Friday, April 15, 2011

Flashback Friday # 132

Saturday Night Fever

Greetings one & all. Put on your polyester, blow-dry your hair & crank up the tunes. Today's post is about a movie that affected my early teen year, Saturday Night Fever. I was in the 8th grade when it came out. Disco had taken the USA by storm and this movie only added fuel to the fire. We had all watched John Travolta as a teen in Welcome Back Kotter. We watched that show every week. Vinnie Barbarino, Juan Epstein, Freddie (Boom Boom) Washington, and Arnold Horshack made us all laugh. Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever was no "sweat hog". ere is a picture of the Original Soundtrack album (which I also owned).

Our Jr. High music teacher taught us a couple of disco steps. Looking back at it, some of them remind me a lot of country line dancing, but with different music(especially the dance to the song "Night Fever"). Denny Tarrio (Travolta's dance teacher, funny how I can remember that) came out with a book that he hawked by saying "I taught John Travolta how to dance, now I can teach you". We used to say, "If I can teach John Travolta how to dance, a schmuck like you should be a piece of cake". This was before VHS. If there had been such a thing back then, they wouldn't have been able to make them fast enough. Disco was that hot.

I don't intend to blow my own horn, but I was a pretty good dancer myself. I didn't buy the book, but I had seen the movie a dozen times. This was one of the few movies that cleaned itself up a bit and re-submitted itself to the ratings board. Originally it was rated R. Because they wanted everyone to see Travolta's dancing, some scenes were removed, others darkened, it came back out as PG. There are some clips at YouTube if you dare.

Since I had the album, I was able to practice whenever I pleased. That was usually right after school, since neither of my parents cared for the music. If it wasn't Country & Western, they weren't interested.

The one problem that presented itself was that there was no place to dance. I lived in the middle of nowhere, unlike Travolta's character, who lived in New York. Then I heard something exciting on the radio. A large skating rink in Columbus was transforming the middle of the skating rink into a dance floor. The grand opening was soon. I asked my parents if I could go. I was all of 14 years old. What do you think they told me? They said if I could find someone to who would go with me. That was easy. I knew if I asked Kelly Stump, she would jump at the chance. I asked, she jumped. Off to Columbus we went.

Dad dropped us off and told us that he would be back at 9 PM. The dance floor was quite unusual. A staircase took you up & over the skaters onto a landing, then descended to the middle, where the dance floor was located. We danced the night away. At one point I was surrounded by several older teens of a different skin tone. They were fascinated at some of the moves that I had created, and wanted to learn them. I taught them until my sides literally ached.

Dad showed up at 9, and we loaded up and headed off to home. For one night, I was a regular "John Revolta".

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