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Memory of a Free School Disco

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  • Memory of a Free School Disco

    Are we old enough now to share, without embarrassment, memories of experiences at school discos? In interviews over the past year with various VG+ and non-VG+ DJs, school discos have repeatedly been mentioned, and always with a grin. I have listened to some great stories, green with envy. My own experiences were very poor.

    I don't recall anything from 'infants' but trace my first school disco action to a party in a classroom at Priestmead School in Kenton (near Harrow) in 1971. I guess it was more of a party with records but it felt like a disco at the time and I remember Sultana by Titanic being played.

    Going to an all boys grammar meant my teenage school discos were utter shite. If girls attended, they attended with boyfriends. Like birds nests on the 'nature table', you could only look at them. Inevitably the end of night slow section; invariably '10CC - I'm Not In Love', was Tumbleweed Central. The highlight of one 1974 school disco was one long-haired older lad turning up in a pure white suit. That was about it really.

    Thank God for Friday night 'youth club' near Kingsbury Circle (1973 - 1975). Proper teenage girls from other schools that dressed up to party and ran for the girls toilets en masse when you spoke to them. Insecure boys would grimly play football outside the church hall pretending girls weren't there. Platform shoes (with red leather flames on the platform itself) meant footie was not an option but were conversation starters, particularly when teamed to black flared trousers with a glitter stripe on the seam I had sewn on myself.

    By degrees, talking and dancing with girls became the norm. I fondly recall an organised two-line dance to 'There's a Ghost in my House' that involved lots of synchronised clapping, twists and changing places. That Status Quo hands-on-hips, shoulder rolling dance was also popular. Towards the end of this time we started to observe leather and denim jacketed males passing our youth club to go to Neil Kay's Heavy Metal Sound House on Kingsbury Circle, the birthplace of NWOBHM.
    <<Soul Strut 100>>Collectable CDs 1 Forumusic: April 2014 Collectable CDs 2<<'95 WOF>>

  • #2
    We did the Slosh.
    We drank booze in the bikesheds beforehand, mickeyfins mixed from the house - malibu and whisky for me, two gulps and a wee spew.
    I wore really bad clothes by Soul II Soul, SPX, Troop and British Knights - Shell suit items with flares.
    I winched someone to the Lambada once.
    it was always dark.

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    • #3
      My mate Griff and I were the school disco DJs from the age of 15.
      My form tutor's husband owned the mobile disco, and me and my mate got the job.
      The set-up came with a small box of 60s & early 70s 45s which we listened to with horror. The worst of all was "Tracey" by The Cufflinks which was just unbelievable rubbish.
      So we played it every Friday night, saying "Here's one for the teachers!", "And now it's Teacher Time!" "Let's see the teachers on the dance floor" etc. Then we sort of slumped and looked glumly at the deserted dancefloor until it was over.
      We played a lot of our own records - I'd go to Arcade in Nottingham to pick up cheap old disco 12"s - but grebos, mods and quite a few girls brought their stuff too. A hardcore of grebos insisted we played Rush, which frequently caused disputes.

      Here's one for all the teachers out there.

      Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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      • #4
        I too was the school DJ. This was my (homemade) rig. Probably the last time I was paid to play
        www.raysmith.bz

        www.mixcloud.com/COSMICSLOP/

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        • #5
          That's pretty damn cute DrSmith!!!

          Four memories stick out...

          * Walking into the 2nd year disco in black jeans, black shirt and black (DM?) shoes, to a chant of 'goth, goth, goth' from others.
          * Sitting at the side and waiting as industrious and loud girls sorted out who was dancing with whom. I can remember dancing to Vogue and realising that the girl I was paired with was more embarrassed than I was. She's now a man.
          * Not knowing what the hell was going on when everyone sat down on the floor and clapped side to side for Oops Up Side Your Head.
          * Getting the actions for Don't Blame It On The Sunshine was important.
          * In later years we didn't have discos, but rock concerts. An older kid who had left came back to one of them and got his cock out on stage in a Richey Manic/New York Dolls way and was mercilessly beaten afterwards on the instigation of some teachers, or so rumour had it. Uncool!
          Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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          • #6
            My headmaster was a lunatic who instead of having a 'School Disco' every year would organise a 'Barn Dance' where you had to learn the 'Barn Dance', 'The Progressive Barn Dance', 'Virginia Reel' and 'The Gay Gordon' among others I've thankfully wiped from my memory. He used to have a manky old reel to reel with the music taped off the radio for each dance as you'd sometime hear old radio announcers voices being cut off. It was a mare with weeks of practice leading up to it especially if you were a bit crap around girls. Thankfully they had a Friday evening Disco at the local Town Hall where the Dwarf DJ would play the same stuff every week 'Grease Lightening', 'The Time Warp', 'Rock Lobster' he was a Poison Dwarf, that's not me being nasty he actually was a really nasty piece of work he once shouted at me like a crazed lunatic for requesting a song (it was probably something like 'Beat Dis' at the time or the Ocean Loader Music) probably because I was the wrong gender. They were usually a good laugh as long as you avoided getting your face kicked in on the way home.

            My school was full of weirdo's like my First year English teacher whose just been charged with historical child sex offences involving young girls. Lets just say no one was surprised. I hated school despite the laughs from the first year of Junior school until I finally got out.
            Last edited by amidar; 16-11-2016, 01:44 PM.
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            • #7
              Not knowing what the hell was going on when everyone sat down on the floor and clapped side to side for Oops Up Side Your Head.

              I still don´t know what the hell was going on with that.

              I listened to that song again the other week and discovered three things:
              1. It is really titled "I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!)
              2. Charlie Wilson's giggle is incredibly irritating.
              3. George Clinton should have received ALL royalties.
              Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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              • #8
                I'm one of those people who can't see the point of dancing. People clearly enjoy it but when I see people doing it I wonder where the interest lies. Mrs SK is a maniac for dancing. I have joined her on the odd occasion but it does nothing for me. We probably had school discos but I don't recall ever being at one.

                And that's my school disco anecdote.
                "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shere Khan View Post
                  I'm one of those people who can't see the point of dancing. People clearly enjoy it but when I see people doing it I wonder where the interest lies. Mrs SK is a maniac for dancing. I have joined her on the odd occasion but it does nothing for me. We probably had school discos but I don't recall ever being at one.

                  And that's my school disco anecdote.
                  It's probably a bit late now, SK, but I have to tell you that school discos weren´t really about the dancing.
                  Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by babycart View Post
                    It's probably a bit late now, SK, but I have to tell you that school discos weren´t really about the dancing.
                    Damn! So it was about the music after all. Maybe I should have gone to them, then. Mind you it wasn't just the dancing; there would have been all those girls there, and they would have completely ruined the listening experience.
                    "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"

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                    • #11
                      I think I went to less than a handful in the first year at secondary school. Utter shite. I'd love to say I was overwhelmed by the glitterball and took to the dancefloor in my two tone platforms and realised I was a natural dancer. None of it. The lights stayed on, I didn't have fancy clothes, and played it safe with the other wallflowers.
                      Everyone tear down your own little wall
                      That keeps you from being a part of it all
                      Because you've got to be one with the one and all
                      You've just got to be close to it all

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                      • #12
                        You wasn't wearing these were you TB?

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                        • #13
                          one year I demanded chinos and a paisley shirt. I strode right into the dance thinking I was king cool. I tried to dance to Deee Lite, I failed to talk to any girls.
                          at the end of the night I decided I didn't fit into this ridiculous place and never wore the clothes again. I never learned how to correctly talk to girls in my whole youth. I also didn't go to anymore dances until I was about 15.
                          instagram.com/vinylhoard

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                          • #14
                            Lol, that's almost me except it was Chino's with a white shirt and Paisley tie not forgetting a half suede waistcoat smothered in adidas aftershave from the local chemist. Not my finest look although I remember the tie wasn't too bad however it was deeply frowned upon at school to have the large 'kipper' part of the tie sticking out so I would have worn it pencil style like a twat.

                            Originally posted by Paul-K View Post
                            one year I demanded chinos and a paisley shirt. I strode right into the dance thinking I was king cool. I tried to dance to Deee Lite, I failed to talk to any girls.
                            at the end of the night I decided I didn't fit into this ridiculous place and never wore the clothes again. I never learned how to correctly talk to girls in my whole youth.
                            Last edited by amidar; 16-11-2016, 04:06 PM. Reason: kippers
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ian Townsend View Post
                              If girls attended, they attended with boyfriends. Like birds nests on the 'nature table', you could only look at them..
                              That wasn´t the case at our School Exchange Visit disco. I snogged a German girl to Chiquitita and tried to touch her nest a bit later.

                              During the heady days of the exchange visit we also went to the disco at the local Squash Club WHICH SERVED DRINK but I wasn´t a member and had to pretend to be German so they'd let me in. I called myself Hans and remember a youth pushing me up against the fruit machine and saying two world wars one world cup.

                              On the way out I got knocked over by a van but was completely uninjured.
                              Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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