Ignored Obscured Restored
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the (in)famous “disco sucks” night at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The event was officially called the Disco Demolition.
A local radio DJ, Steve Dahl, lost his job when his station went to an all disco format in response to the trend of the day. I did a little research and was surprised to see that most of the hits that held the #1 spot on the Billboard singles chart in 1979 were disco (OK, maybe some were R&B) tracks. This week in 1979, Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” was #1, “Hot Stuff” was #3 and Chic’s “Good Times” was at #13 – with a bullet.
When Dahl landed at another rock station, he decided to seek revenge and would “explode” disco records on the air.
“Back in the day when we had turntables, I would drag the needle across the record and blow it up with a sound effect, and people liked that.”
He decided to take this a step further and stage an actual demolition of disco records at Comiskey. He persuaded the White Sox to co-sponsor a promotion that would allow fans to attend a twi-night double header against the Detroit Tigers for less than $1 if they would bring a disco record to be demolished in a center field explosion between games.
About 50,000 people showed up, way more than the typical 16k that attended most games. The park’s security at the event wasn’t up to the task of crowd control. Thousands of fans poured onto the field in a riot. They stole the bases and tore up the field, forcing the second game to be postponed.
Here’s a short ESPN documentary about the event.
Ya know, at the time I was one of those “disco sucks” rockers. But today, I kind of like to hear the best of those songs.
Enjoy… until next week.