Disco Demolition

If you destroy art you destroy the soul of a nation. No matter how you dress it up or market it, the destruction of art is always politically motivated and is one of the ingredients of Fascism.

We have had plenty of examples in the past, the 1933 book burning in the Third Reich, the burning of books and banning of art during the McCarthy era in the USA. It is always politically motivated.

Art should never be subjected to someone’s opinion but rather to someone’s taste. Basically if you don’t like it, ignore it. If you do like it, endorse it. There really is nothing more to it

On July 12, 1979, 48,000 fans packed Chicago’s Comiskey Park for Disco Demolition Night. Some spectators went out of control.

The event ended in a riot. At the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records was blown up on the field between games of the twi-night doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Many of those in attendance had come to see the explosion rather than the games and rushed onto the field after the detonation. The playing field was so damaged by the explosion and by the fans that the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game to the Tigers.

In the 1970s, the ubiquitous disco music craze annoyed many, including popular DJ Steve Dahl, who expressed vehement protest. against disco and symbolically exploded records on air for WLUP. Mike Veeck, son of White Sox owner Bill Veeck, who was famous for combining baseball with inventive publicity stunts, hatched the idea with Dahl and WLUP’s station manager to cash in on the increasing hatred of disco with Disco Demolition Night Promotion.

Steve Dahl had lost his job spinning rock records when the radio station he worked for changed to an all-disco format. He quickly found another job at another rock station. But he was still angry.

In the late 1970s, dance-oriented disco was the most popular music genre in the United States, particularly after being featured in hit films such as Saturday Night Fever (1977).

However, disco sparked a major backlash from rock music fans—an opposition prominent enough that the White Sox, seeking to fill seats at Comiskey Park during a lackluster season, engaged Chicago shock jock and anti-disco campaigner Steve Dahl for the promotion at the July 12 doubleheader. Dahl’s sponsoring radio station was 97.9 WLUP, so admission was discounted to 98 cents for attendees who turned in a disco record; between games, Dahl was to destroy the collected vinyl in an explosion.

I am not convinced if the major backlash actually came from rock music fans or just a few Disc Jockeys. Rock acts like Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones and Kiss al had released Disco inspired songs. “I was made for loving you” by Kiss still is one of their biggest selling singles.

The event on July 12,1979 attracted an estimated 90,000 people to the 52,000-seat stadium, leaving tens of thousands roaming around the stadium and trying to sneak in. Comiskey was packed with what announcer Harry Caray deemed “a lot of funny-looking people,” most of whom were under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

The first game was to begin at 6 pm CDT, with the second game to follow. Lorelei, a model who did public appearances for WLUP and who was popular in Chicago that summer for her sexually provocative poses in the station’s advertisements, threw out the first pitch.[ As the first game began, Mike Veeck received word that thousands of people were trying to get into the park without tickets and sent his security personnel to the stadium gates to stop them. This left the field unattended, and fans began throwing the uncollected disco LPs and singles 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.

The first mistake organizers made on Disco Demolition night was grossly underestimating 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 at Comiskey Park. What they got instead was a raucous sellout crowd of 40,000-plus and an even more raucous overflow crowd of as many as 40,000 more outside on Shields Avenue. The second mistake was failing to actually collect those disco records, which would become dangerous projectiles in the hands of a crowd that was already out of control by the time Dahl detonated his dumpster in center field during warm-ups for the evening’s second game.

Dozens of hand-painted banners with such slogans as “Disco sucks” were hung from the ballpark’s seating decks. White Sox broadcaster Harry Caray saw groups of ‘music fans’ wandering the stands. Others sat intently in their seats, awaiting the explosion. Mike Veeck recalled an odor of marijuana in the grandstand and said of the attendees, “This is the Woodstock they never had.” The odor permeated the press box, which Caray and his broadcast partner, Jimmy Piersall, commented on over the air. The crowds outside the stadium also threw records, or gathered them and burned them in bonfires. Detroit won the first game, 4–1.

The first game ended at 8:16 pm; at 8:40, Dahl, dressed in army fatigues and a helmet, emerged onto the playing surface together with his broadcasting partner Meier and Lorelei. They circled the field in a Jeep, showered (according to Dahl, lovingly) by his troops with firecrackers and beer, then proceeded to center field where the box containing the records awaited, rigged with explosives. Dahl and Meier warmed up the crowd, leading attendees in a chant of “disco sucks”. Lorelei recalled that the view from center field was surreal. On the mound, White Sox pitcher Ken Kravec, scheduled to start the second game, began to warm up. Other White Sox, in the dugout and wearing batting helmets, looked out upon the scene. Fans who felt events were getting out of control and who wished to leave the ballpark had difficulty doing so; in an effort to deny the intruders entry, security had padlocked all but one gate.

Dahl set off the explosives, destroying the records and tearing a large hole in the outfield grass. With most of the security personnel still watching the gates per Mike Veeck’s orders, there was almost no one guarding the playing surface. Soon, the first of 5,000 to 7,000 attendees rushed onto the field, causing Kravec to flee the mound and join his teammates in a barricaded clubhouse. Some climbed the foul poles, while others set records on fire or ripped up the grass. The batting cage was destroyed, and the bases were pulled up and stolen.

The understaffed police were helpless. Veeck and Caray pleaded for calm, and organist Nancy Faust played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to help quiet the crowd. Chicago police finally restored order after about 37 minutes.

The pitch was so badly damaged the conditions were judged too dangerous for the scheduled game to begin, and the Detroit Tigers were awarded a win by forfeit.

Some people say that this event actually killed of Disco music altogether. I don’t subscribe to that point of view. Also some people say that this was an attack on the LGBT community, I am also not convinced about that. There were many rock artist who were gay, although they hadn’t come out yet. But I am sure that most people would have known that Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Judas Priest singer Rob Halford were either gay or bi-sexual. And they weren’t the only ones.

I do however think there may have been a racial prejudice motive behind the ‘stunt’

sources

https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2019/07/12/disco-demolition-dahl-veeck-chicago-white-sox

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/disco-is-dealt-death-blow-by-fans-of-the-chicago-white-sox

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/July-August-08/On-this-Day—Disco-Demolition-Night–Ruins-Chicago-White-Sox-Game.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disco_Demolition_Night

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The story behind Innuendo.

Some of you may not realize this but Queen only had 3 number 1 hits in the UK; Bohemian Rhapsody in 1975,Under Pressure in 1981 and 10 years later with Innuendo in 1991. Ironically their previous number one hit had been brutalized by a certain Mr. Vanilla Ice who used it for his Ice Ice Baby which only had been released a few months before Innuendo. Vanilla Ice completely denied that he used Queen and David Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure’ for his single. He must have realized though that even a deaf person could have heard he sampled the song.

Innuendo is one of Queen’s epic songs and their longest ever released as a single, exceeding “Bohemian Rhapsody” by 35 seconds.

Much like David Bowie’s Blackstar, to listen to Innuendo isn’t to be confronted with the sorrow of a man with one foot in the grave. Rather, the song and indeed the album comes off as the work of an artist staring sickness right in the eye and vowing to “keep working until I fucking drop,” as Mercury was once quoted as saying.

And from the sound of Innuendo, he meant exactly what he said. In many ways, Innuendo looked to be a triumphant continuance of the return to Queen’s early-Seventies hard-rock roots that began on 1989’s underrated The Miracle. Innuendo is also the only studio cut of the group’s to feature another guitarist: Steve Howe of Yes joined May in the song’s meticulously designed middle section.

On a break from a recording session in Geneva, Howe drove to Montreux and stopped to have lunch. There he ran into Martin Groves who had worked for Yes before and by this time was Queen’s equipment supervisor. Groves told him that Queen were in the studio at the moment.

As soon as Steve Howe went into the studios, Mercury asked him to play some guitar (according to producer David Richards, who had worked with Yes in the past as well). Another version is that Brian May was the one who asked him to play the flamenco bit.[5] When the members of Queen asked if Howe wanted to play on the title track, Howe politely suggested they’d lost their minds. It took the combined weight of Mercury, May and Taylor to persuade him.

According to Steve Howe:

“Inside, there’s Freddie, Brian and Roger all sitting together. They go: ‘Let’s play you the album’. Of course, I’m hearing it for the first time […] And they saved “Innuendo” itself until last. They played it and I was fucking blown away. They all chimed in: ‘We want some crazy Spanish guitar flying around over the top. Improvise!’ I started noodling around on the guitar, and it was pretty tough. After a couple of hours, I thought: ‘I’ve bitten off more than I can chew here’. I had to learn a bit of the structure, work out what the chordal roots were, where you had to fall if you did a mad run in the distance; you have to know where you’re going. But it got towards evening, and we’d doodled and I’d noodled, and it turned out to be really good fun. We have this beautiful dinner, we go back to the studio and have a listen. And they go: ‘That’s great. That’s what we wanted’.”

“Innuendo” began as a jam session in Switzerland amongst Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon in spring 1989. Freddie Mercury was upstairs and heard them playing the beat, and turned it into a song, creating the melody and starting off the lyrics. From then on all four worked on polishing the track and Taylor took over the lyrics (which were written as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and their song “Kashmir”)

The single was released on January 14,1991, hard to believe it has already been 30 years since I first heard that song. 10 months later Freddie Mercury died from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

There will never be a singer and entertainer like him again.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/innuendo

https://brianmay.com/reviews/innuendo.html

Crazy Little Thing Called Love- The story behind it.

This is a deviation from my usual heavier historic history blogs. Just a bit of lightheartedness at the start of a hopefully better 2021.

This is the story behind ” Crazy little thing called love”

Although ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ is a simple song it does actually demonstrate how genius Freddie Mercury was. He wrote the song while Queen were recording The Game in Germany. He wrote it while taking a bubble bath in his room at the Munich Hilton.

’Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or 10 minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing, because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords,” Mercury shared in a 1981 interview with Melody Maker. He wrote it as a tribute to Elvis.

Freddie did know though that Brian May probably would not like the song, because of it’s rockabilly style, he once said in an interview So he took the song to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Roger Taylor and John Deacon. The three of them,their then new producer Reinhold Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. Later on Brian May added his part.

The song was released on 5 October 1979 in the UK and on December 7th in the US. It would become Queen’s first number 1 hit in the USA.

sources

YouTube

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/crazy-little-thing-called-love

Bohemian Rhapsody

Freddie

Bohemian Rhapsody is probably the most unlikely title for a Rock song and yet it became a classic , if not THE classic Rock song for many generations.

This musical masterpiece lasted 5 minutes and 55 seconds, another reason why it should not have become a hit. Because prior to that, 3 minutes was the magic number for Rock hits.

It is not just a s song but in fact a mini opera consisting out of 6 pieces.

Part i.

Intro (0:00–0:49) it starts of with  an .acappella introduction, just to set the story line. “Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?” When I first heard it I didn’t know. I was mesmerized.

Part 2.

Ballad (0:49–2:37) The piano begins in B♭ major along with the entrance of John Deacon’s bass guitar.

Part 3.

Guitar solo (2:37–3:05) as we get toward the end of the ballad part we already hear the unset of Brian May’s guitar piece, soon to explode into a solo

Part 4

Opera (3:05–4:07) a succession of a various rhythmic and harmonic changes .

Part 5

Rock (4:07–4:54) The operatic section leads into a rock interlude with a guitar riff written by Mercury. It really is a piece of Heavy Metal

Part 6

Outro (4:54–5:55) as the intro the outtro slows down the Opera to bring it to a smoot conclusion.

The song has inspired some spoof versions none as funny as “Bad News” (You might recognize them as the Young Ones)

What is amazing about the song it was written by one man,Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury who would have been 73 today. Happy Birthday Freddie

All that is left for me to do is to end the blog with probably the best Rock song ever written.

 

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Source

You Tube

Queen

 

25th anniversary of the Freddie Mercury tribute concert.

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The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was a concert held on Easter Monday, 20 April 1992 at Wembley Stadium in London, England for an audience of 72,000. The concert was produced for television by Ray Burdis and broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries around the world, with an audience of up to one billion.

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The concert was a tribute to the life of Queen lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury, with proceeds going to AIDS research. The show marked bassist John Deacon’s final full-length concert with Queen (save a short live appearance with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Elton John in 1997). The profits from the concert were used to launch The Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity organisation.

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Farrokh Bulsara- AKA Freddie Mercury

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It is hard to believe this musical giant passed away this day 28 years ago. I still vividly remember the news reports.

It had only been a few days after it was announced he had aids that the world heard that Freddie Mercury died at the age of 45 at his home in Kensington. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

Mercury’s close friend, Dave Clark of The Dave Clark Five, had taken over the bedside vigil when he died.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Austin phoned Mercury’s parents and sister to break the news of his death,which reached newspaper and television crews by the early hours of 25 November.

Mercury was born of Parsi descent in the Sultanate of Zanzibar and grew up there and in India until his mid-teens, before moving with his family to Middlesex, England — ultimately forming the band Queen in 1970 with Brian May and Roger Taylor.

Before forming Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury (then known by his birth name of Farrokh “Freddie” Bulsara) was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques.

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Mercury joined the band in 1970, suggested “Queen” as a new band name, and adopted his familiar stage name. John Deacon was recruited before the band recorded their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974, but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 which brought them international success. The latter featured “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and popularised the music video.

Although Mercury’s speaking voice naturally fell in the baritone range, he delivered most songs in the tenor range.His known vocal range extended from bass low F to soprano high F  He could belt up to tenor high F .

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There are very few,if any, who have the vocal capability of Freddie Mercury, additional to his amazing vocal range he was also a naturally born entertainer.I remember when I was watching the 1985 Live Aid Concerts,Freddie got the massive crowd in Wembley going by just doing a vocal exercise.

November 24 1991 is still one of the saddest days in Rock history. A unique man in every sense of the world left the world with a legacy which will last an eternity.

As a teenage I once did a lip sync performance in a school show, called “the Playback show” of “I want to break free”. Before you ask, yes me and 3 of my friends dressed up as the members of Queen, mini skirt and all.

It’s when I saw the video of “These are the days of our lives” it struck me to how sick he had been, he was half the man he used to be.

 

Freddie I salute you and thank you for the music and memories you have given me and so many others around the globe. There can only be one. Through your music you will live forever. RIP

 

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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