I recently went to Vegas with my buddy Duke for some R & R, and Saturday night we went to the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay to see The Boogie Knights, a disco cover band. Complete with fake afros and disco shirts. And they freaking rocked. Or, I guess you’d say, “They freaking discoed!”
I actually was a lad during the first disco era of the 1970s; I can remember wearing one of two silk disco shirts I owned to junior high. I also remember being out on our front driveway in Chula Vista in about 1978 or so, washing my mom’s car, listening to “Born to Be Alive” or “Knock on Wood” on a boom box, and having a rocker friend walk by and say something like, “Not you, too!” The disco v. rock wars were on.
But, honestly, since 1978, I really haven’t paid much attention to disco. I mean, I’m a big fan of old soul music, which means we listen to a lot of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin at my house, and I loves me some funk, so we get a lot of that, too. But not disco.
Until now. Ever since I saw The Boogie Knights in Vegas, with their choreographed dance moves and their classic set list, I can’t stop listening to disco. And funk. “Love Roller Coaster,” “Groove Line,” you name it I’ve listened to it in the last couple of weeks. It’s good stuff. Seriously. Yes, me, too.
And I can’t stop dancing to it, either. I’ll be in the kitchen, mixing up some mac and cheese for the kids, and I’ll have a CD on and I’ll be dancing and turning and the kids are looking at me like I’m crazy. And like I should be laying in a pile of cocaine on the floor of Studio 54.
Of course, the kids are enjoying it, too, perhaps because constant repetition is how children learn. When I got back from Vegas, I pulled out a compilation CD (with disco, funk, and some 1980s Minneapolis stuff) I made back in the Napster days and played it for the kids, and they love it. I even taught them to dance like Morris Day and the Time to “Jungle Love,” which is now one of the Mixmaster’s favorite songs.
And here’s the funny part. Yeah, I know you’ve been waiting. “Where’s the funny part of this story? He’s just gushing about disco, without his usual funny ‘look at what my kids did’ moment!” Here it is: The Mixmaster’s other favorite song? Prince’s “Get Off.” Yeah, I made the CD before I had kids, so that song is on there. Complete with all the dirty lyrics. But the Mixmaster and the G-Man sing it as if it were “Get Up.” Yeah, my 6 year old son is walking around the house going, “Get up, let a woman be a woman and a man be a ma-han!” I can’t wait for the day he goes to school and asks his first grade teacher, “Are there really 22 positions in a one night stand?” Maybe I should just put Social Services on speed dial.