by THE COMMANDER
Commander: Felipe, it’s been a long time, haven’t seen you in ages. How are you doing?
Felipe: I’m great. I haven’t seen you since Katrina.
C: Well, we won’t go into that. I think it’s actually a different Katrina that we’re talking about.
F: No, Hurricane Katrina.
C: Oh, you saw me during Hurricane Katrina? Was I on TV, floating around somewhere?
F: No, I saw you before that.
C: Well, I was just wondering, because Hurricane Katrina was probably the greatest blowjob of my life.
C: It took my house, my home, my car, my employees, my business, everything.
F: No, I think I saw you two years prior to that at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
C: Oh, it was a different Katrina, got it.
F: Yeah, yeah, but we had a great time. We were headlining at the Superdome.
C: Right! For Endymion.
F: Was it Endymion or Bacchus?
C: Maybe it was Bacchus, it was one of them.
F: We’ve done like, the Commander and the Village People... we go back I think 20 years, and he’s been to every one of the balls that we have all attended, alright. So the future is we’re going to do more of this... I guess... right?
C: Absolutely. Cool. So now that we’ve conquered most of the U.S., we have to conquer Europe, correct?
C: So let me ask you a question that everyone wants to know… Your oufit – you are the Native American Indian in the Village People… Are you still using the same original feathers as you used 35 years ago?
F: No no, no, no...
C: How long do the feathers last?
F: This particular Double Trail Headdress that I’m wearing right now, it’s about five years old and I’m getting ready to retire it, and what I do is, I sign it on the inside and then I donate it to charity – breast cancer or AIDS or... I have several causes, so I send it out for silent auctions and they raise a lot of money. In California last year, I forgot the name of the organization, but the Headdress raised over $5000 for the Breast Cancer Foundation.
C: You don’t have any cheaper knockoffs on eBay?
F: No, but I actually just retired a new thong G-string, and it went into a plastic bag here in Vegas, at Bare Essentials, and I bought two brand-new thongs – a jaguar print and just a regular brown one.
C: Oh, okay.
F: That goes underneath the loincloth, you know that. I don’t bare-ball anymore!
C: Okay, changing the subject... so has the show been going well?
F: The show’s been going well ... relatively, on an economic level for Vegas, 300 to 400 people every night at the dumpy... (Commander’s note: the name of Hotel Casino has been deleted due to it being a dump) We took the gig because we want to go into a theater. We’ve produced a brand-new show: videos, lights, the whole deal, so we needed a place to try it out.
C: Alright, now this is an interesting question. You guys are responsible or attached to one of the most famous songs in history that will probably be known for the next Billennium. Not millennium, but Billennium, long after we’re gone.
F: Way after you’re gone.
C: After you’re way gone... after Vegas is crushed to the ground in a pile of dust, they’ll be singing...
F: There is actually a time capsule I think... it’s out of Chicago, they actually put it in. I think it was a CD of “YMCA” in a time capsule .
C: So here’s the question. When you originally recorded the song, did you ever T H I N K....???
F: HELL, NO! I thought... well first of all, the story behind it was that on the CRUISING album we needed one more song. We broke for lunch and the producer comes back and we’re in Chelsea in a recording studio and he comes back with his French accent and says to us: “Qu’est-ce que (French for: “What is?) YMCA?” And we say it means Young Men’s Christian Association, and he says “Bon,” which means “Good.” We’re going to record a new song and I looked at him like... this fucking guy. Give me a break... and he goes “Young men,” and starts singing... humming the song and we thought... ‘Oh, give me a fucking break...’ and you know what? They wrote it in 15 minutes and when the album was finished and sent to Casablanca Records to the late Neil Bogart (President of Casablanca), what should have been the hit song on the album, he told them, “No.” He said, “Here’s the song: “YMCA” – This is the song.” And of course, it became a juggernaut hit.
C: So all these years later, what do you think?
F: Outside of the digital download royalties that come in these days, more than the old days, um, it’s actually a... we are in a class all by ourselves when you really think about it – sports stadiums, arenas, at parties, bar mitzvahs and weddings, etc. You know there isn’t anywhere you can go, where you don’t hear YMCA, and that’s a blessing unto itself, you know that.
C: Now did you make up the hand signs for the YMCA or did the fans do it?
F: No, actually, it was Dick Clark. It was the dancers on Dick Clark. Good question! (giving the “thumbs-up” sign). So we stole the... It was the spelling, using the arms.
C: So you don’t take credit, but you do take credit...
F: Well, we have to give credit where credit is due: Dick Clark, as well as Merv Griffin. They were pioneers in breaking acts and music, and Dick Clark got behind us and he said… Not behind us figuratively, or literally (laughing) he got behind us when he said: “I am going to... You guys are going to do this song live on TV,” and YMCA the organization was going to sue us, and he said: “I still want you to do this song. I will take care of all legal suits,” with his battery of lawyers, because that’s how Dick Clark rolls, and we went on and performed it and we sold 3.2 million records within one week of our performance.
C: Okay, last question. If I could possibly set up a meeting with you and President Obama, what would be your answer to the current economic crisis that we are facing today?
F: What I would say is: “Why can’t you put more strippers to work?” (laughing)