Old Pops is going to lay some truth upon you!
To start with, we’re going to talk a little bit about nostalgia. When I was a kid a movie came out called “American Graffiti,” and it kindled a wave of nostalgia that ended up being a very good thing,
It was good because it provided me, and a lot of kids my age, with a healthy dose of early rock and roll. In fact, it brought back into the limelight a lot of the pre-British Invasion music of the early ’60’s, when all of us were too little to really appreciate what was happening musically.
It reminded me, did this grand era of past-worship, how great Chuck Berry was, and how so much of what I grew up listening to was influenced by him.
I was probably sixteen when I finally and fully bathed myself in the licks, the lyrics, the vocal sounds, (listen to “Too Much Monkey Business”), and the style that was Chuck. We lost him recently, kids, and though many have imitated him, none will ever take his place.
But it wasn’t just Chuck. Songs like “Runaround Sue,” introduced up to Dion and the Belmonts. “I Get Around” and a dozen other car-related Beach Boys tunes appealed to the motorheads, (about the same time Motörhead was getting started, interestingly). We heard the girl-groups. We basked in Motown. It was a good time to be a kid.
But then a horrible thing happened. Someone decided that in order to dance you could only do it to horrible music. They gave this music a name. It was called Disco.
If you think these are divisive times, you should have seen the way things were then! It was something like a war. By the time I got to college in the fall of 1978, Studio 54 was a worldwide phenomenon, everybody cut their long hair, and two guys from my dorm got kicked off campus (everybody else got probation – except me who had gone home for a break early and missed the whole epic episode) for throwing food at a couple who were dancing to the dreaded sound in the dining hall. It made the school paper. (NOTE: One of the two Frosh Evictees was my best friend, Joe Clines, whose name is consistently misspelled throughout the article.)
It was a dangerous time. It also was the first crack in the dam. After Disco came a lot of other bad music intended to assist we, the listeners, in the movement of our feet and asses.
This always confused me, because before the arrival of Disco, I distinctly remember dancing being a thing. There’s even evidence in the form of old photos of people dancing to NOT disco. See? Black-and-white people (but sadly not black and white people), dancing. It could be done. But once Disco arrived I remember hearing numerous people (mostly girls) say, “I like Disco cuz you can daaaance to it.” (In my memory they always say “dance” very drawn out and nasally.)
But anyway, the issue is that some folks in 2018 are seeking to scratch their nostalgia itch by listening to Disco. And just like Disco ruined music in the late 1970’s, it’s ruining nostalgia today.
Kids, don’t do it! Disco is now and always has been, evil. It reintroduced cocaine to a stimulant crazed generation who found it helped them daaaaance for longer periods of time. It made food fly across cafeterias. If you listen to it without dancing, you’ll get second-degree burns in your ears. [Citation needed]
And don’t be fooled by so-called music historians who try to get you hooked on this junk by saying, “Don’t listen to Pops. There’s a lot of Disco music that’s really good.” Lies.
Listen, kids, to my closing public service announcement: The very best Disco song ever recorded… is still one of the worst songs ever recorded. It’s a question of a relativity, and where you fall in the music continuum is your choice.
But let’s be honest. Disco doesn’t really fall on the music continuum. It exists in the dark that precedes and follows the continuum.