I hated disco music as a teenager. Hated it. I played the Eagles and Steve Miller Band. When punk rose up in the late 1970s, I embraced it. Finally, some angry music!
I was convinced then that the punks would end disco for good. But the punk era came and flamed out. Now, 35 years after “Saturday Night Fever,” it’s disco that endures.
Robin Gibb’s death this weekend confirmed it. Gibb was part of the Bee Gees, the group whose music cemented disco’s place in American music and made the “Saturday Night Fever,” soundtrack one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The tributes to Gibb and the Bee Gee’s music continue to roll in from across the globe. None of the punks will ever get that. When Joe Strummer, founding member of The Clash and one of the icons of the punk movement, died in 2002, it barely made my local paper.
But with Gibb’s death, I couldn’t help but start looking for Bee Gees music online. It generated a little family discussion. Turns out my 16-year-old son knew some of the Bee Gees songs, but not The Clash.
It occurred to me that while I spent a lot of time singing Clash songs in the shower, I never sang them anywhere else.
You don’t really share punk with other people. But start singing, “Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk….” and everybody wants to jump in, laugh and enjoy it all.
Not that I’ll be buying an album, er, CD, uh download, any time soon. But three-plus decades later, it’s OK to like it.
– Paul Tosto