Right here we have quite a delightful tidbit of Boston disco history.
Back in the late 1970’s, John Luongo was the heart and soul of the Boston disco scene. Not only was he a top flight disco mixer, capable of blending tracks and making changes that would keep dancers on the floor for hours, but he was also the city’s biggest champion of dance music. When he wasn’t busy performing on the radio and at club gigs, or running the Boston Record Pool, Luongo was the founder and editor of the city’s monthly disco publication, called Nightfall Magazine. Dedicated to arts and entertainment, with a heavy dose of nightlife mixed in for good measure, the back issues of Nightfall are a disco historian’s dream. Luongo himself seems to have willed Boston into becoming one of the top disco capitals of the US, alongside New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Nightfall certainly played a part in that success, as it ended up launching its own disco awards show that would bring the industry’s top names into town each year.
In this issue of Nightfall from April of 1978, we have a guest article written by none other than Arthur Baker, one of the most prolific electronic musicians and producers of all time. Baker was a Luongo protegé who learned to DJ but ultimately found his niche on the production side of things. Arthur Baker’s resumé is unreal, and his discography is a veritable who’s who electronic music and record labels. And yes, I will also mention that Baker was the recording studio dude with long hair in New Order’s video for “Confusion” where you see him cut the song on reel-to-reel and bring it over to the Funhouse for the Italian pizza girls and b-boys to dance to.
Baker would have only been 23 when he wrote this piece, but actually would have worked with Luongo and another local legend, Joey Carvello, on a record called “Losing You” that had been released several months earlier. In this article you not only get Baker’s thoughts, you also get some great insight into the history of Eurodisco, a genre dominated by another Boston legend, Donna Summer.
I’ll have some more interesting tidbits on Donna Summer in the next few weeks, but in the meantime please enjoy this article from Arthur Baker on “The Rise and Triumph of Euro-disco.”