Sunday, July 12, 2009

Disco Demolition Night - 30th Anniversary

Yes -- I was a Chicago White Sox fan in 1979 (and still am). I was working a summer job as a security guard at Illinois Benedictine College (now Benedictine University), usually 11pm until 7am the next morning. This was, of course, after working a 5pm-10pm evening factory shift at Tellabs, a telecommunications equipment provider. Fun summer between my junior and senior years in college.

The night security gig at IBC was usually boring -- unless, of course, there was a volleyball camp on campus, which meant lots of flirting with young, athletic girls. To pass the time, we used to listen to the radio -- Steve Dahl on WLUP, "The Loop." I am proud to say that I was a card-carrying member of Dahl's Insane Coho Lips Anti-Disco Army. One of Dahl's favorite games was to announce that he and his army were going to "take over" a disco. He would announce which disco and which night, and anywhere from one to five thousand people would show up. Thus was born Disco Demolition Night -- 30 years ago at old Comiskey Park. Entry fee: 98 cents and a disco record, which would be blown up between games of the White Sox - Detroit double header.

With thousands of fans over capacity (many had snuck in) and drunk or high, the disaster was just waiting to happen. After Dahl had a demolition expert blow up all the disco records, fans stormed the field, which was littered with record shards, and even started fires in several parts of the field and the stands. The field was destroyed and the fans would not leave, prompting the forfeiture of game two. This was the last American League game that was decided by forfeit.

As for me ... as much as I wanted to go, going to baseball games just did not jibe with a 65-80 hour work week. I like to think that I have few regrets in my life, but damn -- I wish I had gone and become part of baseball history.


Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

"I have few regrets in my life, but damn -- I wish I had gone and become part of baseball history."

Wow, it would have been amazing to have been there.

11:32 AM  
Blogger PokahDave said...

and thus the death of disco was brought upon us.....

10:12 PM  
Blogger Baywolfe said...

I wasn't able to attend that living, living to the east in Cleveland. But I always proudly wore my "Disco Sucks" as often as I could.

I did, however, make it to Nickel Beer Night at Cleveland Stadium. We were too far up in the stands to go running around, though.

1:06 PM  

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