12 Jul: The Anti-Disco Army

‘Disco Demolition Night’, the brainchild of 24 year-old shock jock Steve Dahl, caused mass hysteria at Comiskey Park, Chicago on 12th July, 1979 – causing a pitch invasion that lead to 39 arrests.

Intended as a promotional event for a Tigers vs White Sox doubleheader, attendees were lured with discounted admission if they turned up to the game armed with disco records to be blown up with powerful explosives; an intermission entertainment that has since been contextualised as a racist, homophobic book-burning.

In this episode, Olly, Rebecca and Arion examine why Chicago was caught in a rock/disco divide; revisit the club classics of 1979; and question the wisdom of sex on third base…

Further Reading:

• Broadcast footage from the night – from The Museum of Classic Chicago Television:

• ‘Disco Demolition: the night they tried to crush black music’ (The Guardian, 2019):


• ‘July 12, 1979: ‘The Night Disco Died’ — Or Didn’t’ (NPR, 2016): https://www.npr.org/2016/07/16/485873750/july-12-1979-the-night-disco-died-or-didnt