5
Those’70s Shows

Everyone knows that today’s artists turn for pleasure not to art but to
kitsch.

—Harold Rosenberg, “Pop Culture: Kitsch Criticism”

The popular TV sitcom That70s Show is proof of a retro fondness for the disco era, but there are many tributes and remembrances. Books, art, music, dance, theater, and films sought to materialize, redux, or make sense of the times either observed or memorialized. In the 1970s, boundaries of all kinds were tested, including the one between fact and fiction. Document often seemed inadequate or impossible. Satur day Night Fever, Roseland, Fame, and Summer of Sam theatricalize reality in a new kind of blend. The fiction, in turn, was telling truth. TV reality dance shows perpetuated the feel-good fantasy conjured by dancing. They had heart and fun, in keeping with the innocence of dancing in the disco era.


Saturday Night Fever

The Son of Sam killer was caught in August 1977, and many young would-be disco dancers breathed a sigh of relief. It was safe to go out at night again. Then, the December release of Saturday Night Fever added a rush of health to disco and dancing. Producer Robert Stigwood never imagined his shoestring effort would be a blockbuster.

-133-

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Disco Dance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - To the Disco 1
  • 2 - Wild West (of New York City) 39
  • 3 - Can’t Stop the Music 53
  • 4 - Dance the Night Away 91
  • 5 - Those’70s Shows 133
  • Epilogue 149
  • Bibliography 155
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 173
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