Curbside Splendor will publish DISCO DEMOLITION: the Death of Disco by Steve Dahl with Dave Hoekstra and Paul Natkin in April of 2016.
On July 12, 1979, Chicago rock 'n' roll station 97.9 WLUP-FM "The Loop" and the Chicago White Sox organized "Disco Demolition" as an attempt to drive attendance to a day-night double header with the Detroit Tigers. Any fan who brought a disco record to demolish at the game would be admitted for just $.98.
Organizers hoped to draw 20,000 fans to "Old Comiskey" Park that night. They ended up cramming 70,000 people into the 50,000 person capacity stadium. After the White Sox dropped the first game, Loop DJ Steve Dahl and his crew blew up a large box of disco records at center field, and led the boozy, standing-room-only crowd in chanting, "Disco sucks!" As smoke from the smoldering pile of Disco albums rolled into the stands, raucous fans began rushing the field. The insanity that followed resulted in the cancellation of the second game—the first time in history that a major league game was called off due to a publicity stunt. In the years since "Disco Demolition" has grown in infamy, developing a legendary status as an extreme publicity event gone awry, a historic moment in MLB history, and a symbolic and controversial clashing of cultures.
Disco Demolition: The Death of Disco is the story of that night, told by those who experienced it firsthand. The beautifully designed book will feature interviews with Mike Veeck (son of former White Sox president Bill Veeck), disco artist Nile Rodgers, former and current White Sox players, including radio play-by-play man Ed Farmer, house music DJs, and many others. It will also provide an immersive visual narrative of the night through Paul Natkin's exclusive on-the-field and behind-the-scenes photographs of "Disco Demolition," the events leading up to it, and its aftermath. And for the first time, Steve Dahl will narrate his version of the event, explaining the motivations behind "Disco Demolition," recalling his memories of the night, and discussing its legacy.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Steve Dahl is an American radio personality, humorist, and podcaster. Born in California, he is the owner of the subscription-based Steve Dahl Network and broadcasts weekday afternoons on WLS-AM. A member of the Radio Hall of Fame, Dahl broadcast from Detroit stations WABX and WWWW before moving to Chicago in 1978 where he worked for WCKG, WDAI, WLUP, WMVP and WLS. He served as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, has appeared in several films and is considered a pioneer in talk radio influencing many other radio personalities. Dahl resides in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife Janet and is father to three adult sons and has several grandchildren.
2013 Studs Terkel Community Media Award Winner Dave Hoekstra was a Chicago Sun-Times columnist-critic from February, 1985 to March, 2014 and is host of "The Nocturnal Journal," Saturday nights on WGN-AM, 720 Chicago. Hoekstra's work has appeared in Playboy, the Chicago Reader and the Journal of Country Music. He is the author of several books, including his forthcoming book on soul food and the civil rights movement (October 2015, Chicago Review Press). For the past 23 years Hoekstra has written a regular baseball column for the Midwest League’s Kane County Cougars in Geneva, IL., and the best of those columns were compiled in Cougars, Snappers and Loons (Oh My!) (Can't Miss Press, 2009). He lives in Chicago.
Paul Natkin learned photography in the trenches, working with his father, the team photographer of the Chicago Bulls in the late 1970’s. He shot sports in the Chicago area for five years before he discovered music photography in 1976. He has toured the world with The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Brian Wilson and many others. He also served as the official photographer of the Oprah Winfrey Show from 1986-1992. He has photographed magazine covers for Newsweek (Bruce Springsteen), Ebony (Tina Turner), Spin (Axl Rose), and People (Prince). See his work online at www.natkin.net.
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