Disco culture  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
club drug, disco

By the late 1970s many major American cities had thriving disco club scenes which were centered around discothèques, nightclubs, and private loft parties where DJs would play disco hits through powerful PA systems for the dancers. Some of the most prestigious clubs had elaborate lighting systems that throbbed to the beat of the music. The largest UK cities like Liverpool, Manchester, London and several key European places like Paris, Berlin, Ibiza, Rimini also played a significant role in the evolution of clubbing, DJ culture and nightlife.

Disco dancing

disco dancing

Some cities had disco dance instructors or dance schools which taught people how to do popular disco dances such as "touch dancing", the "hustle" and the "cha cha". There were also disco fashions that discotheque-goers wore for nights out at their local disco, such as sheer, flowing Halston dresses for women and shiny polyester Qiana shirts for men. Disco clubs and "...hedonistic loft parties" had a club culture which had many African American, gay and hispanic people.

Drugs

In addition to the dance and fashion aspects of the disco club scene, there was also a thriving drug subculture, particularly for recreational drugs that would enhance the experience of dancing to the loud music and the flashing lights, such as cocaine (nicknamed "blow"), amyl nitrite "poppers", and Quaalude. Peter Braunstein has remarked that the "massive quantities of drugs ingested in discothèques by newly liberated gay men produced the next cultural phenomenon of the disco era: rampant promiscuity and public sex. While the dance floor was the central arena of seduction, actual sex usually took place in the nether regions of the disco: bathroom stalls, exit stairwells, and so on. In other cases the disco became a kind of "main course" in a hedonist's menu for a night out."

Famous discotheques

Famous 1970s discothèques included "...cocaine-filled celeb hangouts such as Manhattan's Studio 54 ", which was operated by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. Studio 54 was notorious for the hedonism that went on within; the balconies were known for sexual encounters, and drug use was rampant. Its dance floor was decorated with an image of the "Man in the Moon" that included an animated cocaine spoon. Other famous discotheques included The Loft, the Paradise Garage, and Aux Puces, one of the first gay disco bars. By the early 1980s, the term "disco" had largely fallen out of favor in North America.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Disco culture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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