Disco Sucks? / by Dana Bergstrom

During the 1970s and 80s my family would take a road trip nearly every summer.

We'd visit different parts of the country and go sightseeing along the way.

As a kid I saw lots of cool places because of these vacations.

But what am I remembering most about the trips now?

The bathrooms.

I sat in many stalls across our fine nation where scrawled on the wall in gigantic, angry letters was "DISCO SUCKS".

Scribbled nearby there was usually a bigger "ROCK N' ROLL FOREVER".

Sometimes the words had been furiously crossed out, but were still legible under the deep scratches.

"What the heck is going on here?" my young mind wondered. "Why is everybody so worked up about disco? And what is disco?"

A music-based civil war was going on, leaving thousands of scarred, wooden bathroom doors as casualties, while tiny, American children emptied their bladders in utter confusion!

I didn't know how music was labeled.

All I knew is that some songs made me waaaay happier than others.

I mean, I'd hear "Wildfire", the tune about the horse who got lost and died in a Midwestern blizzard, and I'd start bawling.

Or "Hotel California" would come on the radio and the Eagles would sing "You can check in any time you'd like, but you can never leave".

Creepy chills ran down my spine every time.





I'd immediately turn the station, unless, of course, I was feeling extra brave that day.

But Donna Summer's "Bad Girls", OOOOOH! that was an entirely different thing.

The pulsing beat overwhelmed me and I ignored the words entirely except for "Toot Toot! Yeaaaaah! Beep Beep!"

I'd leap to my feet and start spinning with pure joy.

Nobody was held against their will in this song!

Oh wait.

Now that I think about it, that may not be true.

Isn't the song about prostitution?


I always forget that.

A fast paced tune with so much booty shaking glee does that to me.


So much for my fun, light hearted disco example!

Now erase that from your mind with a Toot Toot! and a Beep Beep!


All better!

I saw this shirt the other day and it made me laugh.

It also brought all of these childhood memories flooding back.

I think the shirt was designed by a defensive 1970s disco lover who spent lots of time with a utility knife, crossing out DISCO SUCKS in bathrooms.

Man, I really want to buy this shirt. I'm totally crazy about disco.

But I won't be getting it.

Because the t-shirt is a lying liar.

It implies that some people can't dance and that's just not true.

There is not a WRONG WAY to express yourself to music.

I mean, sure, I won't buy a ticket and sit to watch a dance show where people can't find the beat with their body, but I would never say that anyone can't dance.

To me, that's like saying a person can't have a heartbeat.

Everybody has a heartbeat and therefore, in my happy, sparkly, disco ball world, everybody can dance!

Some just dance in sync with the music's rhythm and others don't.

The only thing that matters to me is that the dancer is enjoying themselves.

Someday I'd love to have a space where people can come and move to music in whatever way they want.

My dance floor would be a no judgment zone.

Jump offbeat, do somersaults, crawl around like a lizard, or move like Karate Kid at my place! I don't care!

Some people may have told you that you can't dance but that's only because they don't know better.

So I'm puttin' the dream out there.

A big space with bumpin' speakers for Dana's Daily Dance Party.

Sweat your prayers.

Lay it all out on the floor.

Pure dance freedom.

And happy, bouncy funk, disco and soul music for all.