Music

Flashback Friday: Disco Demolition Death 1979

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Disco Demolition Image One
Photo Credit: dailyherald.com

Forty years ago, today, the Disco Demolition took place at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. What started out as a baseball promotion turned into a mêlée that damaged the field.

[..] disco didn’t quite die a natural death by collapsing under its own weight. Instead, it was killed by a public backlash that reached its peak on this day in 1979 […]. That incident, which led to at least nine injuries, 39 arrests and, the cancellation and forfeit of a Major League Baseball game, is widely credited […] or, blamed for […] dealing disco its death blow.

The event was the brainchild of Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, popular disk jockeys on Chicago’s WLUP “The Loop” FM. […] many […] rock DJs were displaced by disco [but], only Dahl was inspired to launch a semi-comic vendetta aimed at “the eradication and elimination of the dreaded musical disease.”

On May 2, the rainout of a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers led to the scheduling of a doubleheader on July 12. Dahl and Meier approached the White Sox with a rather unorthodox idea for an attendance-boosting promotion […]. […] allow Dahl to blow up a dumpster full of disco records between games of the doubleheader. White Sox executive Mike Veeck embraced the idea […].

[…] organizers […] grossly [underestimated] the appeal of the 98-cent discount tickets offered to anyone who brought a disco record to the park to add to the explosive-rigged dumpster. WLUP and the White Sox expected perhaps 5,000 more fans than the average draw of 15,000 or so […]. What they got, instead, was a raucous sellout crowd of 40,000+ and an even more raucous overflow crowd of as many as 40,000 more outside on Shields Avenue.

What followed was utter chaos, as fans by the thousands stormed the field, […] began to wreak havoc, shimmying up the foul poles, tearing up the grass and lighting vinyl bonfires on the diamond while the stadium scoreboard implored them to return to their seats. Conditions were judged too dangerous for the scheduled game to begin and the Detroit Tigers were awarded a win by forfeit.

[Source]

Disco Demolition Image Two
Photo Credit: wbbm780.radio.com

In the weeks before the event, Dahl invited his listeners to bring records they wanted to see destroyed to Comiskey Park. Owner Bill Veeck was concerned the promotion might become a disaster […]. His fears were substantiated when he saw the people walking towards the ballpark that afternoon. […] many carried signs that described disco in profane terms.

Some leapt turnstiles, climbed fences and entered through open windows. Attendees were supposed to deposit their records into a large box [but], once the box was overflowing, many people brought their discs to their seats. Many of the records were not collected by staff and were thrown like flying discs from the stands. Tigers designated hitter Rusty Staub remembered that the records would slice through the air and land sticking out of the ground. He urged teammates to wear batting helmets when playing their positions. “It wasn’t just one, it was many. Oh, God almighty, I’ve never seen anything so dangerous in my life.” Attendees also threw firecrackers, empty liquor bottles and lighters onto the field. The game was stopped several times because of the rain of foreign objects.

Dozens of hand-painted banners with such slogans as “Disco Sucks” were hung from the ballpark’s seating decks. Dahl set off the explosives, destroying the records and tearing a large hole in the outfield grass. […] the first of 5,000 to 7,000 attendees rushed onto the field […]. The batting cage was destroyed and, the bases were pulled up and stolen. Among those taking to the field was 21-year-old aspiring actor Michael Clarke Duncan […]. Duncan slid into third base, had a silver belt buckle stolen and went home with a bat from the dugout. Some attendees danced in circles around the burning vinyl shards.

Chicago police in full riot gear arrived (9:08pm) to the applause of the baseball fans remaining in the stands. Those on the field hastily dispersed upon seeing the police. Tigers manager Sparky Anderson refused to allow his players to take the field […] due to safety concerns. Anderson […] demanded that the game be forfeited to the Tigers. He argued that, under baseball’s rules, a game can only be postponed due to an Act of God, and that, as the home team, the White Sox were responsible for field conditions.

Disco Demolition Image Three
DJ Steve Dahl
Photo Credit: npr.org

Cultural Significance

NPR Article

Daily Herald Article

Chicago Sun-Times Article

New York Times Article

Tune Tuesday: July 2, 1984

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Vern Gosdin Image One
Photo Credit: notediscover.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Country chart was I Can Tell By The Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight) by Vern Gosdin from the album There Is A Season. Released on March 26 as the lead single, it was written by Sandy Pinkard (of Pinkard & Bowden) and Robb Strandlund.

The song, later on, also made it to #1 on Canada’s RPM Country chart.

Official Website

“The Voice” Passes Away [CMT]

2017 Inductee Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame


 
Lyrics:
I can see every time I look into your eyes
You don’t care a thing about those other guys
Without words you make me understand what’s on your mind
The rhythm of your body close to mine

I can tell by the way you dance
That you’re gonna love me tonight
Sometimes it’s cold sometimes it’s hot
Love’s either right or it’s wrong
Feels so good, love you a lot
Right here beside me is where you belong
I don’t care if everybody knows the way I feel
Until the dream of holding you is real

I can tell by the way you dance
That you’re gonna love me tonight
Sometimes it’s cold sometimes it’s hot
Love’s either right or it’s wrong
Feels so good, love you a lot
Right here beside me is where you belong
I don’t care if everybody knows the way I feel
Until the dream of holding you is real

I can tell by the way you dance
That you’re gonna love me tonight
I can tell by the way you dance
That you’re gonna love me tonight
I can tell by the way you dance
That you’re gonna love me tonight
I can tell by the way you dance
That you’re gonna love me tonight

Wayback Wednesday: Mama Cass Variety Show 1969

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Update: Less than 24 hours after I posted this, YouTube snatched down the video. If they continue, YouTube won’t have any videos left to watch. So, that being said, I am leaving the original link and adding what I can find. ~Vic

Mama Cass Show Image One
Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Fifty years ago, today, Cass Elliot of the The Mamas & The Papas appeared in the TV special The Mama Cass TV Show. Directed by Sid Smith, it was an hour-long musical variety show co-produced by Chuck Barris. Guest stars were Barbara Bain, Martin Landau, Buddy Hackett, Joni Mitchell, John Sebastian, Mary Travers and, Elliot’s group, The Mamas & The Papas.

Mama Cass Show Image Two
Image Credit: thevideobeat.com

[This was] a one-shot pilot episode for a TV series that was never picked up. In 1968, Mama Cass had launched her solo career and was hoping to move into television. This one-hour program only aired once on ABC-TV and was never shown, again. The show features Mama Cass Elliot with special guest stars, John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Joni Mitchell, Mary Travers (Peter, Paul and Mary), Buddy Hackett, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain (husband & wife, both from Mission: Impossible and later, Space: 1999).

Songs include:
Mama Cass: Dream A Little Dream Of Me, “River Of Life,” I Can Dream, Can’t I, Dancing In The Street.
Mama Cass with Joni Mitchell: Both Sides, Now.
Mary Travers: And When I Die.
Mama Cass with Joni Mitchell and Mary Travers: I Shall Be Released.
John Sebastian: She’s A Lady.
Mama Cass with John Sebastian: Darlin’ Companion.

There are also comedy sketches with Buddy Hackett (who is dressed very groovy mod!), Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.

[Source]


 

Tune Tuesday: June 18, 1984

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Cyndi Lauper Image One
Photo Credit: rollingstone.com & wennermedia.com

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart (and, simultaneously, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and Canadian Singles chart) was Time After Time from the album She’s So Unusual by Cyndi Lauper. Co-written by Lauper and Rob Hyman (The Hooters), it was released on January 27, the second single from the album. The title came from the 1979 movie Time After Time:

“We started by putting together a list of song titles. I thumbed through a TV Guide magazine. One movie title seemed good—a sci-fi film called “Time After Time” from 1979. I never meant for it to be the song’s real title. It was just supposed to get me thinking.” (Quote from Lauper)

It was her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

The video for “Time After Time” was directed by Edd Griles and, its storyline is about a young woman leaving her lover behind when she becomes homesick and worried about her mother. Lauper’s mother, brother and then-boyfriend, David Wolff, appear in the video and Lou Albano, who played her father in the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” video, can be seen as a cook.

The video opens with Lauper watching the 1936 film The Garden of Allah and the final scene, where she gets on the train and waves goodbye to David, has Lauper crying for real.

[Source]

Cyndi Lauper Image Two
Image Credit: discogs.com

Cover artists include Miles Davis, Eva Cassidy and Lil Mo. Lauper made an acoustic version with Sarah McLachlan and performed live with McLachlan at the 2005 AMA Awards. Other live performances have been with Patti LaBelle and Lil’ Kim.

Critical Reception
Accolades
Awards & Nominations
Greatest & Best Songs
Other Cover Versions
 


 


 
Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
Lying in my bed, I hear the clock tick and think of you
Caught up in circles, confusion is nothing new
Flashback, warm nights almost left behind
Suitcases of memories, time after…
Sometimes you picture me, I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear what you’ve said
Then you say, “Go slow.” I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

[Chorus]
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting (I will be waiting)
Time after time

[Verse 2]
After my picture fades and darkness has turned to gray
Watching through windows, you’re wondering if I’m OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time

[Chorus]
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time

[Instrumental break]

[Bridge]
You said, “Go slow.” I fall behind
The second hand unwinds

[Chorus]
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting
Time after time
If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting (I will be waiting)
Time after time

[Outro]
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after… time…

Tune Tuesday: June 11, 1984

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Bruce Springsteen Image One
Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk & YouTube

Thirty-five years ago, today, the #1 song on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock chart was Dancing in the Dark from the album Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen. The music video was directed by Brian De Palma (Carrie/Scarface/The Untouchables) and it introduced the world to a, then, unknown Courteney Cox. This was his biggest hit single and the album is, to this day, his best selling. The song also went to #1 with Cash Box, in Canada, with Radio & Records and, went on to #1 in 1985 in Belgium & The Netherlands. Notable cover version artists are Kermit the Frog, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Pete Yorn.

Bruce Springsteen Image Two
Image Credit: wikipedia.org

Awards
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male Grammys
Grammy Hall of Fame Grammys
Pop/Rock Single American Music Awards
International Album of the Year Juno Awards
Best Stage Performance MTV Video Music Awards

Nominations
Grammys: 2
American Music Awards: 2
Brit Awards: 1
MTV Video Music Awards: 1

Lyrics
[Verse 1]
I get up in the evening
And I ain’t got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain’t nothing but tired
Man, I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

[Chorus 1]
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Verse 2]
Message keeps getting clearer
Radio’s on and I’m moving ’round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man, I ain’t getting nowhere
I’m just living in a dump like this
There’s something happening somewhere
Baby, I just know that there is

[Chorus 1]
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Bridge]
You sit around getting older
There’s a joke here somewhere and it’s on me
I’ll shake this world off my shoulders
Come on, baby, the laugh’s on me

[Verse 3]
Stay on the streets of this town
And they’ll be carving you up all right
They say you gotta stay hungry
Hey, baby, I’m just about starving tonight
I’m dying for some action
I’m sick of sitting ’round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
Come on now, baby, gimme just one look

[Chorus 2]
You can’t start a fire
Sitting ’round crying over a broken heart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
You can’t start a fire
Worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark

[Outro]
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark
Hey, baby