Comiskey Park had seen more than its share of oddball promotions, what with White Sox owner Bill Veeck’s penchant for the colorful (a scoreboard that lit up and exploded with fireworks) and the offbeat (having his players wear shorts). But nothing compared to Disco Demolition Night, staged at Comiskey on this summer Thursday evening. Anyone bringing a disco album to the game—a night double-header between the White Sox and Detroit Tigers—would be admitted for just 98 cents. Between games, radio personality Steve Dahl—then the morning man for rock music station WLUP-FM—would blow up those disco albums with fireworks.
Dahl, who had been fired from WDAI-FM when that station switched to an all-disco format, had garnered national recognition for his crusade against what he called “Disco Dystrophy.” Comiskey was filled to capacity; the official attendance was more than 59,000. An estimated 15,000 fans milled outside the park.After the first game, which the Sox lost 4-1, Dahl ceremoniously blew up a crate filled with disco records. All was orderly up to that point. But as Dahl finished, thousands of fans stormed onto the field, tearing up clumps of sod, burning signs, knocking over a batting cage and flinging records like so many Frisbees. Police arrested 37 people; by the time order was restored, the grounds were little more than a grassy moonscape. The second game was canceled and later awarded to the Tigers by forfeit.
Later, some blamed Dahl; some blamed Veeck. Howard Cosell even blamed then-White Sox announcer Harry Caray, saying Caray contributed to a “carnival” atmosphere. In reality, a handful of rowdies had taken advantage of a situation for which stadium security was woefully unprepared. “I never thought that I, a stupid disc jockey, could draw 70,000 people to a disco demolition,” Dahl said in a Tribune interview. “Unfortunately, some of our followers got a little carried away.” That was the last anti-disco rally for WLUP. But it brought Dahl national attention and established him as a radio superstar in Chicago.
I wanted to randomly share this, because its just a strange and almost amusing mini-episode in American history. The following is an article from 1979:
Steve Dahl’s Disco Demolition at Comiskey Park
JULY 12, 1979
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