He's resolved longstanding legal issues with the '70s hitmakers
The Village People‘s cop Victor Willis is planning to “reboot the group” with “new characters”, after years of legal issues have been settled.
The ‘YMCA’ outfit began life back in 1977, created by French producers Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo. Appearing alongside Willis’ policeman alter-ego were the GI, the builder, the cowboy, the biker, and the Native American.
After original frontman Willis quit the band back in 1979, he is now looking to bring The Village People back as his own – with years of legal issues surrounding royalties finally resolved.
“There was nothing I could do about it until this legal stuff was straightened out,” he told the BBC of returning to front the group.
“And this just happened to be at the 40-year anniversary of Village People. Everything seemed to fall into place where I could say, ‘OK, it’s time for me to take over the group again.'”
He added: “Not a reunion, but to reboot the group. To have to get new characters. Then I have to get a band like when Jacques and I first sat down and decided we’re going to create this Village People thing.”
Willis went on to explain that the new incarnation of the group will be “something that’s live” and “real”. “And this what I came back to do,” he said.
The singer won a landmark royalties court case back in 2012, which gave him back partial ownership of a number of Village People tracks. In 2009, he sued a new version of the band for $1 million over image issues. He sought the damages after claiming that his image and voice had been used for new promotional purposes without his consent.
Meanwhile, Victor Willis recently wrapped up his 40 Years of Disco UK arena tour.