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1979: Disco Sucks!
Related: ritual burning of cultural artifacts - disco - homophobia - rockism - racism - 1979
On July 12, 1979, Chicago radio DJ Steve Dahl and baseball promoter Mike Veeck organized an event dubbed "officially the world's largest anti-disco rally" at Comiskey Park. Fans were invited to bring disco records to a doubleheader - to have them blown up after the first game.
Unfortunately, the explosion (and hundreds of excited fans) left so much debris on the field that the Sox were required to reschedule (and later forfeit) the second game. "It looks," Dahl declared of the aftermath, "like World War II!"
Only by killing disco could rock affirm its threatened masculinity and restore the holy dyad of cold brew and undemanding sex partners. Disco bashing became a major preoccupation in 1977. At the moment when Saturday Night Fever and Studio 54 achieved zeitgeist status, rock rediscovered a rage it had been lacking since the '60s, but this time the enemy was a culture with "plastic" and "mindless" (read effeminate) musical tastes. Examined in light of the ensuing political backlash, it's clear that the slogan of this movement--"Disco Sucks!"--was the first cry of the angry white male. --Peter Braunstein, Village Voice, June 1998
The 'Disco Sucks' campaign was a white, macho reaction against gay liberation and black pride more than a musical reaction against drum machines. In England, in the same year as the 'Disco Sucks' demo in America, The Young Nationalist - a British National Party publication - told its readers: 'Disco and its melting pot pseudo-philosophy must be fought or Britain's streets will be full of black-worshipping soul boys.' --Dave Haslam
HistoryDisco Demolition Night occurred on July 12, 1979 at Comiskey Park during a doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, two DJs for the radio station WLUP in Chicago, Illinois came up with a promotion that involved people bringing unwanted disco records to the game for a discount on admission. Most of the records ended up sailing through the stands during the game, nearly inciting a riot. After the first game, Dahl came out along with the records in a box rigged with a bomb. When the bomb was set off, thousands of fans ran onto the field. Some started their own fires and mini-riots. There was so much commotion and damage to the field that the teams could not play the last game of the doubleheader; the White Sox forfeited. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition_Night [Feb 2005]
Book burningBook burning is the practice of ceremoniously destroying by fire one or more copies of a book or other written material. In modern times other forms of media, such as gramophone records, CDs and video tapes, have also been ceremoniously burned or shredded. The practice, often carried out publicly, is usually motivated by moral, political or religious objections to the material. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_burning [Feb 2005]
Rise of Hip Hop [...][A]nother reason for hip hop's rise was the decline of disco, funk and rock in the mid- to late 70s. Disco arose among black and/or gay males in America, and quickly spread to Europe. Once disco broke into the mainstream in the United States, and was thus appropriated, its original fans and many other listeners rejected it as pre-packaged and soul-less. While many remember the white teens shouting "disco sucks" at every available opportunity, often in racist and homophobic contexts, inner-city blacks were similarly rejecting disco and disco-fied rock, soul and funk (which was virtually everything on the radio at the time). If disco had anything redeemable for urban audiences, however, it was the strong, eminently danceable beats, and hip hop rose to take advantage of the beats while providing a musical outlet for the masses that hated disco. Disco-inflected music (though comparatively little actual disco) was one of the most popular sources of beats in the first ten or twelve years of hip hop's existence. In Washington DC, go go also emerged as a reaction against disco, and eventually mixed with hip hop during the early 1980s, while electronic music did the same, developing as house music in Chicago and techno music in Detroit. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rap_music#The_causes_of_hip_hop [Jul 2004]
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