December 22, 2005

The Village People cowboy has his say about "Brokeback Mountain."

Well, of course, "Brokeback Mountain" means it's time for Randy Jones, the cowboy from The Village People to resurface and do some press. Who better to inform us about whether or not gay cowboys are just a Hollywood concoction?
“There they were, a couple of men, alone together in isolated frontier country, for weeks or sometimes months at a time...

“The thought must have passed through their minds, even if they didn’t act on it, because men are sexy animals. If that wasn’t the case, there wouldn’t be so much homosexual sex in prison.”...

Mr Jones ... said that Brokeback Mountain was encouraging “red [Republican] state” gays to come out of the closet. He added that the advice he gave to the actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, when they questioned him about the love scenes, was to “keep their hats and boots on in bed. The boots are for traction.”
It sounds as though he knows a tad more what he's talking about than Annie Proulx, the author of the New Yorker short story the movie is based on. (Note to Althouse critics: I read the short story!)

I see the NYT "boldface" reporter talked to Jones a few days ago (TimesSelect link):
This film is described as trail-blazing and pioneering in its depiction of gay cowboys. Does that make you feel underappreciated? we asked.

''I'm a little ----.'' Whoa there, partner. Let's just say miffed.

''They're not even cowboys,'' Mr. Jones said. ''They're sheep herders. If you can't tell the difference between sheep and cows, how can you tell the difference between men and women?''

A good question. But in fairness, we asked him about his own qualifications. For one, he is happily married to WILL GREGA, a recording artist. For another, he said he grew up working in the tobacco fields of North Carolina. Thus, our next question. They wear chaps in the tobacco fields?

''Jeans,'' he said. ''The chaps I left to THE BIKER DUDE.''

Ah. What historical figures do you consider your major influences?

''I was raised on all those 50's Warner Brothers cowboy shows. 'Sugarfoot.' 'Maverick.' 'Cheyenne' with CLINT WALKER. It seems like every week they had his shirt ripped off, and he was either tied to something or another cowboy.''

So who, of HEATH LEDGER or JAKE GYLLENHAAL, best personifies the gay cowboy? Mr. Jones admitted he had not in fact seen the movie yet. But.

''I've got some pictures I've pulled off line of Heath Ledger.''

Yeah, we've heard about those.

Mr. Jones has just finished his role as GOD in ''Sodom: The Musical'' and is moving on to ''I Wanna Be Rosie,'' at La MaMa E.T.C.

''I play all of the men in ROSEMARY CLOONEY's life. Her father, her uncle, her nephew GEORGE CLOONEY, her psychiatrist, JOSÉ FERRER, BING CROSBY, NELSON RIDDLE.''

Mr. Jones also has a film coming out next spring about a country club that is built over the graves of Civil War soldiers, whose spirits are angered when the grounds crew uses extra-strength fertilizer. It is called ''Lawn of the Dead.''
Okay, I never really paid any attention to him before, but I've got to say, I love Randy Jones. He sounds really smart and funny and has an excellent attitude!

"Sodom: The Musical"? Here's a review (from the Village Voice):
Randy Jones ... plays God as a beleaguered office manager, Brian Munn's Abraham, his sycophantic subordinate—or, as he dubs himself in one interminable tune, "God's Li'l Bitch." The white-tracksuit-clad God doesn't want his Sodomites being such sodomites—even though they're cast quite clearly in his own image—and he will smite the land unless Abraham comes up with one good man there.

What follows are songs about sins: The writing team of Kevin Laub and Adam Cohen follows a formula of defining each of the Ten Commandments Greek chorus–style, then demonstrating with a peppy tune how it's violated. Lyricist Laub has his moments, celebrating a sexual paradise where penicillin is doled out "like government cheese," but Cohen's score, trying too hard to satisfy the Broadway musical idiom, is uninspired. Sodom fails the karaoke test: You will never hear these tunes at Pieces or the Duplex.
And here's an interview with Annie Proulx, in which she evades questions about how she got the idea for the shepherds-in-love story.

QUESTION THAT OCCURS TO ME ON REREADING: But what's the hat for?

8 comments:

PDS said...

I have never been able to take Proulx seriously after B.R. Meyers' A Reader's Manifesto piece in The Atlantic Monthly a few years back. Not only does the Empress lack clothes, she doesn't write well either.

dick said...

Answer to your question: hat is for cushioning.

Icepick said...

The hats are not for cushioning. They make the cowboys look better in bed than they would otherwise.

Ever known anyone that worked outdoors and always wore a hat? Their faces get very tan, but only below the hat line. When they take the hats off, the area above the hatline is whiter than white. Very jarring! Watch the end of a PGA event during the summer. When the winner takes his hat off, he looks like a half-painted Easter egg. It even happens to Tiger, whose skin isn't really that dark, and tans well.

So, the boots are for traction, and the hats are for aesthetics.

tiggeril said...

PDS: There's a longer book version out too, where he fleshes out his arguments a bit and also responds to his critics. It's great stuff.

dick said...

Icepick - I was joking with relation to traction.

Michael Farris said...

" For one, he is happily married to WILL GREGA"

huh? I can't remember my password (I'm dumb, okay?) they don't qualify it anymore than that? Interesting.

I think the quickest way for moving forward with same sex marriage is for gays and lesbians to start having their own, non-state weddings and get recognition from wedding related businesses that are interested in the pink dollar (which would be most of them). After a few years, the government would step in to get control over it. (and the red staters would likely embarrass themselves with absurd laws trying to restrict private behavior)

Harkonnendog said...

"He added that the advice he gave to the actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, when they questioned him about the love scenes, was to “keep their hats and boots on in bed. The boots are for traction.”

That is so awesome. :) I 2nd the love for Randy Jones.

The hat? Macho fanny pack for carrying condoms, lubricants, etc?

Michael Farris said...

I'm reposting this since it doesn't seem to show up in the comments:

" For one, he is happily married to WILL GREGA"

huh? I can't remember my password (I'm dumb, okay?) they don't qualify it anymore than that? Interesting.

I think the quickest way for moving forward with same sex marriage is for gays and lesbians to start having their own, non-state weddings and get recognition from wedding related businesses that are interested in the pink dollar (which would be most of them). After a few years, the government would step in to get control over it. (and the red staters would likely embarrass themselves with absurd laws trying to restrict private behavior)