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Chicago house music pioneer Vince Lawrence, who was only 15 years old in and was at Comiskey Park that crazy day working as an usher to buy his first synthesizer, is one of those people. So to me, it's not surprising what happened. Dahl had recently been fired from
The crowd got so worked up that the second game never got played. But, as is also made clear by The Seventiesno matter how many people wanted to see some stuff set on fire in the name of disco opposition, the cultural force behind the dance music went far beyond the light-up floors of the discotheques. It was originally the music of outsiders, and it proved that those those left out by the world of rock still wanted to dance.
Sixty thousand people showed up, and, after the records were set ablaze in center field, they swarmed down out of the seats and onto the field, causing the Sox to forfeit the second game. I was one of those 60, Even though I was a die-hard Sox fan, most of those who showed up could have cared less about baseball. What mattered was a more fundamental issue: Rock music, and the lifestyle and values that went with it, was under attack from an alien music and culture popular with black folks and, occasionally, gays.
Dahl was appointed to blow up all the records in centerfield at Comiskey Park between games. Once he did, fans rioted and charged the field. Musicians from the era have condemned the event.
Inrock DJ Steve Dahl donned a combat helmet to blow up a crate of disco records, a stunt now known as Disco Demolition. It was the summer ofand disco was taking over the world. Donna SummerChic and Gloria Gaynor were at the top of the charts.
At the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field between games of the twi-night doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Many of those in attendance had come to see the explosion rather than the games and rushed onto the field after the detonation. The playing field was so damaged by the explosion and by the fans that the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game to the Tigers.
Some spectators went out of control. But inneither fireworks nor personal hygiene drew hordes of fans. At the season midpoint, the White Sox were 35—
Disco was never designed to grow old gracefully — instead, it has endured with brilliant defiance. But he cites the Stonewall riots sparking the fight for LGBT equality as the starting-point for his own disco hallelujah show. Disco even changed the way we moved; the dancefloor was no longer restricted to straight couples — it became about celebration and drama en masse.
This article is part of an editorial series sponsored by our friends over at HBO celebrating the launch of their new show 'Vinyl,' from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger, and Terry Winter exploring the crazy and fantastic world of music in the s. Throughout the week, Noisey will analyze this iconic era with articles looking back in time. Steve Dahl was working at a local radio station in the late 70s when he was fired.