From the Archives: Invasion of the Disco Droids (1977)

in Culture

By Albert Goldman

Was Son of Sam the ultimate rock critic? When he loaded his machine gun to strafe that discotheque in Long Island, was he preparing to make a statement? To drown out with the rat-tat-tat of his deadly weapon the brazen new Beat for the Feet? We’ll never know—unless the New York D.A. subpoenas that 6,000-year-old dog that was giving Sam his orders. What we do know is that disco, as Charlie Parker said about bebop, “ain’t no love-child.”

Much of the resistance to the new style comes from people who want to stay tuned for the rest of their lives to rock. And whatever you say about disco, it is not a rehash of something you’ve heard a thousand times before or a pathetic attempt to turn the clock back to the Beatles at the Star Club.

Disco is to the doldrummed late Seventies very much what rock was to the late Sixties. It is a sudden stab of lightning through an atmosphere dense with piled-up tensions, frustrations and deadly boredom. Like rock it comes right up from the guts of our culture, from the ghettos and from the pits of technology: the factories, assembly lines and winky-blinky computer control panels. Disco right now is in that exciting takeoff stage where every day you discover some kooky new sound or some crazy concoction of art and technology that blows your mind. Though disco is too new, too immature, to have produced anything as good as the Beatles as yet, its creative potential is enormous. Already it has livened up our dull days with a whole new ambience that is not only exciting in itself, but powerfully suggestive of where this ever-changing society is heading next.

I started my exploration of the disco …

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Author: High Times / High Times

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