The 1970’s was a difficult period of time for many Americans. The war in Vietnam had taken a brutal toll on the country, while Watergate had shattered people’s faith in the role of government. Even worse, men and women everywhere had come to realize that most folk music was just a bunch of drunk college students shaking tambourines. They shuffled aimlessly from nightclub to nightclub, searching for a new sound that would demonstrate how they really felt and extol the true importance of “Stayin’ Alive.” Disco was the answer to their dreams.
Whereas previously music had relied on rhythm and melody, disco relied on giant afros and strobe effects. It naturally became the most popular musical style in the nation, as people everywhere Rocked the Boat to the Disco Inferno like some sort of Dancing Machine. They didn’t care that disco promoted apathy and escapism; these were some of its best qualities. People were tired of caring about the world around them, and there’s no better way to achieve this than by striking a dramatic pose to the sound of electroacoustic keyboards.
Disco is widely considered to have perished on July 12, 1979. This is “The day that disco died”, thanks to the good work of Steve Dahl and Garry Meier. These courageous radio DJ’s led a massive anti-disco demonstration at Comiskey Park in Chicago, where they launched disco records into the air and exploded a box full of albums in center field. The fans started to riot (joyously), and dozens of armed police officers had to be called in to get the situation under control. Most of them were just relieved that disco was finally dead, though, and joined in on the happy festivities.