Disco Demolition Night became a fan riot set to Take Me Out to the Ball Game | The Worst

Disco Demolition Night became a fan riot set to Take Me Out to the Ball Game | The Worst

– [Narrator] A typical sports promotion consists of a bobblehead
giveaway or a mini bat day. Sometimes teams get creative, like toilet seat cushion night
for when the chili dog hits. And sometimes promotions get dangerous, like the riot-inducing 10-cent beer night, but riot or not, that’s just a great deal. One promotion, however, took booze and poured it all over the fire inside every disco
hater in 1970’s Chicago. Grab your right suits and Quaaludes, this is the Worst Sports Promotion. Comiskey Park, Chicago, July 12th, 1979 years after you know what. The lowly White Sox are playing a doubleheader against the Tigers, two games more than Chicago fans were interested in that year. White Sox owner Bill
Veeck and his son Mike, the promotions manager,
figured there wasn’t much they could do to get
baseball fans to the stadium, so they set their sights
on something people liked, something really big at the time, music. Earlier in the month, Sony
debuted their Walkman in Japan, setting the stage for that stack of Weird Al cassettes in your attic, and back in March, Phillips showcased a prototype for their
optical digital audio disc. Sounds like Communism to me, but it’s safe to say this is
a big year for the industry and the powdery white crest of this wave was shimmering under the
light of a hanging disco ball. The years following
the release of megastar John Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever saw disco music grip the top of the charts like Travolta’s package in those pants. But rock fans swelled with anger. They shouted in the
streets, “How dare people “have a different music taste than I?” And in a year that saw the release of ACDC’s Highway to Hell
and Pink Floyd’s The Wall, you’d think they’d be content listening to their records in peace out in the garage. But they weren’t, not with artists like Donna Summer topping the charts. The voice of this totally justified musical unrest was a man named Steve Dahl. Dahl was a radio shock
jock who lost his job at a rock station when it was
turned into a disco station, so he had no reason to be made
at disco music whatsoever. Dahl was picked up by a rival rock station and used his platform to drum up an army of people focused on one thing, telling the world that disco sucks. And I have to admit,
this is the kind of guy you wanna bring home to mom and dad. So Mike Veeck, desperate to get
bodies inside Comiskey Park, enlisted Dahl’s help in developing a promotion to fill the stands. The plan was if you bring
a disco record to the game, you get in for 98 cents,
a marketing ploy for Dahl, whose radio station was 97.9 WLUP. Then, in between the two
games of the doubleheader, Dahl will blow those (beep) records up. Sounds fun, right? At its’ core, the promotion worked. Over 50 thousand people crammed into Comiskey Park that night, up from 15 thousand the day before. One of many, many problems, however, was that Comiskey Park only had a capacity of around 44 thousand, and Mick Veeck, flexing
his preparation skills, hired enough security
for 35 thousand people. Actually, for 35 thousand baseball fans. But these weren’t baseball fans. It was a mix of Dahl’s
army of rock-hard renegades and anyone else looking to get wasted and strap a stick of
dynamite to the disco world. – [Announcer] They got a chant here. – [Narrator] Many of them even managed to sneak in their own liquor, because what’s the
point of watching things blow up without the hard stuff? They had no interest in the baseball game going on in front of them, so they chucked the empty
liquor bottles, firecrackers, and any records not handed in at the gate at the men in funny
clothes down on the field. Now, imagine playing baseball in front of 50 thousand drunk Kung Laos. (shouting) Most surprising of all, they
played the entire first game. Least surprising of
all, the White Sox lost. It was time for the evening’s main event, a crate of disco records
rigged with explosives and a shit-ton of fireworks
were placed in center field, right on the grass. Even your drunk uncle has the foresight to put a piece of wood down before removing his wedding ring the hard way. Then Steve Dahl, in full Army garb, drove across the field in a Jeep, presumably using the tires to flatten any divets made by the flying records. As 50 thousand people
chanted, “Disco sucks,” Dahl kept his promise and blew those records straight to hell, sending a message to the country that radio waves were
built for guitar solos and there are no other
motives for our actions. Then everyone sat back down and quietly watched the second game of the night. I mean, those drunk mother
(beep) hopped up on adrenaline and gunpowder fumes rushed
the field, set fires, and destroyed anything they
could get their hands on. Players locked themselves in the clubhouse and Harry Kerry sang Take
Me Out to the Ballgame, which, first off, was the last thing that would calm these people down and, second, is the
most amazing soundtrack to rioters destroying a baseball field. Police managed to settle everything down and when all was said and
done, 39 people were arrested. The second game was
forfeited since the field was not in playable condition, and the White Sox got one
more tick in the loss column. It was a massive failure for baseball and the White Sox specifically, but it was a win for rock music. The following years saw a rapid
decline in disco popularity and today radio, America’s
number one source of new music, is exclusively used for America’s number one music genre, rock, topping the charts with such bands as, oh, hey, Panic! at the Disco. Panic indeed, panic indeed.

Comments (100)

  1. bring back uffsides

  2. Events like these allow you to isolate the troublemakers in one place, and then…

  3. Didn't you guys already do this one? Somebody did idk I seent it like 6 months ago.

  4. Please bring back the original voice over guy, this is dude just doesn't fit this type of video series

  5. Id like to destroy every single record made after 2010

  6. He totally forgot “the year of our lord” in the intro smh. Bring back the other guy

  7. Ah Europe isn't just the only place for hooligans!

  8. Christopher Cross killed disco and you know it.

  9. This is pretty good, but there’s an episode of the dollop podcast that goes even more in depth if people want to learn even more about Disco Demolition Night

  10. I don’t think gunpowder fumes were the only fumes people were breathing in.

  11. Aren't you forgetting about the XFL?

  12. Let's have all Nickleback records destroyed. And CDs. And everything else by them.

  13. Fun fact this radio station became a christian rock station. The last thing they played before giving up the reigns? Highway to Hell. Rest in peace 97.9 <3

  14. man, i had such high hopes for this one. disappointed. couldve at least mentioned that the prevailing sound of contemporary American music – rap – grew from disco, with many early rap records consisting entirely of rapped verses performed over disco instrumentals.

  15. A record that I would destroy would probably be Disco Duck

  16. One of the most fascinating moments in Chicago sports history.

  17. Those White Sox uniforms should have been blown up along with the records 🙂

  18. I still think 10 cent beer night in Cleveland is still the worst promotion ever.

  19. 10¢ beer night was worse

  20. "Radio, America's number 1 source of new music…"
    Your deadpan delivery is spot on Mr.Imhoff

  21. As someone else said, the video totally glossed over the racism and homophobia a lot of people exuded during this.

    Also what’s hilarious, all of those people hated disco but bought a bunch of disco records to burn, so thanks for the free sales.

  22. The worst pre-season game: Cowboys Vs. Cardinals August 26, 2018

  23. I'd destroy any Nirvana album I could get my hands on… Laziest music ever.

  24. Just suggesting: The Worst Football Team Ever, feat. 2008 Detroit Lions?

  25. You gotta do The Worst Boxing Match Ever, And The Worst MMA Fight Ever.

  26. This would be a horrible idea anywhere but in Chicago? The only worse place to do this would have been detroit or Philadelphia

  27. The worst NFL quarterback – Nathan Peterman

  28. Actually Rap is the most listened genre nowadays

  29. Why did Jack Black blow up all those big CDs

  30. The anti-disco backlash of the late 1970s was mostly white-guy homophobia.

  31. Thank you so so so much for not saying "the year of our lord". THANK YOU

  32. Ohhhhh… the 70’s

  33. Rap music became first I think this summer. But good vid

  34. Why does Jack Black hate disco so much?

  35. Atleast they put an end to that fake ass music!!

  36. Wow some crazy shits happened in the past. Unthinkable to have similar today… great video btw

  37. This is so awesome

  38. Dime beer night anyone?

  39. I love Classic rock and metal but if I grew up in that era I'd be a closet disco fan hey there was some good stuff Bee Gees Donna Summer Kc and the Sunshine Band music was so much better

  40. Bunch of cry babies, some people can't appreciate all good music, can't have it their way, so they pout ! Now we have Rap and it won't go away, 54,000 people hated Disco and millions liked it !

  41. Well, they were acing like a bunch of adolescents having a drunk ritual. I love disco music.

  42. Irony, this is the same year a team using a piece of disco music as their theme (The Pirates with "We are Family" by Sister Sledge) won the World Series.

  43. And the Loop 97.9 is now a Christian station, K-Love

  44. they need to bring stuff like this back to baseball

  45. 50 Thousand Drunk Kung Laos awesome

  46. Wait but queen is considered a rock band why would they have a decline granted they are pop rock

  47. Rock is not the #1 music genre in 2018/19

  48. So apparently disco haters all had a lot of homophobia in the mix since Disco had gay elements in it. Allegedly, but not surprising. This was basically the Alt Right trolls and Gamergate 30+ years beforehand.

  49. if you think panic at the disco is rock then you my friend should trade in your testicles.

  50. Clearly a mistake – this was obviously a pilot episode for The Greatest.

  51. I'd like to destroy Revival by Eminem

  52. Quotes from Disco Demolition Night:
    Veeck-This is Bill Veeck! Please clear the park or we'll have to call off the game and close the park!
    Harry Carey- Can you hear me out there? HOLY COW!! What say we all regain our seats, so we can play baseball again?
    Piersall- Jimmy Piersall back in the ballpark, and I am sure glad that they don't let you see what is going on here at Comiskey Park! One of the saddest sights I have ever seen in a ballpark in my life! This garbage of demolishing a record, has turned into a fiasco!
    Harry Carey upon the Chicago Police Department coming onto the field- Now the police are out on the field! Boy, oh boy!

  53. Cmon…its Chicago. No shock that they were idiots

  54. In the comments: White people white peopling. Disco was one of the greatest musical movements of all time, and birthed hip hop (currently the most popular genre). They were insanely talented musicians and vocalists, with ten times more emotion and soul than any rock bands at the time. That's why Bowie shifted in that direction, he recognized how dope it was.

    Ignoring the fact that the anti-disco movement was anti-African American is just stupid. This video is dense and the narrator is stiff.

  55. Panic at the disco sucks. But pretending that they are “disco” so it works for your story is asinine

  56. Michael Jackson isn't Rock and Roll lol!

  57. Thank god rock finally died during the 2000’s hopefully country music is next

  58. Steve Dahl. Never liked that guy, but he gave the Tigers a win.

  59. I love this story

  60. This video makes me want to do cocaine

  61. My teacher said he was at this as a kid. He saw people having sex at first base and so many random fights as a kid.

  62. bunch of dumbasses

  63. Disco really had become unbearable by this time, not because all of if was bad, but because there was so much of it and so much of it was bad. It had even infected car ads, movie soundtracks, and … Ethyl Merman, for Christ's sake. But the death of disco was a hollow victory. Rock music just got more "kick ass", and boring, while disco didn't really go away, it just became more electronic, and monotonous. Nothing was called disco by 1982, but most of the crap Madonna was making would have been called disco if it had come out 5 years earlier, and it totally lacked most of the musicianship that went into the better disco records (eg. "Disco Inferno" or "Don't leave me this way."); it was just a woman who could barely sing and bunch of machines.

  64. "How dare these people have a different music taste than I!" Perfectly sums up this bullshit.

  65. It was after this fiasco that Mike Veeck was fired by his own father and blacklisted from all MLB Venues for life.

  66. To this day Dahl's shtick is "I'm the Disco demolition guy!"

  67. A critical point missed about the decline in disco that happened right after this… this event, with the amount of national TV coverage it received, is credited with being a big part in disco's decline, and is actually named the death of disco / the night disco died.

  68. Destroy any rap record

  69. As someone who was born and raised in Wisconsin, I can say that Chicago is a trash city for trash people

  70. There needs to be a shitskin Crap music demolition night complete with hangings

  71. LOL! What a night! As a record collector, it hurt my heart to see those records being destroyed. I'm sure that sifting through all of those shitty Bee Gees, Donna Summer, and Sylvester records there were probably some real gems. I think a lot of people just took records that had anyone with an afro and just assumed it as disco (facepalm)!

  72. Sorry to say but this was tame compared to the Indians 10 cent beer night.

  73. Three American League Forfeits in the 1970s, Disco Demolition Night in Chicago Ten Cent beer night in Cleveland. And the last Washington Senators game at RFK

  74. This forgot the racism and homophobia

  75. What this guy doesn't know that this night birthed the creation of house music.. You my friend are an idiot!

  76. 1979: "yeah, this will show those disco lovers, disco will never be popular again!"
    1982: Michael Jackson's Thriller album becomes the best selling album of all times

  77. What is new a self righteous hipster reading to hard into things.

  78. It'd be cool if we had "Rap Demolition Night" and have the crowd chant "RAP IS CRAP!"

  79. 1:27 before it was named Saturday night live

  80. OMG this guy is hilarious!

  81. I'd only go to watch sport for 98 cents

  82. Today is July 12th, 2019. Happy 40th to this abomination!

  83. If you thought that was bad, look at how well Ten Cent Beer Night worked out in Cleveland 5 years prior.

  84. I have to say thank you my friend. That was the most enjoyable and informative vid I have seen you in a long time… Keep it up!👊

  85. Today they would be chanting 'EDM sucks'

  86. Donna Summer was an angel- long live the Queen!

  87. This is nothing compared to Ten Cent Beer Night.

  88. Incidents like these if it happened today there's no doubt several fans would've been banished either a year or life. The white Sox were still a winless Franchise and had been for years even if they had great players that were on other great teams. This event may had prompted interest to the Sox team and within four years they would finally get a winning seaso their first since 1959. 32 years later they'll finally win a world series their first since 1917 but it very much is a afterthought cause The White Sox are still a team no one takes seriously.

  89. The 70's—my childhood…i remember this like yesterday…our local news(Memphis)couldnt stop talking about it.

  90. Man before people had youtube comments to express how much popular music is inferior to alternative genres things were insane.

  91. Disco does indeed suck though.

  92. ….. and House music was born! (In my Chuck Roberts preacher voice) 👉🏼

  93. "Least surprising of all? The white sox lost". Still relevant in 2019.

  94. Just a point of information, using the albums Highway To Hell & The Wall are very poor examples considering that Disco Demolition night happened on 12th July when the albums were released on 27th July and 30th November respectively.

    Rock albums actually released before the event:
    Van Halen II
    Overkill (Motorhead)
    Breakfast in America (Supertramp)
    Communique (Dire Straits)
    New Values (Iggy Pop)
    Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young)

  95. Now this is what rock fans in 2019 has to do to hip hop records to keep rock music alive

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