Before The Storm, After The Sunshine Band: The Prelude To Disco Demolition Night

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Our attention was brought to this collection of 35 rare photos taken prior to a Tigers/White Sox game on July 12, 1979. Not hours later, Comiskey Park would play host to the figurative end of the 70s, and the closest thing to a riot at an American sporting event since.

They're part of the collection of Diane Alexander White, a Chicago photographer who managed to catch the crowd filing in before the first game of the doubleheader. Mike Veeck, in conjuction with a pair of local DJs, had offered 98-cent admission to the park to anyone who brought old disco records. Between games, the records were to be collected in a giant crate and blown up in center field. We don't need hindsight to know it was a terrible idea.

And yet it's the hindsight of how it would all go down that make these photos so fascinating. Lurking within the stoner rock kids, nary a White Sox cap or haircut among them, is a palpable sense not of menace, but of gleeful destruction for destruction's sake.


Oh, that hair. And oh, that Schlitz beer.


Disco Demolition Comiskey Park July 12, 1979 [Diane Alexander White Photography]
H/T South Side Sox, via Big League Stew