The tale of two goof-ball WLUP Radio Station DJs behind the Disco Demolition Night. Steve Dahl and Garry Meier. In the 9th grade, Dahl began hanging around a local underground radio station, KPCC-FM... Okay... I'll just start in the middle!
Steve Dahl began at WDAI Chicago on February 23, 1978, with his solo "Steve Dahl's Rude Awakening" show but it never achieved solid ratings despite media attention. Ten months later, on Christmas Eve, 1978, WDAI changed formats from rock to disco and fired Dahl.
In March 1979, after a few months without a job, Dahl was hired to do a morning show at WLUP where he met overnight DJ Garry Meier (who was then broadcasting under the pseudonym of "Matthew Meier"). Shortly thereafter, the two began a cross-talk that eventually led to Meier being teamed up with Dahl as both sidekick and newsman. Dahl effectively forced Meier to use his actual name by calling him "Garry" on-air accidentally. After openly discussing the subject, again, on-air, Meier officially dropped his pseudonym.
In response to Dahl's firing from WDAI, Dahl and Meier mocked and claimed to hate disco music and the radio station WDAI; He called it "Disco-D.I.E." mocking the station's slogan, "Disco-D.A.I," on the air. Dahl even recorded and started playing a parody of Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" which he called "Do You Think I'm Disco?" The song managed to crack the national charts to peak at #58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received airplay across the country.
SONG: Do You Think I'm Disco?
During this same time period, Dahl and Meier, along with both Mike Veeck (son of the Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck), and Jeff Schwartz of WLUP promotions, came up with a radio promotion and tie-in to the White Sox called Disco Demolition Night which took place on Thursday, July 12, 1979.
However, in February 1981, WLUP fired Dahl, citing "continued assaults on community standards." "It was going on in El Paso and Los Angeles, like, on Monday, and on Friday they fired me," Dahl later said. Meier was offered the opportunity to continue the show by himself, but he refused.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.
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