I thought it merely demonstrated that a large percentage of young white people really hated Disco, which was true.
It seems to me that the whole event was less a display of homophobia or racism than it was a demonstration of mob mentality and the likelihood of a mob to riot after it has been whipped into a frenzy and given no co-ordinated outlet to express itself.
The DJ inspired 50,000 young people to congregate on a hot summer night. He blew up a huge stack of records for their amusement, then HE departed, leaving the field with no plan for how to quell the mass hysteria he had generated.
Something that happened over 30 years ago is considered recent?
considering that the countries existence goes back a couple centuries, yes.
Yes, there was definitely homophobia and racism involved, but it hardly compares to slavery, lynchings, gay-bashings or queer men getting their brains fried in mental institutions.
I was gay and out then. I hated disco. If only it had really gone away.
R3 / OP please familiarize yourself with what the word actually means.
And a bunch of drunks, rushing the field and being obnoxious is not much different than killing and beating people because of their race or who they sleep with? Really?
They shoould have done the same with rap YEARS ago.
It has it's parallel to book burnings. But I guess that's not any big deal compared to other things either.
My sentiments exactly, R7.
Rap's no worse than Country. Rednecks should be burning their own cds.
The rise and fall of Disco is an interesting phenomenon. As a kid, I remember it being ushered in with "The Hustle" in 1975. Once Saturday Night Fever came out Disco had taken over. The movie poster and the album cover were everywhere you turned. By 1978 everything in American pop culture that wasn't Star Wars-themed was Disco-themed. It was awful.
But it seems to have been a manufactured fad that was overthrown by popular demand. I particularly remember the Demolition Night riot because it was my 13th birthday. It must have struck a nerve with young people across the nation. It was all downhill for Disco after that. By 1981 it was a total joke. It was quite remarkable how quickly it went from cool to un-cool.
It was always explained to me that this was a racist and homophobic movement ( I wasn't around at the time) which I always found odd given the origins of Rock.
Disco had its origins in black and gay nightclubs; unlike rock and roll, which was co-opted by white artists, who clearly expressed their admiration for the blues, r&b and country artists who inspired them, disco came to dominate but was not co-opted -- rock snobs saw it as a threat and were determined to destroy this black and gay form of music. Disco went back to the nightclubs, only to re-emerge in the mid-80s with Madonna, Shannon and the like.
[quote]Disco went back to the nightclubs, only to re-emerge in the mid-80s with Madonna, Shannon and the like.
This (though I don't know who Shannon is).
I love that song. I've never seen the video before.
The irony is that while I (secretly) loved disco, I was attracted to the dirty-rocker boys at school who thought disco sucked, so I went along with the anti-disco thing.
Oh, the hyperbole.
It's ironic R7 is saying that in this very thread. Proof that older does not equal wiser.
Every genre has good and bad recording acts making music. Why has there never been a country music demolition? While some country is ok for me, it has really started to take over. The rise of people like Taylor Swift and Blake Shelton is just so annoying.
R19, why "ironic...in this very thread"?
I never perceived disco as gay back then (I was in junior high). It was The Bee Gees (straight) and "Saturday Night Fever", about a bunch of Guidos out cunt-hunting. Or couples dancing on American Bandstand.
If you watch the movie "Cruising" (1980) there's not one disco song.
The Village People somehow became the poster-children for the era, but they never came out as gay. That would have been career suicide back then.
Don't forget about the I-talians. The goombahs love that disco shit.
r20 a lot of people would tell you they are not country anyway.
I was watching a metal doc the other day and a professor said a lot of the antagonism of other genres was started by upper middle class white males. They were alienated from the upper class preppy world, but were very snotty themselves about what was "real" music. Basically, the Rolling Stone and Kerrang types.
There was always a working class contingent who would hate anything gay and black, but these rock critics really stirred shit up with no regard for the wider consequences. A lot of DJs were included in that group.
BTW, could some kind soul please start a thread on metal/rock gossip for me? There are rumblings about Phil Anselmo coming out (maybe b/c of the book?)and I'd love to hear about John Lowery (John 5). He's cool as hell-cute, too. No way he's 100% straight, even if he loves boobs.
late evening bump
Disco was perceived as gay. It was definitely NOT considered black.
Those white folks who got rid of their disco records should have gotten money for them at a used record store rather than smashing them to smithereens at a baseball field.
I was in my early 20's at the time of the anti-disco movement and most of my friends hated disco (as did I). It wasn't perceived as being gay or black, but just fake and repetitive. My friends were either rock and rollers or jazz musicians and most of us were accustomed to clubs with little or no cover charge and no velvet ropes. The disco era ushered in a more snobbish attitude.
r26, even with all the crossover hits from disco divas?
I've only read and seen footage as history (no offense), but I remember seeing a lot of inter-racial dance floors.
Was that deliberate on the cameraman's part?
Oh, and a second for the rock/metal gossip thread. I think we have a few authenticateds who are metalheads.
The latest rumour I heard was about Dimebag, of all people. He's BI???? WTF?
r28, that's not true disco, though. That's trendy UMC white people appropriating it to look cool.
It started downtown, so to speak.
It's ironic that you call it 'fake and repetitve' while claiming the era was snobbish.
It was no more so than other genres, and it was dance music not prog rock. You have to groove to move.
Disco died that night, for a good reason. It had been dominating the radio for too long.
Sad Eyes was so much better.
[quote]They shoould have done the same with rap YEARS ago
Some of you are such idiots.
I saw this live on TV because the Detroit Tigers were the visiting team in Chicago that night. There was nothing racist or homophobic about it. Disco was never considered black or gay were I lived. It was just viewed as mostly bad music and little more than a passing fad that had worn out its welcome.
No matter what anyone says about disco music. People wanted to dance. Plain and simple. Sure disco music became ridiculous overtime with the whole "disco" culture. It is the music of that time will be remembered the most.
Disco never went away so those racist/homophobes wasted their time.
I believe those who so easily call others prejudiced are just projecting their own hatred.
Everybody knew that disco made a place where gays and blacks and Hispanics came together to dance, and white boys HATED it because for once, they weren't really welcome.
And I guess if you consider the basement of a VFW hall to be high-toned and exclusive, I'm guilty of snobbism.
In my small town, people used places like that to dance the night away to early hits like "Rock the Boat" and "Honeybee" by Gloria Gaynor.
Disco was taken over by Hollywood and the record producers, but so have dozens of other genres, and nobody almost burned sports arenas down over them.
Well, Comiskey Park is Chicago, so why the surprise?
The Secret Disco Revolution documentary covers quite a bit of this. Conventional wisdom has it that after this demolition derby disco was killed stone dead and The Knack's danceable My Sharona ushered in rock again.
Not really true if you look at the list of #1 from 1979 (amazing year). Disco also continued to 1980 with Miss Ross's Chic work and Lipps Inc's "Funkytown", that was kinda the last hurrah.
But it moved underground with stuff like "It's Raining Men", which is covered in the documentary - you get the feeling had disco not become stigmatised that "It's Raining Men" would be the huge hit it kind of is remembered as and be as big as it was elsewhere, #2 in the UK.
This tongue in cheek documentary is most notable for The Village People's hilarious denial that their songs had gay double entendres.
Where did they get the records anyway? From their collections? Or did they go to the record store and buy a cheap record thus supporting the disco industry?
I can just see them. "What are you blowing up?"
Having grown up gay and in the Chicago area, IMHO, it was rooted in both homophobia and racism, but more homophobia than racism. I was derided for being a disco kid and took a lot of shit for it (and like the club kids a few years older than me, I too hopped on the new wave bandwagon - and took shit for that - as much of it was still essentially dance music).
A few related thoughts.
Queen's 'The Game' was inescapable on radio, and 'Another One Bites The Dust' - as disco a song as any - was sorta acceptable to my classmates who were part of the same 'disco sucks' brigade. But Blondie's 'Rapture' wasn't - that only got played on Alt Rock or R&B stations. And poor Donna Summer was shut out until B96 started playing 'Love Is In Control' in the summer of '82 no matter what she did.
The Hot-Mix-5, Chicago's premiere radio mixologists of the '80's, started working in '82-'83, and much of the R&B and Italio they were playing was considered kosher by many; high energy music was still just too gay for the masses outside of the novelty records ('Raining Men' and 'So Many Men', both of which got some mainstream radio play) until Dead Or Alive and Frankie Goes To Hollywood broke through in 1985.
House music was born during and as a result of this 'shutout'. And house, high-energy, and freestyle were the prevailing sound for the decade that followed. So all was not lost - save a handful of great records that went nowhere (late '79-'82).
Disco was wonderful and amazing - for a limited range of ages for a limited number of years. Before and after - nothing. For a thirteen-year-old to analyze it and then comment 35 years later is ridiculous. And it doesn't matter.