Gregorius: 'NMKY' (1979)
More Gregorius search results @ YouTube
Now when the world has just barely recovered from Danny & Armi's 'I Wanna Love You Tender', more disco horrors from the 70s Finland are offered by Gregorius, whose 1979 Finnish rendition of Village People's 'YMCA' (originally from TV's comedy show Hepskukkuu) has gathered nearly half a million downloads at YouTube. Featuring on synth the band leader Olli Ahvenlahti (whose 'Grandma's Rocking Chair' was a surprise acid jazz hit in the early 90s), on bass Pekka Pohjola(!), on guitar Heikki Laurila, one of the most employed studio musicians in Finland and on drums Tapani "Nappi" Ikonen.
Aamulehti reports Gregorius is one Esko Nick, who these days is a literature expert working as a librarian in Espoo, also having as a side project his own dance band called Redago (who consider switching their name to Gregorius now). Esko Nick tells the idea of doing 'YMCA' in Finnish came from Pentti Järvinen, the producer of Hepskukkuu. Järvinen had been especially impressed with Esko Nick's peculiar dance movements during one of his gigs, which prompted the producer to take on Nick as a vocalist for the 'YMCA'/'NMKY' sketch featuring Olli Ahvenlahti's band and Jari Samulin's dancers (Samulin is also responsible for the choreography of the infamous Danny and Armi video). Despite Mr. Järvinen's enthusiasm, this performance only remained a one-off, since Finnish TV audiences didn't exactly warm up to the gymnastics of Gregorius, so it took nearly 30 years and the magic of YouTube for this lost "gem" to be discovered.
(The Gregorius video is originally taken from YLE Elävä Arkisto.)