1979 Disco Handbook on Scribd


18 Responses to “1979 Disco Handbook on Scribd”

  1. sonny p fontaine says:

    it seems the glossary (disco lingo)is incomplete. It mentions nothing of cocaine (blow, snort, powder, white, et.al.)

  2. BadKittyM says:

    Wow. That was a serious blast from the past. I was addicted to discos in the seventies and early 80s (yes, Hagrid – it might have been no longer trendy, but it wasn’t remotely out of business). The last disco I hit still had the plexiglass dance floor with the colored, flashing lights underneath, ala Saturday Night Fever, and that was summer of 1982. Good times, indeed. So incredibly shallow, yet incredibly fun.

  3. Anonymous says:

    JSG, you’re such a Ralph Rocker. Must be you pictured on page 48 of the Handbook.

  4. mattymatt says:

    Published by Scholastic.


  5. JSG says:

    Oh sweet Christ!

    I thought that Scribd could only be used for good, I thought wrong. Nobody needs to know how to disco, nobody.

  6. Hagrid says:

    > Published by Scholastic.

    Unreal. Hence the absence of “blow” (all meanings) in the glossary.

    And my, how gay the “looks” are (pp. 31-35): the soldier… the leatherman… who did you think you were kidding…? Surely not the Village People!

  7. Derek C. F. Pegritz says:

    Allright, Frauenfelder, study up, bucko–me n’ you are gonna throw it down on the first disco floor we come across. This rivalry ends NOW!

  8. Thanateros says:

    Oh my God . . . it’s . . . it’s beautiful . . . (sniff)

  9. lectroid says:


    I *owned* this book. And in fact, if I go into my mother’s storage space back in Illinois, there’s a good chance I might actually have it. I distinctly remember ordering it from those Scholastic book forms where you checked off the books you wanted and *carefully* tore off the little slip and handed it to your teacher with mom’s check or a small manilla envelope of bills. and misc change.

    The record, obviously, was one of the plastic perforated edge tear-outs.

    That was right about the time our music teacher brought in her dance instructor friends to teach us all ‘The Hustle’ and Travolta’s Saturday Night Fever moves.

    Oh god. high-waisted jeans and matching demin vest. Feathererd hair. Please. Make it stop.

  10. hermia says:

    I bought this book when I was in elementary school. I’m so sorry I don’t still have it, cause it’s hysterical now.

  11. Jason Bentley says:

    It’s worth noting that the illustrations in Chapter 8 are by Mad Magazine legend and Scholastic mainstay Sam Viviano. Viviano is most well known for the many movie parodies he did for Mad.

    There’s a good Wikipedia article about him.

  12. Elysianartist says:

    How come I have never heard of Scribd before?

  13. GammaBlog says:

    That is a sweet. I could maybe read a book like that, I think. Not this particular one, but a whole book I think.

  14. brooklyntwang says:

    I have an original analog copy of this book sitting on my bookshelf right now. Right next to another classic called “Dog Horoscopes”.

  15. Man On Pink Corner says:

    There’s a lot in the disco world that’s worthy of Olympic-level mockery, but man…. I ran across a torrent of Donna Summer’s On The Radio the other day, and it sounded like it was produced and recorded the day before. Giorgio Moroder doesn’t get a hundredth of the credit he should from electronic-music buffs.

    Digging up that Summer/Moroder LP made me wonder if we threw out some genuinely good stuff with the disco bathwater.

  16. igpajo says:

    OMG, I had that book too. It was one of those things you ordered in the little book catalogs they handed out at school. Probably cost a buck or something. Man that was some serious freakin’ nostalgia.

  17. Jason Bentley says:

    I don’t think anybody throws out Moroder… his stuff is brilliant – from “The Chase” to “The NeverEnding Story” to the haunting “Blood From A Stone” from his “Metropolis” soundtrack. Love him. A lot of electronic musicians have given Moroder his due – but it’s true, he’s largely unknown on the dancefloor.

  18. Hagrid says:

    (Whoah, Scribd is cool!)

    I love the the irony of this quote from Ch. 1:

    By now you’ve heard the word and felt the fever… the word is always the same — disco — and the fever is spreading.”

    By the time this book was published, 1979, disco was already in its death throes.

    Chapter 2 has some great lingo:

    BEAT – The constant, throbbing engine which keeps the disco in perpetual motion

    CONVERSATION – Outmoded preoccupation

    VIBES – Those little particles of kinetic energy that bounce from person to person at the disco.

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