The group did not exist when this song was recorded. This was not uncommon: producers would put songs together using studio musicians, then figure it out later if they needed a group to perform the songs. Casting for the lead singer was basically done at this session, and the job was offered to Phil Hurtt, who co-wrote the song and sang backup. In our interview with Hurtt
, he told us the story:
"When I got there, there was myself and three other background singers. I had put down my own vocal as a lead to put the background parts on, so my own reference vocal was on. I got on the microphone with the background guys and I taught them the background parts, taught them the song, gave them the harmony parts - the whole thing, the arrangement.
When the tracks were all done, Jacques (Morali) says to me, 'Okay, darling, you're the singer for the Village People.' I said, 'No, I'm not.' There was no group, by the way. There was no group at all.
I had some other engagements and was on my way out of town, but he says, 'Well, I need you to do that.' I said, 'I can't do that, but there's a guy in the background who has a heavier voice, like a husky voice.' I said, 'He probably could do it for you.' I'm trying to get out of there.
He says, 'Okay, I'm going to lunch. You try him and let me hear what he sounds like.' So I took this kid in the other studio in New York, and taught him the song 'San Francisco,' and wrote 'Hollywood' while I was in the studio. Taught it to him. Brought him back out, put him on the microphone. And when they came back and heard him, they said, 'Oh, he sounds fine.' That was Victor Willis."