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  1. #1

    When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Hey y'all; Garry here. I want to thank all of you, especially the Senior Staff and Owners of this group for a superb forum. I am really enjoying myself.

    I am opening this thread because there is much debate on when disco died, or even when disco began to die, that is, the beginning of the end. In my opinion disco was rolling right along, snowballing all other genres in the music business before some people in Chicago started making some noise, and along with this perpetuated one of the most negative marketing ploys, and campaigns against an entity that I've ever seen or can ever remember. Check out these photos; just click on the URL's:

    http://www.discodemolition.com/assets/Comiskey_11.jpg
    http://whitesoxinteractive.com/image...olitionBIG.jpg
    http://www.jahsonic.com/DiscoSucks.jpg

    Here is an article from that time regarding the rally and the death knell for disco:

    THE DISCO DEMOLITION: THE DAY THAT DISCO DIED
    “One of the Top Ten Most Shocking Moments in Baseball History” Turns 25
    On July 12, 1979, while music was blaring at the legendary Studio 54 in New York City and “Saturday Night Fever” records were being played in homes across the country, another movement was taking place; thousands of people gathered on the South Side of Chicago chanting “Disco Sucks.” The night was orchestrated by then 24-year-old DJ Steve Dahl, and became known forever after as the Disco Demolition.

    What began as an effort to sell seats at a White Sox/Detroit Tigers double-header turned into a mass anti-disco movement that would later be credited as the official “day that disco died.” Fans were encouraged to show up with an admission of $0.98 and a disco record that would be blown up at center field between the games; chaos ensued when an estimated 90,000 baseball fans and listeners crammed the ballpark, the surrounding neighborhood streets and the Dan Ryan expressway, creating traffic jams for miles.
    Leading the fans in a “Disco Sucks” chant, Dahl headed out to center field in military regalia to blow up the thousands of disco records that had been brought to the ball park for the rally. What he didn’t anticipate was that tens of thousands of eager fans would storm the field. Announcer Harry Caray tried to calm the crowd by leading the park in the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” but order could not be restored, and the White Sox were forced to forfeit the next game. Because American League games are virtually never forfeited or cancelled ESPN dubbed Disco Demolition as “One of the Top Ten Most Shocking Moments in Baseball History.”

    Dahl admits that the cultural phenomenon that sparked the end of the disco era began simply as his response to losing a job at a radio station that had turned to an all-disco format. Even though disco music had become the unofficial soundtrack of the 1970s, his “disco sucks” mantra struck a nerve because so many Midwesterners simply didn’t ‘get it.’
    “The average guy in Chicago didn’t have the right clothes, couldn’t get into the right clubs, and thought he’d never get laid again because of disco,” says Dahl.

    The Disco Demolition and Steve Dahl became national news the next morning, and the event’s legacy survives to this day – disco bands including ABBA and K.C. and the Sunshine Band agree that the event was the beginning of the end for disco.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------GARRY SEZ: In my opinion the demolition in chicago was truly the beginning of the end. When I saw that on TV I knew what was coming next. There were just too many people that even I knew at the time that out right hated disco, or if they didn't hate it were disgusted with it. The following weeks after the demolition many stations changed format. The radio station where I lived, that played disco music 24-7, changed to a hard rock format within two months. Later came the extremely negative news reports, articles, magazine articles, and everything else "bad mouthing" disco. Then around early 1980, the discos were almost closed or had changed their theme, no disco radio stations were left, the fashion trend changed, and the word disco was removed from billboard's vocabulary and changed to "dance." When that happened, that is, billboard removing the word disco from this music genre, I knew for sure it was over.

    So what do you think? When do you think the beginning of the end came for disco? When do you think disco died? Let's get this thread fired up and let us know your thoughts!

    Garry

  2. #2

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Yes, believe it or not, it all started with Mr. Steve Dahl, and others. Guess what forumers? Mr. Dahl, who was one of the architects, if not THE architect behind disco's demise, is still on the air in Chicago; do you believe it?

    Access his site at: http://www.dahl.com/

    Or join his forum at that site at: http://www.dahl.com/forum/ubbthreads.php

    In a polite, respectful way, and I know this has been boiling in most of you, and myself for a lot of years now, tell Mr. Dahl what you think of how he killed and stabbed a beautiful music genre, way of life, and recreation for most of us during that time period that we enjoyed. We didn't perpetuate a rock and roll demolition night did we? What Mr. Dahl did was wrong.

    Anyway, thought I'd share this with you all.

    Keep dancin y'all!

    Garry:p

  3. #3
    needlefingers is offline Platinum Record [Level 8]

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    If I remember correctly, and if someone can verify it, the last song to hit #1 on the Billboard Disco Charts in December of 1979 was Enough Is Enough by Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand.

    A couple of months later Funkytown was all the sensation.

    I always considered this to be a crossover point, and just for my purposes.

    And don't get me wrong, there was still a lot more to come out and play in the clubs: like Lime, Patrick Cowley, more Sylvester, Trans-X and Tapps. But this was moving into Hi-NRG.

    Blondie and Modern Romance were bringing white rap in. John Robbie, Arthur Baker and Soul Sonic Force were bringing in electro funk. And the B-52's, Depeche Mode and Yazz were the alternative rock that was now coming into the clubs. Madonna was right around the corner.

    Again, this is just my thoughts, but Enough Is Enough was the begining of the end. And kind of an appropriate title if you ask me.

  4. #4

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Quote Originally Written by needlefingers View Post
    If I remember correctly, and if someone can verify it, the last song to hit #1 on the Billboard Disco Charts in December of 1979 was Enough Is Enough by Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand.

    A couple of months later Funkytown was all the sensation.

    I always considered this to be a crossover point, and just for my purposes.

    And don't get me wrong, there was still a lot more to come out and play in the clubs: like Lime, Patrick Cowley, more Sylvester, Trans-X and Tapps. But this was moving into Hi-NRG.

    Blondie and Modern Romance were bringing white rap in. John Robbie, Arthur Baker and Soul Sonic Force were bringing in electro funk. And the B-52's, Depeche Mode and Yazz were the alternative rock that was now coming into the clubs. Madonna was right around the corner.

    Again, this is just my thoughts, but Enough Is Enough was the begining of the end. And kind of an appropriate title if you ask me.
    I think you're right "needlefingers," these songs were transitory into another music realm, a changing of the guard if you will, and disco's last gasp. But we all hoped that most of these songs would heal disco and at least put it back in it proper place, but that never happened. Good post "needlefingers."

    Garry:icon_neutral:

  5. #5
    remicks's Avatar
    remicks is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    *****

    I like your spirit a lot GBC (welcome ! ) ... what took you so long to come to discomusic.com ?:icon_exclaim:


    ...... I agree that Steve Dahl is an appropriate symbolic hangman for that entire anti-disco /anti-gay crowd .... but to give him too much credence I think overstates it. No doubt there were those in wait that he resonated with.

    There was a conglomeration of things that came together around '79 -'80 that " killed " disco .....

    Check out Quinny's thread on that Chicago Demolition episode .
    http://www.discomusic.com/forums/dis...ght=demolition

    and again ..... nice to see you here !


    remicks
    *****
    Last edited by remicks; October 2nd, 2006 at 10:53 PM.


    I still recall the thrill -
    I guess I always will


  6. #6

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    I don't know if Steve Dahl coined the term, but apparently (and unbeknown to me until recently) the "Disco Sucks" campaing was started long ago (most likely in 1977) before the Comisky Park events.

    If you listen to the "Saturday Night fever" DVD commentary track the movie producers were very worry that they would never get to release SNF and rushed finishing the production just in case, he mentions driving down LA (I believe) and noticing many "disco sucks" bumper stickers so he began to worry that maybe the movie was going to be a Box Office flop.

  7. #7
    paul's Avatar
    paul is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    This is in part political but I've mentioned in similar threads in the past that it occured around '81 in the states. This was around the time Reagan came into office. There was a push to get rid of the what disco represented. Multiculturalism, free love, drugs, free expression of sexuality, etc. Reagan and his election represented the opposite of all that. He represented a conservative return to '50s sensabilities.
    The underlying hatred for all things disco was always there. In one of my favorite movies "Airplane", there was a scene where the airplane knocks down the transmission tower of a disco station.
    Find them and destroy them!

  8. #8

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Quote Originally Written by Mixmachine View Post
    I don't know if Steve Dahl coined the term, but apparently (and unbeknown to me until recently) the "Disco Sucks" campaing was started long ago (most likely in 1977) before the Comisky Park events.

    If you listen to the "Saturday Night fever" DVD commentary track the movie producers were very worry that they would never get to release SNF and rushed finishing the production just in case, he mentions driving down LA (I believe) and noticing many "disco sucks" bumper stickers so he began to worry that maybe the movie was going to be a Box Office flop.
    Now that I think about it "Mix Machine," you're right. I remember seeing those bumper stickers long before the demolition in Comisky Park but paid them no mind. By the way, our disco radio station in the town we lived in saw it all coming way before 1979; they closed "disco shop" and switched formats in September 1978; less than a year later the demolition would be held at Comisky. So many saw disco's downturn and decline in late 1978.

    I still say that Dahl, and others helped ruined peoples lives. Lot of jobs and money was lost because of that event in Comisky. I sincerely believe had the demolition not happened, disco would not have died, but would have waned and softened and still been called disco. Fashion, scene, etc. would have changed, but to a different beat of the drum, if you will; hence not being ashamed of the word disco or discoteque which is what happened as a result of the Comisky event which quickly killed disco.

    I say all of this in complete respect to Mr. Dahl; he was entitled to his opinion and what he did then, as is his opinion now. Please approve this message and send it thorugh "powers that be."

    Thank you.

    Garry:grin:

  9. #9

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    By the way "Mix Machine," I love your AVATAR!

    Garry:lol:

  10. #10

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Quote Originally Written by paul View Post
    This is in part political but I've mentioned in similar threads in the past that it occured around '81 in the states. This was around the time Reagan came into office. There was a push to get rid of the what disco represented. Multiculturalism, free love, drugs, free expression of sexuality, etc. Reagan and his election represented the opposite of all that. He represented a conservative return to '50s sensabilities.
    The underlying hatred for all things disco was always there. In one of my favorite movies "Airplane", there was a scene where the airplane knocks down the transmission tower of a disco station.
    Typical lunatic leftist revisionist bullshit, but what else is new ??

    fact is that the club scene was bigger than ever in the early 1980's and more drugs and 'freelove" was had than ever before , despite the Aids epidemic Gay clubs were more prevalent than ever, (check the facts ) , more so than in the 70's when they were few and far in between and mostly hidden in the warehouse district out of sight!!!

    So the Hollywood producers of "airplane'" were doing Reagan's bidding :lol::lol::lol: What a hoot!!! such idiotic conclusion could only come from the mind of a paranoid Lefty, "Airplane" was released in the summer of 1980, which means that production took place at least a year before, before Reagan was in office.;), I guess we need to also add ‘anti disco’ to the great accomplisment list of the Carter administration. :razz::razz:

  11. #11

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Conspiracy? Against Disco? Come on. Are we saying that disco died because of a governmental conspiracy due to disco's gay themes, sexual perversionist activities, drugs, excessive alcohol, etc.? Then what about Rap? Why would one, only one administration seek to do this? It would seem that there would be a parallel or consistency in other republican administrations seeking to do the same, especially against a music genre such as rap, being that rap is even more "thuggy" and "non-moralistic" than disco ever was.

    I disagree with the conspiracy concept by the Reagan Administration. I believe that greed, jealousy, hate, Mr. Dahl and his cohorts, and prejuidice toward the disco crowd, and possibly other factors I can't think of at this moment are what mostly killed disco.

    Garry:icon_neutral:

  12. #12
    paul's Avatar
    paul is offline Double Platinum Record [Level 9]

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Easy, easy. I never said anything about a conspiracy. What I'm saying is that their was an underlying current in this country against the sort of thing disco represented or came to represent.
    The Anita Bryants of the world were bashing the gay lifestyle. There was the Jerry Falwells and the moral majority running around opposed to open sexuality, drugs and the women's roles. There was gay bashing associated with disco, and sex and drugs were prevalent in the culture. Add to the mix those who simply hated disco and you can see how this would end what we all knew as disco. I think most would agree that traditional disco ended around '81 to '82.
    Reagan was inaugurated January '81. A conservative bent took hold. The head shops I knew in Boston were closing and there was less tolerance for drugs. The drinking age was also being raised. Then of course there was AIDS.
    As for more sex in the 80s than in the 70s, I don't know about that. I remember a lot of women becoming more fearful of herpes and yes, AIDS.

    Mix, I also remember the air was thick with sulfur once Reagan got in :D
    Last edited by paul; October 4th, 2006 at 01:43 AM.
    Find them and destroy them!

  13. #13
    stevieboy32808 is offline Advance Promo Copy [Level 3]

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Disco died in the early 80's.

    Althought, it evolved into House music. At first it was just dj's sampling old disco records and bringing them back to life. A great example of this is Candi Staton's track You Got The Love. The vocals from that track were mixed on top of a house beat/rhythm from a track by Frankie Knuckles & Jaime Principle called Your Love. But then the djs thought they could go further and make their own music. This movement fueled what today is known as EDM or electronic dance music. It's called EDM because the music was being produced with hardware instead of live instruments like disco music was. House music gave birth to many genres of EDM, most famously techno and trance. Trance music is a derivative between house and techno combined.

    I guess you could say disco still lives on, but not in the sense you would expect.

  14. #14

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Quote Originally Written by garrybcoston View Post
    So what do you think? When do you think the beginning of the end came for disco? When do you think disco died? Let's get this thread fired up and let us know your thoughts!

    Garry
    to blame Steve Dahl for the so-called 'death of disco' is to give the man more credit than the man deserves.

    Disco NEVER died! It just went UNDERGROUND, back to where it started from.

    Steve Dahl may have picked the right moment to start his witch-hunting campaign on Disco with a strong anti-gay element, especially at that moment when Disco was at it's commercial peak. Disco had taken over almost any rock radio format all over the USA and commercially Disco was everywhere...

    Worse things came not only from the gay-bashing, Disco-hating rockfans but also from within the Disco industry itself. The overkill that most major record companies were releasing and the creative void that started to show clearly with every Disco 12" released was evident that Disco was losing it's power. Andy Williams doing a disco version of 'love story' or after Cookie Monster, Oscar and Big Bird cut their disco album all commercial disco had turned into a joke. The mirror started to crack....


    Personally, I do not believe that there is an exact time or specific historic moment that pinpoints the 'death of Disco'. For many people it must be that moment when Studio 54 closed it's doors, for others it will be the charting of a certain record, for me it was the fact that Disco simply started losing its momentum, its creativity, its soul...

    The day when Steve Dahl rioted in Chicago, that day Disco became Dance Music!! To be reborn as Hi Energy, Hip Hop, Electro, Freestyle....later on as Chicago House and Techno, or Euro Disco...

    While the anti-Disco, anti-gay movement spreaded across the US the hardcore dancers and dj's went underground to clubs like The Paradise Garage. The Saint may have been empty but the queues in front of The Garage were still growing every saturday night.

    The homophobic "disco sucks" campaign only served to unite the community. And for that, I think Steve Dahl deserves all the credit he can get...
    Last edited by all*that*glitters*; October 4th, 2006 at 11:12 AM.

  15. #15
    stevieboy32808 is offline Advance Promo Copy [Level 3]

    Re: When Exactly Did Disco Die and When Was the Beginning of the End?

    Quote Originally Written by all*that*glitters* View Post
    The day when Steve Dahl rioted in Chicago, that day Disco became Dance Music!! To be reborn as Hi Energy, Hip Hop, Electro, Freestyle....later on as Chicago House and Techno, or Euro Disco...
    This is highly inaccurate. Disco is dance music even before Steve Dahl rioted in Chicago.

    Disco gave rise to rap (Sugarhill Gang anyone?), not hip-hop. Hip hop & freestyle and to a certain extent breakbeats are offshoots of electro. Electro's forefront pioneer was Kraftwerk.

    You are right about one thing though and that is that disco gave rise to house music. Again hi-energy, formerly hard house, is a subgenre of house.
    While the anti-Disco, anti-gay movement spreaded across the US the hardcore dancers and dj's went underground to clubs like The Paradise Garage. The Saint may have been empty but the queues in front of The Garage were still growing every saturday night.
    Yes Paradise Garage gave a renewed sense of disco hope by the likes of Larry Levan.

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