In my last post, I sarcastically repented of being a chauvinistic, misogynistic, homophobic racist for my hatred of Disco. Bruce Shulman, in his book on the 70s, essentially blamed the backlash against disco on white guys with such characteristics. In this post, I will defend my choice of music and to show why I’m none of those things because of my taste in music. Furthermore, I am going to try to redeem the music of the 70s. Despite Disco, there really was some good music from that decade and now, thanks to Pandora Radio, I’m again listening to it. Some of the music, like Rick Wakeman’s albums, I’ve not heard since I got rid of my vinyl records in the mid-80s when I left the South to continue my schooling.
It’s hard to believe now, but AM radio stations controlled the airways at the beginning of the 70s. Top 40 stations were all in vogue and on Sunday’s, after church, we’d listen to Casey Kasen’s weekly countdown. With AM radio, I don’t know how I ever became familiar with albums like “In the Court of the Crimson Kings.” As the decade progressed, the AM stations caught Disco Fever. Instead of playing the music of groups like the Eagles, Chicago and Elton John, they flocked to groups like the Bee Gees, K. C. and the Sunshine Band and the Village People. At that point, many of us made the switch to “album stations” on the FM dial. These stations played music that didn’t fit into the top 40 genre. Here, I became aware of wonderful music by groups like Yes, Steely Dan, Emerson,
Now let me defend myself of my sarcastically repented sins. If I was a chauvinistic and misogynistic, would have own the first two Heart albums (“Dreamboat Annie” and “Magic Man”)? I even saw them in concert in the mid-70s. Or would I consider Carol King’s “Tapresty” one of the greatest all time albums? And if I was truly homophobic, would I have listened to Elton John (admittedly, this was before he sang at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding) or Joe Jackson (not the baseball player)? And how about Traffic’s “Low Spark of the High Heel Boys”? That may not actually be a gay song, but “high heel boys does create an image with which I have a hard time. And I hate to admit it, but I even once liked Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” (now, when this song comes on and my daughter is in the car, I quickly change stations). As for a racist, during the late 70s I worked at a bakery and in the shipping area there were often radios blaring. Most of my colleagues there were African-American and they were certainly NOT listening to disco. In fact, most of them thought disco was a white corruption of their music. Of course, they always wanted me to “get down” whenever Wild Cherry came on singing “Play that funky music, White Boy.” Admittedly, we were all still more into the Motown sound, which I think is some of the best music ever recorded. And then there was Jimmy Hendrix.
So, Mr. Shulman, as much as I appreciated the rest of your book, your thesis about the disco backlash is full of crap. And as I finished this piece, Pandora Radio was playing the classic Yes song, "Yours in No Disgrace."
In Other News: This is crunch week as the big move occurs… In my spare time, I’m working on finishing up my 1987
I should write a post about that jerk down in