Tuesday, November 23, 2010


As I was in the kitchen, shuffling around getting cups and the teapot and milk and maybe some hobnobs to go with them, Lady Gaga came on the radio. It struck me that I quite liked the record. And I thought 'that's strange,' because modern music generally it makes me feel grumpy, bad tempered, and, worst of all, old. So  I wondered why I liked this music by Lady Gaga. Then it struck me. It was just disco music. These Lady Gaga records are just disco records. They wouldn't have sounded out of place at any disco in 1979.
So that's probably why I liked it. I always rather liked disco music. Not that I have ever been a great habitué of discos, you will not be surprised to hear.  But at the very end of the seventies and the start of the eighties I did used to go to Heaven, which was (and still is, I think) a large gay disco near Charing Cross.
As far as I remember, London didn't have any late night clubs at that time. Now there are late night clubs everywhere but back then the only places that opened late were small private clubs. So when this very large disco opened in the centre of town, it was quite something. Earlier than this I remember going to a gay bar in Brixton because it was the only place open late. Then when Heaven opened I'd sometimes go there because it was the only place open after midnight.
I trust I'm not being offensive here. Is there anything offensive about the image of the young Millar invading gay discos merely because he needed somewhere to get a pint of lager at two in the morning? Hmm. Possibly. But it's not like I indulged in any oppressive heterosexual behaviour while I was there. Like for instance trying to pick up any of the pretty young women who, for some reason, always also made up a small proportion of the clientele. Well actually I did go home with a really attractive woman I met at Heaven one night. But I didn't make a big thing about it. Maybe I bragged about it a little.
Anyway, I heard a lot of disco music at Heaven, and I always liked it. I can remember listening with interest to drum machines, and various electronic beats, which appeared in disco music before crossing over into more mainstream music. I certainly heard interesting electronics in discos before they appeared in these crappy eighties electro pop records.
I particularly remember Donna Summer's I Feel Love, though actually you didn't have to go to a disco to hear that as it was a massive hit and you used to hear it everywhere. In those days there were a lot of small record shops and outside in the street you could hear the music they were playing. I have an idea that close to where I lived there was one small record shop which constantly played the Sex Pistols' Pretty Vacant, and another playing Donna Summers' I feel Love. Though it's possible I've just invented that memory. Hmm. No, on reflection, I think that did really happen.
Anyway, Lady Gaga's music would not have sounded out of place at Heaven in 1980, it would just have sounded like another disco record, which I suppose is why I like her now.  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:03 pm

    Love Barry White "See the Trouble with me". I'm not a huge BW fan, but that song gets me dancing every time. I luuurve disco!!! Wish I had been at Heaven with you, Martin. Gxxx