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Rock Sox Disco Sux

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Run Time
0h 11m 45s
Format
Super-8mm
Color
Color
Sound
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
1979
Abstract
Super 8mm film documenting "Disco Demolition Night," which took place after game one of a July 12, 1979 doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers at Comiskey Park in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood.

The anti-disco promotion was spearheaded by White Sox owner Bill Veeck along with shock jock Steve Dahl of 97.9 FM WLUP "The Loop," a Chicago rock station. Attendees were able to attend the games for only 98 cents if they turned in a disco record; between the doubleheader’s games, all the donated records would be blown up in center field. The White Sox were forced to forfeit the second game when the promotion went off the rails, when anti-disco demonstrators rioted on the field and caused significant damage to the park. The riot resulted in at least nine injuries and 39 arrests.

Note: the magnetic soundtrack from this film has not be digitized at this time.
Description
The film begins with a shot of WLUP spokesmodel Lorelei Shark shot off of a television set. The film then turns to Comiskey Park, as a larger-than-expected crowd of anti-discoers wait outside in t-shirts printed with statements such as "Disco Destruction Army" and "Fuck the Bee Gees." Shark is then interviewed on the baseball field before throwing out the first pitch. Radio personality Steve Dahl shakes hands with shaggy-haired teenage boys in the crowd. Leisure-suited Alan Cassman expressively sings the National Anthem in front of over 48,000 guests (the White Sox had been drawing fewer than 10,000 on an average game day).
 
Meanwhile, outside the stadium, a counter-demonstration of disco fans dance next to a WDAI 94.7 FM Disco Radio banner. One WDAI sign has been vandalized with the word "SUCKS."
 
A huge overflow crowd is now gathered outside Comiskey Park. Some people throw records at the side of the stadium, and broken discs can be seen on the ground. A man drives a cart with two cardboard boxes full of disco records into the stadium. Dahl's broadcast partner Garry Meier, wearing a "Disco SUCKS!" pin on his hat, is interviewed from the passenger seat of a Jeep, which then drives Dahl, dressed in army fatigues and a helmet, into the stadium. Shark, Meier, and Dahl (Village People record in-hand) walk to the pitcher's mound as night falls. A crowd of photographers and journalists swarm them as they lead the crowd in chants of "Disco sucks!" Filmmaker Bill Stamets is well-positioned and films Dahl and co. from a close, low angle as they sing for the crowd.
 
A fuse is ignited and fire moves towards the crate of vinyl records, which eventually bursts into flames and explodes. Dahl and the rest of the WLUP gang speed out the centerfield gate in a Jeep.
 
Next, black-and-white footage of a baseball game is filmed off of a TV set. Now shooting from the announcers booth, Stamets captures Harry Caray trying to restore order to the stadium as thousands of rioters run onto the field. Chicago police try to clear the field as a small fire grows.
 
Next is a shot of an interview with Dahl filmed off of a television. The film ends with footage of Dahl playing in a Loop-sponsored softball game versus the rock band Journey in May 1980.
Main Credits
Stamets, Bill (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Dahl, Steve (is participant)
Shark, Lorelei (is participant)
Meier, Garry (is participant)
Caray, Harry (is participant)
Form
Short
Related Place
Chicago (depicts)