Dominic Sandbrook

The Beat Goes On

Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture

By

W W Norton 338pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

In the summer of 1979, the Chicago White Sox were one of the worst teams in the National Baseball League. So team officials were startled when, on 12 July, an estimated 70,000 people descended on Comiskey Park for a Thursday night double-header against the Detroit Tigers – an occasion that would normally attract just 15,000. In fact, most of them had come not for the baseball, but for something very different: a ‘Disco Demolition Night’, heavily advertised by the local shock-jock Steve Dahl, who had promised that any fans who brought disco records to the stadium would be able to see them publicly destroyed. The evening air was heavy with the smell of dope and the sound of hundreds of drunken teenagers chanting ‘Disco sucks’. Many, bored by the game, started tossing their records like Frisbees onto the field or lobbing firecrackers onto the fans below.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,