Steve Dahl's Disco Demolition

S**t Shows Season 4, Ep 11 12/06/2016 Views: 30,230

When rock 'n' roll DJ Steve Dahl blows up a crate of disco records in a baseball stadium, teenagers riot in celebration. (6:48)

Hello, I'm Bob Odenkirk,

and today we're gonnatalk about Disco Demolition.

- Cheers.

- Cheers.

- Thanks, Bob.You okay?

- My first [bleep] sip.[laughter]

[disco music plays] Well, I guess our story

really begins in 1977

with the massive success of [bleep] disco,

which is a terribleform of music.

both: [snickering]

- Anyway, 1977,"Saturday Night Fever."

Very popular movie.

Blah, blah, blah. Everyone loved it.

"At WDAI in Chicago, we're Disco DAI.

All disco, all day and all night."

Okay, so Steve Dahl is a DJ,

24 years old, at The Loop,

WLUP 97.9.

And it's a rock 'n' roll station.

Steve Dahl, uh, says,

"[bleep] you, I'm not gonna play disco music."

And Steveis having a good time,

and he's blowing updisco records.

So on the radio, he'd go, "I got a disco--

"lookit, KISS made a disco record.

I'm gonna blow it up."

Then he'd play it, and then scratch the...

[imitates record scratch] The needle on the record,

and then press a cart tape and...

[imitates explosion] Explosion sound.

And then laugh, and then do other dumb [bleep].

- Like my favorite, Imus.

- [laughs]

- What?

- Not like Imus.

- Okay.

- Very much like Stern, I mean, truly,

but actually, before Stern.

So it's 1979.

Jeff Schwartz is the promotions kid.

And he goes to--sorry.

He goes to Mike Veeckat the White Sox,

and he goes, "Let's do a Disco Demolition

at White Sox Comiskey Park for your team night."

Mike Veeck is like, "Great! I love Steve Dahl."

They hire a guy to, uh,

put the explosives in.

"We need you to blow up records."

"How many records?"

"Uh, well, I don't know. 2,000?"

"Okay, hold on a second. Slow down.

I need some goddamn real explosives here."

"All right, well, whatever you need.

You're the pro."

"Hell yes, I am.

"Just got back from the 'Nam about five years ago.

"Anyhow... [clears throat]

I will put your explosives together for you."

So Steve's on the radiofor weeks going,

"I got Disco Demolition coming up.

"Come to Comiskey Park and bring a disco album.

"They'll take your album; they'll put it in a bin.

"You'll pay 98¢ for a ticket.

"And then in between games,

"I'm gonna blow up all those albums.

We're gonna destroy disco. Ha-ha-ha."

So the night of the event comes.

July 12, 1979.

Steve's, like, watching. "Holy [bleep]."

Kids are showing up-- like, showing up in droves.

Showing up, showing up.

15,000. 20,000. 30,000.

[bleep] "A."

The first game is nuts.

Kids in the stands have records.

They're throwing them.

Record albums come flying out of the stands.


Cutting into the grass.

Harry Caray's kind of liking it, you can tell.

"Hey! All right, everybody, calm down!"

And Jimmy Piersall is taking it way too seriously.

"These kids... Look at this.

This is a disgrace."

Anyhow...- [hiccups]

- Game ends. First game ends.Sox lose.

That's not helpful.

And Steve--they drive out to, like, center field.

This crate has been set up.

So, uh, he gets on a mic.

And he goes, "Party!


Okay, disco sucks!"

"Disco sucks!" They start chanting.

"Disco sucks!" There's big banners.

"Disco sucks!"And it's kind of intense.

So Steve's like, "All right, I'm gonna blow 'em up."

both: [laughing]

- He puts way too much...

real explosive.

[laughs] Perfect storm.

So Steve pushes the thing.

Then... [imitates explosion]

Big explosion.

[bleep] flying everywhere

in center field.

You can't play another whole game in that.

That alone is the end.

That's the end.

Only that isn't the end.

- [claps]- But what happens

after it explodes?

- All right--what do you mean,what happens after it explodes?

It's a [bleep] disaster.

both: [chuckling]

- So then these seven kids climb over the wall.

More kids, more kids.

[bleep]'s getting un--unhinged.

There's too many kids on the field.

"Holy [bleep], I'm on the-- what--Comiskey Park,

the field where Babe Ruth hit home runs."

They're running around the bases.

"Look at me! I'm gonna slide!"

Kids are pitching.

"I'm a pitcher. Whoo-hoo!"

Meanwhile, crazy Vietnam vet,on his motorcycle,

going like, "Ah-ha-ha-ha.

I did it. I really did it."

And Harry Caray is up in the booth going,

"Hey, it's a good time, everybody.

"Let's sing a song together.

"♪ Take me out to the-- You know this.

"Sing along!

"Okay, let's all get off the field now.

How 'bout it?"


And the kids are like,

"Well, no. Not that."

They call the Chicago police.

They sent riot police. Full riot gear.

The cops come...

"Man, I'll teach you to be a teenager!

A whack in the head."

And, um, arrested 39 people

for vandalism and [bleep].

They call the game.

The White Sox are forced to forfeit.

[bleep] "A."


They say it killed disco.It did not kill disco.

What it did, potentially,that was actually meaningful--

this event was like one massive tweet

sent out by a generation of kids.

And they pressed a button and said,

"We don't like disco that much.


both: [snicker]

- That's essentially what the event was.

And, uh, if it killed disco,

it just sent a messagethat said,

"Maybe everybody doesn'tlove this [bleep] 24/7."

I would like to do some disco lyrics right now.

- Okay, go ahead.

- [imitates disco music]

[falsetto] ♪ Baby, oh, yeah

♪ Tonight's the night


♪ Tonight's the night - ♪ Nights

- ♪ The night of nights,tonight, all right ♪

♪ A night-- All right, I get it.

- [laughing]

- Duly noted.Thank you.

- [laughing]

- It's just [bleep].Just the worst.