Disco, Saturday Night Fever and the Alabama Connection
Jan 29, 2012
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I have been thinking about this particular blog for a while now. Usually they just fall out of my head and I type them, but for some reason, I just didn't feel like I had all of the information until today.
See, I confess, I am a 70's Disco Dancing Queen. Yep, oh you cant tell it now that I danced at the local small town disco, but I did. To look at me now with a much shorter stature than I had 40 years ago, and white hair and sometimes depending on the weather, a limp.....but during 1977 and 1978, I was a dancer. Not a professional dancer, except in my mind, but I was a dancer all the same. I could just hear the beginning notes of a song and I knew what moves I was going to make on the dance floor before I ever left the house.
I had the outfit. I had the dress that was longer and would sweep the floor, or the polyester suit that had a really, shiny, tacky blouse with it. Somewhere there is a photo of that outfit, and I still remember how great I thought I looked on that dance floor. Of course, it was only me that thought I looked that good, but hey, I liked it. And if the truth be told, the other folks thought they were just as great looking.
See, in the small town of Weaver there were no discos. As a matter of fact there were few boys at my school that I would ever even dare ask to dance with me, much less, go to a disco, but there was one boy, Billy and he was a dancer. He was a good dancer too. I saw him when we all had PE in the gym on rainy days and he could put on a Bee Gees 8 track tape and he could do moves like I had only seen on American Bandstand. He was that good.
So I got the courage to tell him one day how well I thought he danced and he told me that on Tuesday nights, there was a place up the road from Weaver and it would have DISCO night for teens. We were not old enough to drink, but the bar would open up and allow teens to come and dance and they would serve regular Coke and Sprite type beverages. Ok, I am in. Take me and show me this place that sounds too good to be true.
But it was true. It was dark and dingy but to me it was as close to NY City as I was going to see. It was not exactly like the Disco in Saturday Night Fever but they had a disco ball and they had some Christmas lights that went around in a circle, so to me that was close enough. The Christmas lights were originally used with aluminum Christmas trees I think, but have no proof.
But it was magical. It was wonderful. It was fun. I danced the night away and wanted more. I was hooked. I found my niche. I invited a friend of mine, by the name of Ann and she invited her nephew and before long, we had our own table. We had a table full of dancing Disco folks!
Great times. Lots of dancing and we were known in that Disco. Man, did I feel like I fit in somewhere. For the first time in my life, I fit in.
To this very day, I can hear just the opening line of Stayin Alive and I start tapping my foot. Or my finger, depending on which one is not hurting at the time. Oh such memories.
Now, the Alabama connection to Saturday Night Fever.
While watching the Biography show the other night, there was a man on there by the name of John Badham. He is from Alabama, but I don't know what city, but he was the director of the movie, Saturday Night Fever. He was the Director!! He is from the same state I am from and yet he had such a hand in changing the way America dressed, acted and the music we listened to for a time in history. But not only was he the director, something he said caught my attention.
He said that when they went to the Disco that was used in the movie, that it too was not anything like he expected. It was pretty much like the one I had gone to all that long ago. He said the part that bothered him was the floor and the lighting was so drab, so he remembered where he grew up in Alabama that there was a club and it had lights in the floor. They had lights all over the place and he found out that the manufacturer of the lighted floor was in NY City, so he had them make a floor like the one in Alabama.
Can you imagine? The iconic floor in the movie was from something he grew up with in Alabama!!! How neat is that!!!
So it makes me wonder if I was ahead of my time by going to a club on Tuesday nights that only served Sodas and had bad lighting, but made such an impression on my life.
I might not be able to Boogie now, but I am really good at singing the songs, as long as you dont turn down the radio.......I dont remember all of the words like I used to. But in my mind, I am still a Dancing Queen, only 17.........
Remember ABBA? Now how did the rest of that song go??????