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Monday, April 2, 2012

Disco Debacle

The press release for the Legends of Disco Live concert at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York this past Saturday, March 31, read thusly: "Five legendary acts from the 1970s will come together one night only to create the ultimate old-school disco party. The Legends of Disco LIVE at the Hammerstein Ballroom-NYC will showcase LIVE performances from five legendary disco hit makers: CHIC starring Nile Rodgers, The Trammps featuring Earl Young, Tavares, France Joli, and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, with MCs Deney Terrio from Dance Fever and Joe Causi from CBS-FM." Sounded good. I thought of going until I saw the $99.50 ticket price. Now, I love France Joli (who has supersized herself since the 70's but still sounds marvelous).
And I adore Chic. But $100, basically, to see these people at Hammerstein Ballroom? I don't think so. The show was not well publicized and a friend, who went as press, was treated so shabbily by the venue's staff that he actually left in a huff. Two tickets were arranged for the writer + guest, only for him to arrive and discover just one ticket held at the box office. And it was for standing room on the floor; no balcony seating! Furthermore, the staff were abrupt, rude and bullying. This is no way to treat press people there to review a show, Hammerstein Ballroom! Get a clue.
Unsurprisingly, in the ensuing days since the event, no major New York City periodical has published a review. My guess is that the sadly underpublicized, overpriced event was poorly attended. I hope the acts took their money upfront.
In his Edge New York music column, Kevin Scott Hall interviewed legendary musician and producer, Nile Rodgers, of Chic: EDGE: Listening to a lot of the disco today, it’s very melodic and almost has classical elements. Do you think there is finally some respect for what all of you did back then? Nile Rodgers: No question. We typically play around the world at festivals. We can play with Green Day, Sting, or Earth, Wind and Fire, and it is accepted as pop music.
How sad that this great music with a big following was so under-represented for Legends of Disco Live. [Edge exclusive interview with Nile Rodgers, in its entirety; cut & paste link:]

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