Posted by chicagomedia.org on July 09, 2009 at 11:05:26:
Steve Dahl remembers Disco Demolition Night
by Steve Dahl
July 9, 2009 | Chicago Tribune
Every year around his time I am inundated with requests to give interviews about the events of July 12, 1979. As the 30th anniversary of Disco Demolition Night approaches, I have limited my interviews to two TV segments and one print interview. I will be featured on SportsCenter (Jeremy Schaap) and Comcast SportsNet Chicago (Chuck Garfien) Sunday evening. I have graciously accepted my own offer to interview myself for the Chicago Tribune. Let's begin ...
What was with the stupid army get-up?
I don't know. I had envisioned an anti-disco army. A sort of paramilitary group of rock 'n' rollers.
Vietnam was over, and it seemed as if we needed a military presence somewhere.
You realize the jacket was about two sizes too small.
Yes, it was the biggest one that they had.
You realize that get-up made you look like one of the Village People, right?
Yes, in hindsight, it did seem to have a Village People sort of feel to it.
Are you a macho man?
No, more of a nacho man.
How does it make you feel that people are still talking about Disco Demolition Night 30 years later?
It makes me feel as if I am an oldies band performing at Ribfest in Naperville.
That's a bad thing?
Not a bad thing, but I'd like to be remembered for more than just that.
Such as telling people to use Necco Wafers instead of quarters in the tollway baskets.
Does that work?
It used to. I have an I-Pass, and I wouldn't recommend it. It makes them very angry.
So you'd like to be remembered for more than just Disco Demolition Night?
Yes, I think that being on the air and near the top of the ratings heap on Chicago radio for 30 years counts for something too.
Tell that to Wally Phillips.
Good point. I'll take what I can get. What else would you like to know about DD? That's what I call it, DD. You know, Disco Demolition.
Don't mock me.
What were your thoughts as you arrived at Comiskey Park that night?
I saw a lot of people selling T-shirts outside the park, with the Insane Coho Lips name on them, and it occurred to me that I should have planned ahead and made some shirts of my own to sell.
Insane Coho Lips?
Yes, that was the name of our anti-disco army. The Insane Unknowns were a popular gang back then, and I passed the Coho fishing fleet in Burnham Harbor every morning on my way to work, so I put the two together, and viola.
Yes, it's just that easy for me.
So, you had no idea Disco Demolition Night ...
So you had no idea that DD was going to be as big as it was?
No, I thought it was going to be a failure. Even if I drew 10,000 fans, the place would have still looked empty. I was just hoping I wouldn't be too embarrassed. I mean, I was dressed up like a fat G.I. Joe, singing "Do You Think I'm Disco" a cappella and running around blowing up records.
When did you know that it was going to be bigger than you had ever imagined?
When I finally got down on the field and felt the beer-fueled energy of he crowd. I might have also smelled a little pot. They were throwing cherry bombs at me. Never schedule an event that close to the 4th of July.
You mentioned alcohol and drugs. Were you high?
I don't think so. I feared for my life and my career.
What else were you thinking?
I hope to God that my pants don't split when I do my John Travolta dance move!
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