Disco Inferno

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the infamous Disco Demolition Day at Comiskey Park, at which admission to the double-header game cost 98 cents and a disco record to be demolished between the games by a local DJ – it’s somewhat odd to stop and think that the days of local radio personalities pulling these sort of stunts (and getting any notice for it) are basically over.

Disco Demoilition Day was a disaster – many fans ended up using the records as frisbees, leading at least one player to wear his batting helmet into the outfield, and after the records were blown up, fans stormed the field and trashed the place. The Chicago Reader has a fascinating story on the day, followed by some very interesting debate in the comments about whether there were racial/political motivations lurking in the rioters’ brains. I always thought rockers hated disco on general principle, not because they identified it as urban/latino/gay culture myself, but, hey, what do I know?

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2 thoughts on “Disco Inferno

  1. I wasn't there but I saw it on TV. It was very ghostly to see kids on the field through a haze of smoke.

    I also saw the 1968 Democratic convention on TV. (I guess I don't get out much). And Disco demolition was like Bizarro world version of the 1968 convention.

    The same elements…kids, smoke, police but in a completely different contect.

  2. I saw video of this event on TV last night. What a riot (er…)

    I wrote about the event in my book It Happened in Chicago, but it was one of the 3 chapters we had to cut to keep the book from being longer than desired. Maybe it will make it into It Happened in Chicago, Part Deux?

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