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 Post subject: DISCO- The Term: Why It Had To Go!
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:42 pm 
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Disco - The Term: Why It Had To Go!

If you don't know who I am, here's a quick history lesson. They call me THE VYNIL JUNKIE! Why? You must think I am obtuse because I mis-spell the name. A vinyl junkie is a avid, sometimes rabid collector of vinyl records, of which I must confess, I am a charter member. THE VYNIL JUNKIE is ME, my persona, a great DISCO deejay who remixed the hell out of every record I had two copies of! And I had two of almost everything!

I wasn't "politically correct". Sometimes it was held against me because I loved women. That is a reason most of you never heard of me. I didn't kiss ass, ever! I always TOLD IT LIKE IT IS!! Lost many great jobs that way. Didn't get hired at a lot of clubs because of my no bullshit attitude. A lot of people hated me for it. I was TOO honest, I rocked the boat! So I became this PERSONA who wrote a music/DISCO/record/deejay/night club business magazine in the eighties, the self-titled VYNIL JUNKIE. You couldn't buy it at the news stand, only people in the business got it. And they really GOT IT!

They loved the TELL THE TRUTH attitude I had. If they sent me a record; despite that the Record Pools told them these records were great, and the deejays on their mailing lists told them it was great. If THE VYNIL JUNKIE said it sucked, they knew IT SUCKED!! Everyone else was kissing their ass, not wanting to disappoint the record companies who were sending them all these free records! I told them the TRUTH!! BLUNTLY!! Never pulled any punches.

The record companies looked at it as if I was saving them money by not telling them to go ahead and invest tons of money on a PRODUCT that wasn't going to sell!! That was the ORIGINAL purpose of the PROMO copy! FEEDBACK, honest feedback. We did ourselves no favor by telling them the record was great, and then you never played it! That cost them valuable money that these companies needed. The way I saw things was like I always do, DO THE RIGHT THING!! THE VYNIL JUNKIE was very much appreciated by every record company. They couldn't get enough of me and my views. That, in turn, made whatever I said about a record, that much more powerful. If I praised a local record release, let's say it's 1984, and LEWIS MARTINEE gives me a press test copy of his new project, EXPOSE. And I play this record, THE POINT OF NO RETURN. The crowd response told me that this was a sure thing. I informed the world of that fact, and the next week, ARISTA records signs them. I don't take or get the credit. But I KNOW that my opinion was very vital to the A & R guy, David Germaine, because he told me so. This happened literally hundreds of times.

That is part of the VYNIL JUNKIE. The other part was my mixing. Always kept the dance floors packed. Great mixing, but THE VYNIL JUNKIE was one of the best remixers in the game. Give me three turntables and the right amount of records, and instead of, lets say, one hundred records played in an eight hour night by the average deejay. I only played sixty during that same time span. I remixed more hits, they were on longer, the dance floor only heard the BEST, I needed no FILLERS!! That too was the VYNIL JUNKIE

The whole reason for that explanation as to who I am, is so that you understand me a little. You know that I KNOW that what I say is not only the truth (from my perspective), but that when I tell you how WE ruined DISCO, you'll see where I'm coming from. We let the thing we love most, get misunderstood, over-saturated and picked on without doing a thing about it! Those THREE things (along with other issues as well) were the main cause of the DEATH of the TERM "DISCO".

I mean even night clubs don't refer themselves as DISCOS any longer. That word, the term: DISCO!! It is like "cooddies"! Yes,that is what little kids called a slimy disease, and that is what happened to that word outside of our world. We let DISCO get a terminal case of the "cooddies".

We love that word,DISCO, but the rest of the world, especially the UNITED STATES, absolutely sees that word as a sort of SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE. They removed it from our reference of NIGHT LIFE. That is just the latest tragedy that has fallen my favorite word. No-one DISCO dances anymore? There is no such thing as DISCO music either. They killed that disease in between a double-header baseball game in Chicago almost thirty years ago! And WHO was the main person responsible for the BLOWING UP of DISCO records? A F**KIN DEEJAY!!!

You see where I'm going with this!!?? We stood by, and let the ROCK N' ROLL guys push us out of the world we created! No one fought back as everyone told us DISCO SUCKS!! Well, actually I kicked a lot of ROCK ass in those days!!! But that was a pebble of sand to respond to the tidal wave of ANTI-DISCO sentiment that swept the nation. We stood idly by with out defending DISCO or ourselves! Where were the chants of ROCK SUCKS!!

I did not like to hear comments about my profession. About my love, my life. It hurt, in more ways than met our eyes! It was a misunderstanding of the concept by everyone else. I can't be positive as to what that was. Sometimes I think it was the GUYS who couldn't DANCE worth a lick that started the homophobic attitude that every macho man had towards DISCO. I went to DISCOS to get laid, isn't that the same thing they were also looking for? But, you see, they didn't have the balls to learn how to dance! So they attacked us with sayings, even BUMPER STICKERS that said DISCO SUCKS, or that DISCO IS FOR FAGGOTS! We did nothing!! That was strike one. Remember how to play ball, three strikes, you're out!!

As DISCO ruled the mid-1970s. Everyone and their brother decided to somehow, jump on board the DISCO gravy train. Anyone with some records and two turntables became a "DEEJAY". The new kids on the block, really didn't get it, they were just out to have a good time. "I'm the deejay at..." and that was good enough to get the ugliest guy laid. So it was fun, sexy and exciting work. Here starts another problem. Over-saturation. Not only of the deejays, but every TOM, DICK and RICKY DEES think they can make a DISCO record. The problem was that the record labels saw the earning potential, they became desperate, and let IDIOTS like RICK DEES spit on our faces and turntables (more on RICK in a minute).

Everyone thought they had the next DONNA SUMMER or ABBA. People who had no right even being fifty feet from a recording studio now had record deals! In 1979 I ran the FLORIDA RECORD POOL for Bo Crane in Miami. We had over 150 members receiving over three hundred records every three days! Most of this vinyl sucked!! The record companies were told by US, the deejays, that their product was great, fantastic, awesome. What we should have done is tell them the truth, how they are wasting money on this worthless crap they were shipping to us. If you were one of the "lucky" top ten deejays in your respective record pool, you could look forward to , easily, over a thousand records a week from August of 1979 until December of 1980! Out of that thousand, you were lucky if you could add ten records a week to your rotation. My friends, in the world of business, that is a classic case of OVER-SATURATION!!

This article came to me as I was going thru the vinyl Disco record section of various disco sites. Reviewing the many records, the thousands of records, that other deejays have listed. I am going thru them alphabetically, and see so much crap from those days. I just skip past them, since I never played them. All except one, and I'm almost there! The over-saturation of deejays, DISCO records and now we have two strikes against the term DISCO!

The deejay has to bear the responsibility for the death of the term DISCO. Those two big points I just brought up are not acceptable. But nothing in comparison to our, the deejays, biggest mistake!! That mistake, I'll explain in a minute exactly why, is RICKY DEES!!! We, (I generalize, because I have never, ever, played DISCO DUCK. Never have, never will) played his stupid song with a dumb smile on our face as he was spitting in it. Rick Dees, a deejay, hated DISCO (probably can't dance a lick) so much, that it was a running joke on his show in a radio station. He would say that DISCO SUCKS, that DISCO music is boring, anyone can do it. You starting to see what he did.

He bragged on the air, that he was going to make a DISCO song. Push came to shove, and he had to back-up that big mouth of his, and found some studio musicians to give him a "catchy tune", that would sound good blaring inside a DISCO. He added the stupidest lyrics he could create, not to actually be an artist, but to make fun of DISCO. SO we, not me ,as a culture embraced this disaster as a FUN record. It was ammunition for his despise of DISCO. He made fun of the fact that DISCO was making him a ton of money. We threw gasoline on the fire of the anti-DISCO movement!! How stupid could we get. Obviously, so stupid that it ruined the TERM DISCO. STRIKE THREE, DISCO'S OUT!!!

In closing, now you see what happened to our favorite word. It still gets laughs, but the spirit lives on. In todays' music, across the board, the DISCO influence exists. Every genre of music today has BEATS, the danceable thing in todays music, is DISCO! In night clubs that are the grandchildren of the great DISCOS of yesteryear, it is our blueprint they follow. And in the over-saturation of RAP and all its cousins, I see the same mistakes happening. Only today it has a lot of BLING!---- So we simply sit here, writing about it now. I, for one, acknowledge that we screwed it up ourselves, by not fighting back, and doing the right thing! We let it happen, DISCO, it had to go!!!

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 Post subject: He is right!
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:16 am 
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This is a very interesting point. It makes a lot of sense. But were those the only reasons. I don't think so. What other reasons were there? I think that the fact there was a "Disco" on every Strip Mall had something to do with it. But that RICK DEES point is right on. He did not apologize until 2002 about what he did. He was actually proud of his role in the "Death of DISCO".

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 Post subject: DISCO DUCK???
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:56 am 
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So, let me see if I understood the premise of that article. DISCO DUCK was partly responsible for the end of Disco? Sounds good to me, I always thought that song was disrespectful. It sounds ridiculous, but when you really think about it, it makes sense!


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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:48 am 
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Pete,

Interesting points... for sure !
What's probably more interesting to remember - is the FACT that lot's of today's music involve samples of just... DISCO music !
In other words, the worst music genre ever (as it seems to lots of people), still have a GREAT impact in the music industry. Would love to hear how the "Disco Sucks!" people explains that and I wonder if they still pull shit on the tracks using these Disco samples... I mean everyone is sampling Disco - not only Dance Music acts but probably even more Rap acts...
That's something to think about !! :wink:

//Discoguy


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 Post subject: DISCO DUCK!!
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:09 pm 
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I agree with Pete that DISCO DUCK was a slap on the face of disco. I did not like that song then, and after reading this, I like it less! Did anyone ever teach Rick Dees the true meaning of the disco duck? That being throwing him in the pond! As for all the shitty records, I gave them all away! Garbage, pure garbage. And deejays were popping up everywhere too. But even those bad deejays were better than what passes as a deejay today!


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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:37 am 
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Great post, Pete!
I want to add another note and hopefully you can elaborate on my opinion further.

In the mid 80's the "good" DJ's were exploited. I say that because every guy and their grandpa wanted to be one. The result was an over saturation of them. Most of them sucked. The good deejay had trouble getting decent pay at any club, even the monster clubs of that era. Deejay's were a dime a dozen. Many of the good deejays had no choice but to accept what they could get because they knew some snotty nosed kid with a hand full of records would be hired for chump change. That, in my opinion was another reason for the demise of the Disco. Many disco/club managers didn't have a clue who was a good deejay, even if it bit them in the butt.
So many clubs, a lot of them state of the art "monster" clubs, bit the dust in that era it wasn't funny. Look at club Z and 1235. Same thing. Now a days you have the monster clubs and they are surviving, and new ones appearing everywhere. Deejays such as Paul van Dyk, to name one, are demanding upto $50,000.00 with all expenses paid to spin a "set" (not even a night)at the monster clubs. Even now, some deejays play pre-mixed cd's/memory chips whatever, instead of live mixing. Some do mix, but the set has already been pre-determined some time ago. There is no spontaneity, no reading of the crowd, no seat of the pants know how. That's what you're going to get, like it or not!

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 Post subject: YOU ARE CORRECT MY FRIEND
 Post Posted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 2:26 am 
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Those words are very true, deejays were under-payed in the "good old days", and vastly over-payed today. I guess we were born 20 years too early! Can you imagine what we would do in todays Club scene?? The $$$$$ we would make! I guess we have to settle for "opening the door" for todays deejay. I wish there was a pension plan for us, like there is in sports!!

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:05 pm 
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I think part of the death of disco also had to do with homophobia.

Now before I get a knee jerk reaction, hear me out and think back to the time. Life may have been different in other parts of the country,but this is how I recollected and experienced those years.

During the early years, "straight guys" didn't admit to dancing. In fact, your machismo was gauged by the rock band you were into. Where I lived, Led Zeppelin was God to the rockers.

Dancing didn't become socially acceptable for men until the release of Saturday Night Fever and Travolta splashed his "tough-guy Guido" across the screens all over the world. Some may even recall some of the quick anti-gay epithets yelled by the co-stars at one point. In fact, if one were to go back to many of the popular movies of the day, you would be amazed at how many homophobic scenes are in so many films, but I digress and that is a whole other topic in itself.

At the same time, gays were starting to get more acceptance into the mainstream after many years of struggle in the post Stonewall years from 1969 onward. Then the backlash began. You had religious groups foaming at the mouth along with their homophobic poster girl, Anita Bryant. Gays galvanized and boycotted orange juice and other citrus products to the financial chagrin of the companies and the famers. While this ended Ms. Bryant's career as the orange juice spoke-person, it did not keep her from gaining media momentum funded by the various religious crusades who followed her silly diatribe with the ultimate cost finally being the loss of her her own marriage.

In this environment then, it was ripe for those with their own internalized homophobia to bolster their own flaccid self esteem in the guise of radio dj's, rock band fans and others. There was a very decisive demarcation in the sand. Rock = straight; Disco = gay After all, didn't disco put a band called The Village People into the faces of everyone, thereby cementing the wrong assumption that only gays like to dance?

Furthermore, all anyone had to do was point to the growing reports of the hedonism from such areas as Fire Island, Provincetown, San Francisco and even closer to home, Studio 54, Xenon's, Les Mouche, etc. and essentially the closed minded bigots of the world had their ammunition which lead up to the effigy of gays in the form of disco music to be burned in the sacred shrine of, where else, but a Baseball Field.

The sad reality is that by 1977-1978 disco was actually getting better. Personally, I didn't care for too many songs and artists in the earliest parts of the disco movement and was totally happy when Giorgio Moroder and others of similar synthesized skill came upon the scene.

While the music was getting better, the sexually insecure drove their phobia home with a their symbolic witch burning in a a Baseball Field and rather than combat it, the labels followed suit, probably in part due to the growing fear from the religious right wing groups who still remain as a stain on sensible humanity.

Once 1982 rolled around and the AIDS crisis hit hard, fear reigned and everyone remotely thought to be gay was considered suspect. The religious right wing declared a "victory" for God and everyone's paranoia just escalated.

We lived in an age of ignorance and repression which was fueled from the pulpit to the media. Disco simply went back underground only to sprout and grow into the various hybrids of "dance" music we know today.


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 Post subject: Interesting.
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:17 pm 
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When I started reading your post Mike, I laughed at first. But, it was well written and has merit. I will take a few hours to think about it, and,LOL, of all things, to watch the All-Star Baseball Game tonight. Then I will give a respectful and extremely honest response. Til later, chew on this guys. He does have a point.-- Pete

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:39 pm 
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I forgot to also mention that around that time, Donna Summer had become "born again" and was reported to have said "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." Now, I personally did NOT hear her say this but I DO have a newspaper clipping from the NY Daily News that stated this.

Also, as far as Rick Dees is concerend, anyone Spanish will appreciate what I am about to say and how the homophobia was sometimes blatant and sometimes covert.

The word for duck in Spanish is Pato. Pato is also a derisive comment someone Spanish would call a "faggot." Now translate it for the English speaking Disco market and insted of Disco Pato, you have Disco Duck. Why else choose a duck and not some other creature that was more popular like a mouse or a chipmunk?


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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:06 am 
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mavjb, I can understand your point of view but it's limited to certain areas. I can see it in the hick and conservative states, but definitely not in New York, South Florida and parts of California. Having said that, I believe a number of factors caused the demise of "Disco". All of which have been stated in this thread.

The terminology may be passé, but its influence is definitely in most music these days especially in house music. So in essence it's still here but camouflaged.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:19 am 
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COULD'NT OF PUT IT BETTER RAY


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 Post subject: The reasons why??
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:35 am 
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I agree with Pete and Ray; and the HOMOPHOBIA angle? I think you are giving that too much credence. When you add up, and total, the number of "Straight" Discos and the number of "Gay" Discos. Gay clubs were a very Small percentage, granted in the big cities it was a bigger percentage, but still a minority. I wish I had numbers to back these statements, but I am assuming that I am close. 75% of the clubs were straight, 25% Gay. A backlash against Disco because of the sexual orientation is a bit self-centered. I will give you the fact, that there was a Big backlash against GAYS, but not solely in Discos. It was everywhere. You take too much credit for starting Disco, and you take too much credit for its demise. I have plenty of GAY friends, but they don't think like you do. They think that being GAY is hard anyhow, anywhere. But that is simply what they are, GAY. They think the Disco music started to suck, that is why it "died". Not because it was a way of getting back at anyone!! It might have had a small part, but not the Main reason. Only my opinion


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 Post subject: Why The Term had to go
 Post Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:13 am 
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Mike gave us ANOTHER reason, but not as big a reason as he thinks it is. I was in Jersey/New York City in the beginning of the end. Of my "crew", none were Gay. I just didn't know many Gay men, or at least those that were "out Of The Closet" My best friend's little brother was/is Gay, but he hung out with all these fine chicks. We were victims of ANTI-DISCO rockers too. They couldn't DANCE!! They were lazy, arrogant and stupid, and didn't get laid as much as we did. They resented that. They only got the same women all the time. DISCO guys, had a much, much larger "variety" of women to have sex with. That, I believe is a bigger reason for the DISCO SUCKS movement. ROCK was afraid they were going to the back burner. And they did!! In fact, they were removed from the stove altogether, by the off-springs of DISCO!! Rockers were losing the battle, think about all the "rock" bands that jumped on the DISCO bandwagon. Come on, J GIALS BAND, ZZ TOP, THE POLICE, PINK FLOYD, QUEEN and the greatest Rock band of all times The ROLLING STONES!! The Rock movement were pissed off! The TERM had to go!! Too much "Backlash"! So we called it Dance Music, Freestyle, Hip-Hop, Techno, House, Trance, Dance Oriented Rock. Whatever. It was DISCO with a different TERM. DISCO never Died, it changed terms!!i


Now, Let's Talk About Mikes second point. My pet peeve, DISCO DUCK. Do you really think that that complete assh*** RICK DEES was smart enough to think of all that? I can't give him that much credit. He was a piece of Sh** who if I ever saw walking down the street would get the biggest beating I have ever handed out.....And I have handed out some vicious beatings in my life (mostly to Rockers). So while a funny point, DISCO PATO was not an attack on GAY men, but a slap to the face of all DISCO. God I would give a years salary to get RICK DEES in the ring!! I would be proud to be a RICK DEES BASHER. Mike, he isn't that smart!!!

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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:58 am 
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It wasn't meant to imply that homophobia was the ony reason.

Ckeck the opening of the post as it clearly states, "I think part of the death of disco also had to do with homophobia." NOTE: emphasis on the word "part" which is not meant to imply "only."


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