Lost Sambista

A Brazil never seen.

New York City Discoteque

The picture above is of what was one of the hottest places to go in Ipanema in the mid to late seventies: the New York City Discoteque.

The name says everything, it was a Disco in Rio de Janeiro trying to mirror what was happening at Studio 66 in New York city. Inside it was always packed, it had two floors, there was a glitzy bar at the mezzanine, the floor was reflective, there were several disco balls hanging from the ceiling, colored spotlights lights, fake smoke and anything else one could imagine to transport the goers to decadent and hedonistic Discoland.

The attire was a la Bee Gees;  no Brazilian rhythms were played on the sound system, neither any Rock and Roll, although some bands and artists like Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones and even Bob Dylan adapted their work to the new wave. What people wanted to dance to were The Tramps, Donna Summer, Abba, Kool and the Gang, KC and The Sunshine Band and so many other names that disappeared as fast as they appeared.

The disco fever lasted for about a year and a half. It was like candy floss; everyone loved it in the beginning but got sick of it fast. The fad was replaced by more politically aware Brazilian music and it is true that the homegrown material was overall better both musically and, when the gigs took off, party-wise. For my generation, who only had access to the matinees on Sunday afternoons, many first kisses happened and fist sexual experiences began on those crowded floors. Guys had to gather courage to invite the overdressed girls for an awkward dance, and when the slower romantic songs came on the floor got empty and slowly the couples would take over dancing cheek to cheek, most boys with “candy bars” in their pants.

Below is a video of the only Brazilian disco band of the time that made it big: As Freneticas composed mainly of waitresses from the iconic Dancing Days discoteque in Gavea.

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: