1979 Disco World Championship


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/03/20/1979-disco-world-championship.html


Having watched both parts of the original audio version (which disappointingly includes the intro of the finalists and the awards ceremony but nothing in between), some thoughts:

  1. this is my kind of reality competition. No fluff, no long overproduced profiles of the contestants, just introduce everyone, have them dance for the judges, and then the judges vote and you have a winner, all done in one or two episodes.

  2. The prizes are quite modest: £2000 for second and third place, £6000 plus a high end stereo system plus a 1 week vacation for two in NYC (with travel to London from wherever, then first class travel by Concorde from London to NYC and back) for first place.

  3. Good god it’s hard to appreciate just how thoroughly the world glommed on to gay house party music (AKA “disco”) in the 70’s.



Interesting how many “disco moves” foreshadow/take from famous dance trends. We have a terrible “broken robot” right out of the gate, then some actual robot later on. We have Michael Jackson moves, down to the short pants & white socks. The breakdancing elements are represented in different ways, along with classic dance floor spins, wiggles, martial arts, ethnic dance, sashays…even a Super Mario jump. Interesting to see how distinct each manages to be. Remember disco haters, dance music has brought a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people.


Those clothes, tho. Those manic dance moves. I remember disco days well.


And just how much advertising can you fit in there? Imagine being the guy who figured out you can pad it with fluff and quadruple your ad revenues, and people will watch every second?



And then a scant 8 years later, this:
(note: host refers to them as ‘bad boys’ … sure…)

Someone needs to do a followup and find out what these guys are doing now, … what were they thinking, so on.


I prefer “Unsung” but thanks for the auditory antidote, nonetheless.

@Alvin_Goodman: Oy. I just sent that link to my fave gay friend and he just replied, “What’s THIS gay-ass bullshit?!” LOL


seeing the transmission of dance moves to and from disco is one of the things that also makes watching old Soul Train episodes so fun. proto-hip hop stuff, pop & lock, classic tapdance, on and on.

you know, that reminds me: i was alive during disco’s entire run, and i’ve been an avid thrift store haunter since the mid 1980s, and watching stuff like Soul Train and this reminds me that i have NEVER seen clothes like this in any thrift, anywhere. where did all the clothes that those dancers and the audience wear GO? an entire generation couldn’t have all decided to just throw away, burn, or destroy their wardrobes…


Could it be the pickers for the high end secondhand boutiques get there 1st? Some of them have deals to see stock before it hits the floor. I don’t think you really want that diaper thing anyway.


i don’t know for sure, but i’d suspect that pickers and high-end secondhand boutiques were not the thing in the mid-80s that they are now. people have really turned around on the concept of thrift stores. they used to have a stigma attached to them, but now i think people look to them as a way to score deals for resale on ebay or whatever.


There were totally high end resale boutiques in the East Village in the 80’s. It may have been too soon for disco clothes though. In the 80’s the best stuff was from the 50’s and early 60’s. I once found a thrift on LI that had gotten the skinny silk tie collection of a dead guy, like hundreds in series of colors and patterns. The ones I bought sat in the closet for decades, till my son went to a HS with a dress code requiring a tie!


Actually I posted it for the Downtown Julie Brown quote…


yeah, that makes sense to me (time-wise). but that’s back to my original point: even if it took until the '90s for all those '70s disco clothes to surface, i still have never seen anything like the clothes people are shown wearing in all the videos we’ve seen. and by the '90s i’m sure the disco look (especially from during the glammy heyday) would’ve sent pickers and high-end boutiques running screaming. it’s like all those clothes were just beamed off the planet.


Oh yeah, Downtown Julie Brown! Love that record.


Would you buy a used disco leotard? The crystallized salt and urea would probably cut you if you tried to put it on.


of course i would. it’s not like i wouldn’t wash it before wearing it! : P


When a gay person calls something gay, you know it must be VERY gay.


This, definitely this.