When disco shimmered into being back in the 70’s, I wasn’t really into it. In fact I used to have a tee-shirt that said Disco Sucks on it and a few friends and I made our disdain official by creating a mock anti-disco club, printing membership cards and ceremoniously (snickering to ourselves all the while) placing them in the Class of 79 time capsule. I was in a dance contest in Bangor once, with my then-boyfriend, and while we were surrounded by flashy, hustling disco dancers we rebelliously did our own free-style rock thing and won! Dancing in our own spotlight in the huge darkened Navy warehouse to We are the Champions was a teenage highlight. I get all fuzzy and heart-thumpy to this day when I hear that song.
Of course I wouldn’t admit it back then, but I was a closet disco dancer. There’s something about that thrumming beat that pulls you out to the dance floor. I had some brown silk pants, platform shoes, and an off the shoulder peasant blouse, with a cool hat on top of my carefully feathered hair, and went out to a dance one night, I believe with Hannah and her slinky-shirted, (younger) tight pant (oh my!) wearing date who had the moves, baby! If you went off the island to the thriving megatropolis of Mount Vernon, you could go to an all-ages discothèque, complete with lighted panel dance floor! I only went once, outwardly above it all, but inwardly enthralled. It was magical. My parents (Abba freaks) went to a disco on a visit to Spokane and saw a guy wearing a glow-in-the-dark arrow necklace, and promptly ordered some for all of us from a magazine. (That’s where I get that impulse-purchasing thing from!)
For the last few weeks I’ve been compiling 70’s songs for our upcoming 70’s-themed Halloween party. I tell you it’s overwhelming, daunting, crazy-making even, taking an entire decade of truly great songs and fitting them into a single party play list! I have almost 10 hours already and I haven’t even touched some of the classics. Besides all the great rock, I’ve been having a blast with the disco music I never had. When the beat finally starts on Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, it’s like I’ve released my inner drag queen—forget the fact I’m a woman, that’s not how I dance to it; it’s too wonderfully campy to do it straight. I become a simpering, prancing, Disco Diva. No wonder it’s taking so long to get this play list together!
The other morning before work we had one of the disco compilation CDs playing (Hannah’s been generously feeding us them—thank you), and after Joe left I finished getting ready, and came out and had to dance to Abba’s Gimme Gimme Gimme (a man after midnight), and couldn’t stop when It’s Raining Men followed it. I called Joe on his cell phone and told him very seriously I couldn’t leave the house….I was having a Disco Breakdown, and proceeded to dance and sing very loudly into the phone for him. Because it’s best to share those kinds of things. So dance!