On July 12th 1979 at the Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. An event that would change the course of music happened. The Disco Demolition.
At the end of a match between Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. A crate of Disco records were blown up.
The match was advertised for this very reason. The majority of those in attendance were there not for the game. But for the explosion.
The resulting damage was so bad that the White Sox had to forfeit their second game. As the ground was deemed unplayable.
But why did this happen?
In the 1970s Disco music was fast becoming the most popular music genre in the US. Many feared it was due to take over rock’n’roll.
Films such as the 1977 hit ‘Saturday Night Fever’ only added fuel to the fire. Disco was beginning to receive backlash from Rock fans
During a poor season, Chicago soughed out Anti-Disco campaigner Steve Dahl for the promotion.
They hoped for a crowd of 20,000. However, at least 50,000 showed up. Many not even fans of either teams. All eagerly anticipating the show.
Long after the explosion of records, those in attendance stayed on the field. Until they were dispersed by riot police.
It will remain one of the most extreme, and strangest promotions in Major League Baseball.
What was the aftermath?
Disco and its popularity decline significantly as a result of the events in Chicago that night.
Dahl himself stated that: “It was probably on its way out. But I think Disco Demolition Night hastened its demise.”
Dave Marsh, writer for the ‘Rolling Stone’ described the night as:
“Your most paranoid fantasy about where the ethnic cleansing of the rock radio could ultimately lead”.
Marsh himself described the event as ‘an expression of bigotry’. writing that:
“White males, eighteen to thirty-four are the most likely to see disco as the product of homosexuals, blacks, and Latins. Therefore they’re the most likely to respond to appeals to wipe out such threats to their security.
Dahl continued to firmly deny any allegation that any of his campaign was hate motivated.
It remains a key point in the history of music. But one few would know about. As up until recently Disco had been beneath the service of the Music world.