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Alice Echols: Hot Stuff

Alice Echols: Hot Stuff

Disco and the Remaking of American Culture. USA 2011, 338pp. with numerous b/w photographs, brochure, € 15.95
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In the 1970s, disco became inseparable from the emergence of the »gay macho«, a rising black middle class, and a growing, if equivocal, openness about female sexuality. The disco scene carved out a haven for gay men who reclaimed their sexuality on dance floors where they had once been surveilled and harassed: and gay discos needed music - the genre that a handful of producers developed was a hodgepodge of black styles. The heart of the book is serious stuff: its tracing of how disco helped groom and commercialize a formidable new gay identity. For one thing, it helped make gym-going de rigeur in gay life. The sweatbox quality of many gay discos made stripping to the waist all but necessary, which in turn made working out practically obligatory.
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