Welcome back to the American Top 40 Flashback! I’m bringing you back to the artists and events that took place during this weekend’s American Top 40 episode, and the big current events around that time. So let’s hop in Casey’s time machine and head to August 11, 1979.
The Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Field in Chicago had just happened a month earlier, when a White Sox baseball promotion admitted fans into the twi-night doubleheader for 98¢ if they brought a disco record to destroy, leaving fans with plenty of beer money. Trouble started brewing as inebriated fans began Frisbee tossing records at the visiting Tigers on the field. At intermission, they packed thousands of vinyl records into a giant box in center field, and with three loud explosions, blew them sky high. Smoke and mayhem ensued and the second game was cancelled after disgruntled fans poured onto the field and refused to leave. Someone stole second base – literally, and the field was finally deemed unfit for professional play after records burned in center field.
Disco had a strong run, but also generated pent-up hostility from rock music fans until things finally burst. Disco was over. I love rock as much as the next guy, but how can you dislike a great disco hit by the Bee Gees, KC & The Sunshine Band or Chic?
Other things that happened this week in 1979:
- Patrick Hernandez becomes the first French singer to reach the Top 40.
- “Get the Knack,” The Knack’s first LP is compared to the success of “Meet the Beatles.”
- Led Zeppelin rocks the Knebworth House Festival in Hertfordshire, England on Aug 11, 1979, their first gig in England in four years. Crowd estimates were between 100,000 and 200,000. Other acts on the bill: Marshall Tucker Band and Todd Rundgren.
- Earlier in the week at a Marshall Tucker Band show in Long Beach, CA, a crazed fan steals a car in the parking lot and attempts to drive it into the arena. He made it through two sets of doors and a concrete wall.
- Kiss is on tour, and the Memphis set list for August 12th included: “Calling Dr. Love,” “New York Groove,” “Christine Sixteen,” “Love Gun,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Beth” and…”Rock And Roll All Nite!” Where’s my lighter man?!!!