Oh dear, almost a week since an entry?! Okay, I have excuses:
- I was sick for one day this week.
- I’m still behind on my online course lectures and have been scrambling to catch up.
- I’ve got something in the works that will be cool and fun, and I’ve been preoccupied with that.
- Umm...Sheeba ate my blog entry.
As I was watching my course videos today, one of the History of Rock videos made me laugh out loud and took me right back to the late ‘70s when I was in high school. It was about the rise of disco, and the visceral reaction that so many rock fans had to it. I was one of those rock fans, and so was Shane...so was our friend Steve.
We HATED disco. I still remember Shane and Steve taking a copy of "Saturday Night Fever" outside and flinging the LPs like frisbees up onto the garage roof. The prof talked about the big anti-disco rally at Comiskey Park in which a Chicago DJ blew up a bunch of disco albums in the middle of the field, and that resulted in the Chicago riot police being called out to control the crowd. You can’t make this shit up. Since we grew up so close to Chicago, we got WGN (this was pre-cable and satellite, remember!), and it was a big deal around here even before it was picked up by the national news. I remember it all very well!
He talked about the possible reasons for why us rock people hated disco:
- Reaction against promiscuity. Umm...no. They don't talk about sex, drugs, and rock and roll for nothin'. Sex is kind of a huge part of rock and roll, in my opinion, so we wouldn't reject disco because of that. Besides, you know...horny teenagers!
- Homophobia. Again, no. Most of us hearing disco on the radio had no idea that it had its roots in gay culture. And I've never been homophobic, even when I'd never really thought about that much. None of my business, anyway!
- Racism. Nope. Although I was accused a while back by a black friend of possibly being racist because I didn't like disco. She had said other such things in the past, and that was the last straw. That's still a joke between me and Shane...if I ever say anything even remotely anti-disco (I disputed Donna Summer's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for example), Shane says, "You racist!" The Ohio Players rocked, and their funky music was cool. I loved the Spinners and the Supremes and Stevie Wonder, and racism had nothing to do with my dislike of disco!
- Lack of musicianship and seriousness; mass-production. THAT'S the one! Having grown up on rock music on FM radio, hearing this drum machine bullshit on AM radio was just putrid to me. I liked guitarists and singers and drummers and songwriters who really poured their heart into performing and writing. Disco just seemed like cookie-cutter pop crap to me, with no real substance behind it. But I've always been a sucker for good lyrics and good musicians. Disco was the antithesis to "good music" to me. It wasn’t "real music."
The allegations against some about the dislike of promiscuity, possible homophobia, and possible racism may be true, but that was never the case with me and Shane, or any of the rest of my circle who hated disco. It was just a matter of loving music, and musicians, and their talent for writing songs and playing their music. We didn’t see a whole lot of that in disco, and that was why we were the ones proclaiming, "Disco sucks!"
Hey, two lists in this entry. The listmaker in me is happy.
Rock on, Citizens!