On July 12, 1979, the White Sox opened their stadium to host radio DJ Steve Dahl’s Disco Demolition Night. The idea was to gather and burn/destroy Disco albums in grand spectacle. 50,000 people showed up to participate. Below is the vintage news reel:

Does this, oh, I dunno, remind anyone of something? How about when beloved rock ‘n’ roll was popularized for white kids in the 50s and racist conservatives (some members of the Klu Klux Klan) hosted record-burning events?

It strikes me that in the 50s, rock wasn’t a problem until white kids started listening to it. That is to say it wasn’t a problem until what was perceived to be the musical conduit of black male sexuality and white youth (especially girls) encountered one another. Only then does the burning takes place– a fear tactic to discourage this intersection.

Disco is essentially black music, defined by the production styles of Nile Rogers from Chic, and soul singers like Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross, Donna Summer etc. There were many white performers, but the roots were American black music: funk and high-production soul.

And who were fans of disco? African Americans, women and gay men. All three of these “troublesome” identities intersect on Disco’s cultural location, so is it such a surprise that it was at its time (and is today) one of the most reviled, trivialized and dismissed genres of music? Not just that, but this demolition demonstrates the rage, and violence behind anti-Disco sentiment which has the look and feel of racism, sexism and homophobia.

It makes me sick to see this display from heteronormative, white (mostly) men at a baseball half-time (of all places) displaying this kind of hate.

Fuck that! Reclaim disco!

My favorite disco track, (and what has turned out to be maybe the single greatest music video of all time) George McRae’s “Rock Your Baby”:

Yessss. Soldier on George. Disco is feminist.

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