"Grab a friend, pick a hole, I promise I won’t tell a soul. Just fuck!” And so it shall be belted in Sodom: The Musical, a gloriously offensive biblical satire directed by Ben Rimalower (Joy) and starring disco-era deity Randy Jones as God. As we sank our spurs into a late lunch near his East Village apartment, Jones, who also has a NASCAR-themed TV pilot and an album of covers in the works, was nothing if not a divine inspiration.
By Brandon Voss
HX: Tell me about your heavenly role, Randy.
Randy Jones: He’s omnipotent but has as many faults as the people he lords over. And the costume is ghetto fabulous! I’m all in white, but it’s hip-hop white with bling.
What’s the closest thing to a modern Sodom you’ve seen in New York?
Even the streets in the ’70s were pretty Sodomous. In ’75, you could walk down Christopher Street from Seventh Avenue to Westside Highway and there’s no way in hell that you couldn’t hook up. Then, of course, there were places like The Mineshaft and The Anvil. The only time I went to The Anvil I saw a guy sitting with his elbow propped up on the bar, essentially fisting a naked dancer. And Jackie Kennedy’s sister, Lee Radziwill, and her crew were there watching this with their limousine parked outside!
You must’ve had a blast!
People think from my association with Village People that I was deeply embedded in that ’70s sexual culture, but I wasn’t at all. I actually have a very shy nature. Plus, Village People happened very quickly — we’d start making the rounds at 11:00, jump out of our limo, go into one club, sing “Macho Man,” stay for about 20 minutes, run back to the car, go to the next place, and do four of these in one night. So we saw all this stuff but didn’t stay long enough to get deep into what was going on. But sometimes a taste of something is better than a mouthful — because you can gag on a mouthful! That’s probably why I’m still standing today.
When you were married to your partner Will Grega, did they play “Y.M.C.A.” at your reception, too?
They sure did! Jay Leno joked: “The cowboy from Village People got married — to a man. I didn’t know the Village People were gay — certainly not the cowboy! But I hear they’re registered at Bed, Bath and Bend Over.” Jay sent us a telegram the day after that said, “Congratulations. Hope you got the joke.” Which we did.
So you weren’t pissed?
First of all, it was written by someone who obviously doesn’t know what I’m into! And second, when was the last fucking time you were talked about on The Tonight Show?
As the most famous gay cowboy in history, what are your thoughts on the upcoming Brokeback Mountain?
Some magazine recently said, “Before Brokeback Mountain, before Madonna, before circuit parties, Randy Jones was cowboy before cowboy was cool.” Now you’ve got Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal doing cowboy gay-for-pay-per-view. I’ve been turning on ladies and quite a few fellas with this look for 30 years, and it’s great that people are still getting into it. But with the phone calls I got from those guys when they were filming, I feel like I should’ve gotten a credit as technical advisor!
What almighty advice did you offer?
Keep your hat and boots on in bed! Which reminds me, after Kenny Chesney and Renée Zellweger’s divorce, I went onto Kenny’s Web site guestbook and wrote: “Kenny, why don’t you give me a call next time you’re in town because I’ve got two passes to see Brokeback Mountain!
What is it about cowboys that’s so hot?
Bowlegs. [Laughs] It’s a lonely life, but it’s romantic. Even if you’re the straightest, rip-roarin’-est cowboy, if two men are out on the plains by themselves for weeks at a time, the thought has to pass through your mind: What would I do?
What would you do, Randy?
It would depend on what the other guy looked like. No, it probably wouldn’t depend on what he looked like!
HX, November 2005.