Chicago White Sox to Celebrate the Day Disco Died
Disco Demolition DJ Steve Dahl will be on hand to throw out the first pitch.
July 12, 1979, is a date etched in infamy for both baseball and disco fans alike. The unexpected pop culture crossover moment is what’s become known as the Disco Demolition, the night when radio DJ Steve Dahl hosted an anti-disco rally at a Chicago White Sox game that turned into a full-fledged riot.
According to to Robert Feder, the White Sox have invited Dahl to throw out the first pitch on June 13 in recognition of the fortieth anniversary of the incident. The team will even distribute Disco Demolition t-shirts to the first 10,000 fans in attendance, as part of Free T-Shirt Thursday. See the shirt design below.
The event has long been criticized as thinly-veiled racism and homophobia expressed under the guise of “Disco Sucks,” with Rolling Stone writer Dave Marsh commenting later that same year, “White males eighteen to thirty-four are the most likely to see disco as the product of homosexuals, blacks, and Latins, and therefore they’re the most likely to respond to appeals to wipe out such threats to their security.”
“I’m worn out from defending myself [from accusations of being] a racist homophobe for fronting Disco Demolition,” Dahl told Chicago Magazine in 2016. “This event was not racist, not antigay. It is important to me that this is viewed from the lens of 1979. That evening was a declaration of independence from the tyranny of sophistication… We were just kids pissing on a musical genre.”