Village People Cop: We Had Some Milli Vanillis in the Group!!
Victor Willis -- the cop in Village People -- is about to expose a big disco era secret, and it will forever change the way you hear "Y.M.C.A." 11/14/2015 BY TMZ STAFF
Willis just signed on to do an A&E/Lifetime TV movie based on his life -- and sources close to the deal tell us one of the big reveals is some Village members were lip-syncing. It's unclear exactly which of his bandmates he's calling out for faking it.
Willis was the original lead singer, but left in the early '80s on bad terms. He never performed with the group again, and even threatened to sue them for using "Y.M.C.A." in a recent TV special.
The movie, set to air sometime next year, seems timed to coincide with Victor's attempted comeback. He just released a new single and music vid.
In 1972, after his release from Terminal Island Federal Prison on draft related charges due to his refusal to fight in Viet Nam, Marvin X returned to San Francisco and established the Black Educational Theatre, Inc., in the Fillmore on O'farrel Street, between Fillmore and Webster. His crew of actors, musicians and dancers cleaned out an old Greek Orthodox church and transformed it into BET. His partner from Black Arts West Theatre, Ethna X. Wyatt (aka, Hurriyah Asar) who also worked with him at BET, told him about a young man who sang daily up and down Haight Street near Scott where she lived. She urged Marvin to make contact with the young man named Victor Willis.
Marvin finally followed her advice and auditioned Victor for the lead role in the production of his myth-ritual dance drama The Resurrection of the Dead. Resurrection of the Dead was a life changing drama that included a naming rite of passage. Most of the actors kept their names for life, although Victor did not keep his name Bilal, but a now famous dancer Charlene Hunter, was renamed Jamilah and goes by that first name today. Victor as Bilal (the first muezzin or prayer caller in Islam) opened the myth-ritual dance drama with the Adhan or call to prayer, followed by such Marvin X lyrics as: Praise be the Resurrection of the Dead, Lost Queen of Egypt, Black Man Don't Wander Without Aim or Purpose and Allah Loves a Warrior.
Victor went directly from Resurrection of the Dead to roles in New York theatre and eventually lead singer and writer of the Village People. Years later he told Marvin, "It was the spiritual power in Resurrection of the Dead that gave me the energy to be successful in New York. I am forever grateful to you!"
We are so happy to hear Victor is making a come back! It will be The Resurrection of the Dead!