Disco Demolition Night


The above story is true, except for the flamingo and also I was elsewhere at the time. Note the guy in overalls sliding into third base in my depiction; that’s the late Michael Clarke Duncan, at 21.

This sort of event is long overdue for Justin Bieber albums, but no one wants to be killed by police for a radio stunt. Steve Dahl comes from that halcyon era when radio folk were almost obligated to be lovable maniacs. He’s still kicking about; disco is not. He blew it up! You’re welcome!

Look, you kids; you don’t understand how it was in 1979. You only know the stuff that survived. Go to any used record store (many exist) and you’ll see hundreds of derivative platters, unwanted by anyone, produced by the ones who saw a neon-lit path to “easy money”. 


Disco infested everything. Every single sitcom circa 1979 had a disco-dancing scene, and every comedy movie had a spoof of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. 

There were disco songs on The Muppet Show and Quincy ME. The governor joked about it on Benson. Disco spread to the animal kingdom, like fungal bacteria. Not even our fine feathered friends could be saved. Disco had to die. 

From the same label that brought you Saturday Night Fever in the first place. “Cast of Idiots”, indeed.

Some critics of Disco Demolition Night argue that it was a homophobic statement, that the focus of aggression was gay culture, rather than disco music. This charge ignores the fact that in 1979, disco was everywhere. Not everyone liked it, or appreciated the damage it was doing to music at large. Like every other music fad, the people who paid for it act like the rest of us are stupid for not liking it. 

Hip hop isn’t as great as the hip hop we cherry-pick from the past thirty years. For every good album of “gangsta rap”, there are fifty terrible ones, from no-talents that Master P signed to a contract. Hey- remember the multitude of shitty bands that skated to fame on Nirvana’s grungy coattails? That’s who I’m talking about. The phonies. The hucksters. The fly-by-nights.

They go right for your children. Look! My little six-year-old can do the “Macarena”! She’ll make a great statistic some day!

The entirety of the “white people can’t dance” joke comes from disco. In reality, no one could dance to it, unless they were high on cocaine. There you go, a dance floor crammed with white folks geeked out of their minds on coke, trying to dance like Travolta. You wanna know how to dance like Travolta? Simple. Be gay. 

Why? Because if you aren’t gay, then you were doing something other than dancing before you hit puberty. Why the fuck would any heterosexual man know what they were doing on a dance floor? Do they teach men dancing in school? 

Where would anyone ever get the idea that a straight man should be able to jump onto a floor and dance?

Oh, right. Hollywood movies. 

Not a thing about this movie is good. Nothing.

Which are never written by resentful losers for fatcat producers, right?

That shitty, awful song you hear every time you go grocery shopping; it came from a movie about dancing. No dance-craze movie has ever been anything but laughable. It’s like the musical theater department of a high school took over a film production, with all the naivety, awkwardness and chagrin that entails. Every character is either noble, evil, or struggling to adapt. It’s always the sort of story you write when you’re uninspired by the material, but can’t back out of writing it. Barton Fink’s turf.

See, we’re all in on the joke of how shitty it is, so it’s okay that this unwatchable dreck was directed by the Quicker-Picker-Upper Lady from the Bounty commercials.

It’s all very familiar, yes? The use of gays and ethnic groups as defense shields, the staged controversies, the plastic “let’s all party” atmosphere. Major-label music of today utilizes the very same playbook: How To Sell The Public Pale Imitations of Anything Worthwhile. 

It’s a tightly-wound and often profitable system that guarantees no group of kids will ever get the inspiration to start a band, write their own music, make their own movies, or embrace the world of entertainment with real passion. It only inspires them to make the kind of corporate crap that piles up until people get so furious, they have to blow it up at a ball game.

Disco sucks. 

Steve Dahl and the effervescent Lorelei, moments before disco’s fated demolition. 


Comments Off on Disco Demolition Night

Filed under Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Magazine Rack, Worst Of All