Chapter 15
The New Bubblegum

May 17, 1977
Casablanca Record & FilmWorks Headquarters
8255 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, California

Casablanca president Neil Bogart was talking to me about a new project he wanted us to get into. We would be getting the official pitch in a few minutes, and he was pacing around my office giving me the details on the band and prepping me for the meetings that would ensue. He mentioned the players, but all that stuck in my head was the list of characters he described: guys dressed in leather, a construction worker, a cop, and some cowboys and Indians. “Great,” I thought, “I’m now a casting director meeting with an overcaffeinated Hollywood producer.”

These guys weren’t cops or cowboys any more than George Clinton was an outer-space pimp. They were a newly created group who called themselves the Village People — a half-serious, half-tongue-in-cheek parody that had been assembled by two French producers and their novice New York music attorney. The producers, Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, had been creating music in Europe for years with a modicum of success, but they were now concentrating on the US. They brought with them to our meeting a young lawyer named Allen Grubman, who was about to make the first deal of his long and storied entertainment career.

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