, Sex Pistols and Ramones, I did really like the YMCA... What were your audiences like back then?

Randy Jones: Our audiences were as varied as one can imagine. We would be on stage and see a myriad of different socio-economic groupings out there. For example, in 1978 we played a huge concert -- Canada Jam. 250,000 people outdoors near Peterborough, Ontario. Every type of individual was represented.

Punk Globe: Did you ever perform with Blondie who also had some disco hits back then?

Randy Jones: We did several shows in Europe with Debra and the gang. I certainly remember a few of the television programs like "Musik Laden" (Germany), "Rock Planet" (Netherlands), and "Applauso!" (Spain).

Punk Globe: Do you perhaps remember our first meeting? It at The Tropicana Motel in Hollywood. We were sitting in "Dukes" at a table drinking some STRONG coffee. There was a groupie girl sitting at the one of the tables who was claiming she had just wild sex with the Construction Worker. I remember having a "lude" hangover...But woke up fast when I heard her .. I wanted details... Everyone was asking her questions. If memory serves right, Tom Waits was sitting with us.

Randy Jones: Yes, I think I do. And yes, you were suffering a bit. I'm not sure about that gal's claim though. Is Duke's still there? That was always a great place and you could count on getting food and sobering up there.

Punk Globe: Did one of the members of the group pass away from lung cancer?

Randy Jones: Yes, Glenn Hughes, the biker.


Punk Globe: What were your thoughts when disco dva Donna Summers made her very ignorant remarks regarding AIDS back then?

Randy Jones:I know Donna and I think that her remarks were misinterpreted. She's a great gal, full of love, and respects everyone.

Punk Globe: How about a fun question! Tell us what it was like being on the cover of the Rolling Stone..

Randy Jones: A freakin' blast. It's still one of those benchmarks that I feel is representative of a fully enriched career. I mean, when you start to stack it all up, it gets impressive. In my career before, with and since Village People, Rolling Stone cover, American Music Award, multi-Platinum status (100 million units!!!), Royal Command performances, Presidential Inaugural performance, countless television appearances worldwide, films, NYC and touring shows like "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Chicago," etc. Sometimes, I even have to stand back and take a moment to just catch my breath.

Punk Globe: And we can't forget the madness with "Can't Stop The Music" that Nancy Walker
(Mary Tyler Moore - Rhoda Morgenstern's Mother - Ida) directed, starring The Village People, Valerie Perrine, Bruce Jenner, Steve Guttenberg, and although she was an extra....she shined bright --
San Francisco's own Kathy Peck, the founder of H.E.A.R. and bass player for The Contractions..
Tell us all about doing the movie and working with the wonderful Nancy Walker?

Randy Jones: "CSTM" was a great experience for me and Nancy became a fast friend and was extremely helpful to me. It was large chunk of time, nearly two years, with the pre-production, rehearsal, filming, and promotion, so it's important. But once again, there are lots of details about in my new book,
Macho Man.

Punk Globe: Did Nancy ever talk about her friendship with James Dean and Bea Arthur?

Randy Jones: I didn't really hear much on them, but Rock Hudson was a great pal of hers and thru her I got to know him. He was a terrific person.


Punk Globe: Allan Carr was one the writers. Did he produce it as well?

Randy Jones: Allan was the lead producer on "CSTM." He was definitely the "Grand Poobah". Or as he was frequently referred to as: "Caftans Courageous!"

Punk Globe: The premise of the movie was somewhat autobiographical to that of The Village People, am I right?

Randy Jones: It was definitely a "Hollywood-ized" version of our story. "CSTM" was done in the over the top, stylized camp way that so many of the MGM musicals of the Golden Age of Hollywood were done. That was the objective. Of course, I think I'm the only Village Person to actually live in the Village. I've been living in NYC's Village since 1975. So that was certainly true of me. Now, Mandalay Films is interested in doing a new film about our careers. So that's gonna be quite interesting with the perspective of time.

Punk Globe: Soon after the movie was released you left the group right? I do remember seeing the Village People on "The Love Boat" -- were you still with them for that? Was Andy Warhol on that cruise also?

Randy Jones: Of course I did "The LOVE BOAT." A couple of times. I left the group in 1981, because I disagreed with the direction the group wanted to take after leaving Casablance Records and going to RCA. The other guys wanted to toss away the images of the cowboy, soldier, biker, etc., in favor of some melange of Steve Strange, Adam Ant, etc. I thought was disloyal to our fan base, and so I took my leave. I was right -- the RCA album tanked and the group slowly fizzled. I went ahead with a solo career and did a couple of projects, including some LPs and a tour of
"Meet Me in St. Louis" with Cathy Rigby. My friend Dan Hartman was pitching a song for one of the "ROCKY" movies, and he said he wanted me to help him make it sound like a Village People song. So we went up to his place in Connecticut and worked on the track, putting in trademark vocals, hand claps, etc...and low and behold came up with "Living in America"! If you close your eyes and listen to that song today, it sound like James Brown singing a Village People song! Well, after that experience, combined with the other music I was hearing on the radio in 1986, I thought, "Hmmmm...I wonder if it's time to regroup...I wonder what the other guys look I had a big b'day party in NYC and invited the other members of VP to I got a look up close. And everyone was fine.So I found a manager,
David Fishoff; an agent, TCI; and got the rights to use the name from Henri Belolo and re-organized the group with all the original members, except we couldn't find Victor; so Ray Simpson came back in. And it just took off again. It was a long hard road to get it up to steam again, but in the long run, my idea to re-group, has proven successful. Although I don't currently perform with the entity known as VP today, I left to pursue my solo career and concentrate on my 25-year relationship, the brand "Village People" still pumps out a good 50-60 shows a year and does a lot to keep the brand alive and generates sales and interest in Village People merchandise. I'm very proud that the group has continued in various incarnations for nearly thirty-two years. And I had something to do with that.

Punk Globe: All work you have done in Theater is amazing. What is your favorite role that you have done so far ?

Randy Jones: I love 'em all. "Chicago" and "42nd St." are certainly fun. I love doing 'King Arthur' in "Camelot." Recently I've done "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, which was a real trip. I'm looking forward to doing 'Wilbur Turnblad' in "Hairspray" later this year. You can also catch me in several films -- "Three Long Years," "A Tale About Bootlegging,"
"Against the Wind" (I play the U.S. President). I'm featured on "Flight of the Conchords"' 2009 season on HBO. And in 2010, I'm doing my first video game, "POSTAL 3.27."

Punk Globe: Now I heard a rumor that your voice was used to sing the vocals for Greg Brady on a punk version of 'A Time To Change" for "The Brady Bunch Movie?"

Randy Jones: Not true...I don't know where a lot of this stuff comes from. But I have my suspicions.

Punk Globe: And how about you and VH1? Everytime I turn it on I see you.. When will we see you on a reality show?

Randy Jones: My management and I have come close to making deals on a couple of reality projects. It has to be the right choice. But even "Dancing with the Stars" seems to becoming a dangerous venture now!

Punk Globe: I remember when I saw you at that birthday party at The Copa.. You wowed us all with your fun energetic performance.. All the other performances were a bit stiff! I was so excited when I saw you.. I had told Michael Musto the tale from The Tropicana. So he immediately re-introduced us.. I remember being in line with Joy Behar for food.. or was that DRINKS?

Randy Jones: I would say BOTH!


Punk Globe: Tell us about your most recent CD, "Ticket To The World." How many tracks are on it and where did you record it?

Randy Jones: I thinking there are fourteen tracks. We did it here in NYC. The executive producer is Will Grega and it was produced by Frosty Lawson. This year we're releasing several new remixes of "If I Can't Have You,""New York City Boy," "Your Disco Needs You,"
"No Matter What" and "Rhinestone Cowboy"! Look for 'em!

Punk Globe: Where can readers order "TICKET TO THE WORLD?"

Randy Jones: Go to, or

Punk Globe: You have maintained your career so well. Is there any thing that you have not done that you want to do?

Randy Jones: I'm just always looking for projects that interest me, excite me and allow for travel. I've been extremely blessed to have a career that is lucrative and continued to provide me with security and very nice living.

Punk Globe: Can you give us your MySpace, Facebook and website addresses so readers can check you out, order your latest CD and just say, "Hi?"

Randy Jones: Very cool. Here they are:

To order Macho Man, go to Amazon -- the full link is:

If someone should want a signed copy of "Ticket to the World" or Macho Man, they should write to me here: Randy Jones, Pop Front Productions, 200 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10003 USA.

Punk Globe: The Village People recently got a Star on Hollywood Boulevard..but why were you were not able to attend the ceremonies?

Randy Jones: I was shooting the photographs for the 35th Anniversary Edition of Playgirl Magazine. It was a reunion interview and photos. The first time I appeared in the magazine was 1979. The photos are great. You should check 'em out.


Punk Globe: I know you just got back from Disney World.. Was Susan Lucci also performing there?

Randy Jones: I did not see Susan there. I did, however, enjoy Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Chip'N'Dale.

Punk Globe: Tell us about your book.

Randy Jones: My book Macho Man is about the Disco era, and all of the significant social changes that occurred in that period against the background of the music. It's an interesting read.

Punk Globe: What is in on the future for Randy Jones? Any tours, movies, recording projects, personal appearances???

Randy Jones: I'm finishing "Against the Wind". I'm in NYC right now doing two new tracks for my new CD to be released next winter. I'm heading down south next week to do several gigs and then take some time at our place on the North Carolina Coast. Then I'm out to Chicago to shoot a new film, "My Guaranteed Student Loan" by the Warr Bros. Then I'm off to Europe for a few dates. I'm back in the States in late May for the opening of a film I'm in with Charles Durning, Michael Boatman, Blanche Baker and Wilson Jermaine Heredia, "The Three Chrises," at the Hoboken International Film Festival. It just goes on. So stay on the lookout for me, you never know when I may show up in your area.

Punk Globe: Randy YOU are Thee Most Beloved Cowboy of all time.. Fuck John Wayne .. We have and want RANDY JONES! You do know that you are competing against Wendy Kaufman as the NICEST person on Facebook.. All of us here at Punk Globe love you and we want YOU to gave the readers some words of wisdom ...

Randy Jones: Ginger, you are the best. You know how much I love you, honey. You and I have a great time when we're out in Hollywood together. We burn a wide path thru that town, don't we? And we sure know where to get the best LONG ISLAND ICED TEAS! I can't wait to get back out there. Hopefully, either this summer or September to have an event, and gig so we can hang. Give love to Holly, Cherry, etc. Love you and keep up the great work. Randy Jones LISTEN TO SONGS and WATCH THE VIDEO from my new CD, "Ticket to the World," at:
"I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to believe as a Jew, a Protestant, or non-believer, or as anything else you choose. We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might some day force theirs on us." -Mario Cuomo, 52nd Governor of New York (b. 1932)

UPDATE: Randy Jones has been keeping as busy as ever.. He was in Los Angeles, CA talking with the producers of "Dancing With The Stars" about appearing on the show. His good friend and writing collaborator Mark Bego threw him a fantastic party at Nic's Martini Lounge in Beverly Hills, California.. They have a freezer where customers can go into to drink a frozen Martini.. Folks like Roddy and Susan Novotny, Kim and Joe Dallesandro, Ginger Coyote, Timm Carney, Michael Frost, Sergio Kardona, Kenneth Reynolds, Karen Furno, Roger Ferrin and Jared Mitchell all helped make it a party not to forget!