TOC has a beef with our “whitewashing” of Disco Demolition Night: “Disco Demolition looked like a chance for some powerful members of the local media and business community to gather followers to blow up records and vent their hate for a music and culture that just happened to be a commercially potent outgrowth of black and gay culture”
If it was me, I woulda just blown up a stack of Readers.
There’s an active debate in the comments of our story, but if you’re really interested in the intersection between disco, homophobia, race, and the entirely legitimate point that a lot of disco really did suck, USC prof Alice Echols has a thoughtful chapter in her book Shaky Ground (chapter 11, you can read it here).
“There is certainly something almost emetically self-serving about the unreeling of such confessions in the pages of papers like the Voice—it’s the sort of thing that contributed to the punk reaction in the first place. But it illustrates one primal fact: how easily and suddenly you may find yourself imprisoned and suffocated by the very liberation from cant, dogma, and hypocrisy you thought you’d achieved. That sometimes—usually?—you’ll find that you don’t know where to draw the line until you’re miles across it in a field of land mines. Like wanting the celebration of violent disorder that was the Sex Pistols, ending up with Sid and Nancy instead, yet realizing the next day that you still want to hear Sid sing ‘Somethin’ Else’ and see The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle, and not just because you want to understand this whole episode better but to get your kicks. These are contradictions that refuse to be resolved, which maybe is what most of life eventually amounts to.”