Throwback Thursday: ‘Disco Demolition Night’ Causes Riot At Tigers/White Sox Game This Week In 1979
By 1979, Disco music was dominating the air waves and night clubs everywhere. Even the hottest rock acts of the day like The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, and KISS were recording disco tunes. Despite its popularity, disco sparked a backlash from rock music fans who preferred Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, and Led Zeppelin.
Chicago disc jockey Steve Dahl decided that music fans had had enough of disco and organized ‘Disco Demolition Night’ at Comiskey Park on July 12, 1979 between games of a doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers.
In the weeks prior to the event Dahl invited his listeners to bring records they wanted to see destroyed to Comiskey Park. At the climax of the event, a crate filled with disco records would be blown up on the field. Many of those in attendance had come to see the explosion rather than the games and rushed onto the field after the detonation. The playing field was damaged both by the explosion and by the rowdy fans to the point where the White Sox were required to forfeit the second game of the doubleheader to the Tigers.
Jeremiah Graves from BleacherReport.com writes, “To this day Disco Demolition Night stands in infamy as one of the most ill-advised promotions of all-time, but arguably one of most successful as 30 years later we’re all still talking about it.”