It’s time for the show.
The people are coming in droves. On the streets of Chicago in the 1970’s a new craze is beginning. The people have been delivered a gift. Someone in the underground world of Chicago has discovered a new beat. The beat is making the people come alive and there’s a club down the street from where they’re at and they want to experience it in person.
A club by the name of The Underground, or maybe it was The Warehouse, the two pioneer venues that brought House Music out of the underground world of the city of Chicago, has decided to agree to bring in this anonymous rookie DJ who has this new music that he doesn’t even have a genre to put it in, at the time.
They need someone to fill the time for the night so they sign the DJ up a few weeks in advance to come perform at their club.
The owner agrees… questioning his motives the entire time, but he needs to fill the night now that his main guy backed out.
The owner has no idea what to expect from this new guy but, still he puts out his weekly flyer of the performances for the week around the city.
The Dj gets a Thursday night spot.
Is it going to be big?
Who even is this DJ?
The owner continues to question if he should cancel the Thursday night show where ‘this anonymous dj’ and try to bring in a Rock and Roll band or something.
He needs to fill the space though, it’s been a tough month for the club, but he sticks to the plan after consulting with his business partner.
Are the people even going to come? Who knows but their sticking with the plan.
The show is going to go on as planned.
The don’t even hire a bouncer for the night. They thinks it’s going to be a sham of a night and think it’s a waste of money to hire the bouncer.
Little do they know that a over the last few months the record that this DJ gave to his friend have been copied hundreds of times and a craze and extreme desire to hear this music in person has grown and the City is at a breaking point of needing to see hear this music in person. It’s almost as if this music isn’t even real. It’s so different and unique. The people who got their hands on this record and have played it on their record player have just felt something that has just altered them. Changed them in a deep and unexplainable way.
All they know is that they want to hear more.
The Underground/The Warehouse is that answer.
The fact that there’s now only one place in the city this night that is playing this music is not a good thing. The owner doesn’t know this at the time but the place is going to be packed almost without breathing room for the next 6 hours in his club with people that have been anticipating this night after they saw the flyer go up around town on Sunday afternoon.
The owner isn’t prepared and the DJ isn’t prepared for what’s about to come either.
Some Regulars at the club have come at their usual time, around 5:00, expecting to get in and get their regular spot. Little do they know that a line started forming over an hour ago and their going to have to take a spot in the back of the line.
The people in line, some having never been to this club in their life and some who have, have arrived before the owner and the DJ of the music that produced this one record that was copied over and over again.
While the owner of the club is in the back of his club in his office, finishing up the payroll for the week and reluctantly preparing the check he has to give to the DJ at the end of the night, he doesn’t even realize that mayhem is ensuing outside of his doors.
Back outside of the club, the anticipation and excitement of the night grows. Some chants begin and the energy can be felt by these people who are now jumping up in down without the beat.
The people want this house music. They want what was on this record, that was heard from their friend, who got it from their friend, who met another guy in a convenient store, etc. etc.
It’s time to experience it in person and thanks to the weekly flyer, that was put around the city of Chicago, people found out about this night.
It has been spreading like a disease for the last few months and it’s about to come out of the Underground.
As the DJ pulls up and recognizes what’s going on he’s flabbergasted by the scene outside of the club, but he’s running a little late to be set up in time, so he has to run inside through the back exit in a hurry, now understanding that if he doesn’t give the people what they came for he’s in trouble.
He’s highly outnumbered, having only thought that a few friends that he invited were coming to support him.
This is the one place in the city that is showcasing this music and the dj doesn’t even know if the people are going to like it. Not knowing it barely understanding how his music has been spreading like wildfire throughout the streets of his city.
The doors, of the club, open that night and welcome a new generation of music…
The first moments this music was produced and brought into these people's lives they really didn’t know what to think about it but it ignited something inside of them.
Something that can’t be written. It’s the untold mystery behind the beat. What it allows people to do. Allowing them in that moment to believe that anything is possible. In that club they do. The goal of course to transfer that fuel you get in that club listening to the beat, that’s produced by the dj, to transfer it into your life. In many cases with the drugs and alcohol consuming them in their hearts and minds they burn out and experience that rush for that moment.
The scene at these clubs in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s was of chaos, body to body contact, sweat pouring down from these peoples foreheads, and drenching their clothes with the perspiration caused by their reactions to this new music.
Since then House Music has evolved in many directions.
Soulful house has come up since then and has sparked another culture of music based off of what was brought by the people that bought House Music in this world.
Other forms of music have come up from this beat as well.
It was that initial seed though, that came from The Underground World of Chicago and later New York that have allowed this to grow in so many different directions.
DJ’s have been coming around too and have been able to do what they want with this music. Without a care in the world, it’s just something that would not have been possible if that first seed was not planted.
During that time though, people just didn’t know what to do when they heard this sound.
When the beat hit them it was a sensation that wasn’t felt yet and the people who heard it went wild. It caused something else in them to come alive. The fans and the creators of the music alike. The clubs were insane. It was incredible. Unlike anything that ever had happened before. It hadn’t been seen or felt before.
New dance moves were created. Including ‘Jacking’ to name one.
What was it though?
Was it the drugs that were fueling some of these peoples bodies?
You can’t pinpoint one thing that made this music a international phenomenon and made the people in the cities Chicago and New York lose their bodies and minds.
But one thing is for certain... They were drawn to this music and they wanted more.
They got it too. They got more and because more and more DJ’s and Artist s came out of the woodworks the popularity grew. And because the popularity grew it travelled overseas to places like London. Places in London like Manchester felt it too. A couple clubs started showcasing the music.
It sparked an international tour and the Djs from Chicago who just months before were creating this in their basements, in their garages, their small studio apartments, and shared rooms, were now travelling the world.
It was a little unbelievable, but they had created something that people loved and connected to.
It was the beat.
It was the intense bass.
It was the snare line that these artist inserted into the tracks.
It was the featured artists that brought their vocals into play along with the beat of these songs.
It was the dancers.
It was the intensity of the Djs It was the volume of the clubs.
It was the drugs that was passed between some of the people.
It was the body to body contact.
It was the Bouncers.
It was the producers.
It was the Ladies
It was the fellas.
It was the vinyl tapes.
It was the entertainment lawyers
It was the streets of Chicago and New York.
It was the CD companies
It was the money.
It was the luxurious lifestyle.
It was the fancy cars, the pretty girls, the handsome men.
It was factors to the upteenth degree that caused this…
What was it exactly though?
Can you pinpoint one exact thing?
Was it one thing that caused this new genre of music?
Maybe there is an answer and maybe there’s not...
Regardless, this music has made people come alive. It brought a different vibe to the cites it has landed in. Following after the cities of Chicago London and New York brought it into the mix on the radio stations that allowed it to be played.
The Radio shows are to thank as well for allowing this music on their stations.
They saw what it was and what it could bring to these people and they gave the music an opportunity. When everyone was against it and couldn’t see it they gave these DJ’s a chance to make their passion a career.
…and still is.
The clubs that started these movements have gone on to legend and other business’ have come to take their place. But what they gave the people that went to these clubs in the 80’s and 90’s will be etched in the history of House Music for forever.
In Chicago, where this music was brewing, it came up from the Underground, and it never went back down.
There was a little scare in Chicago in 1979, at Camiskey Park during what is now known as “Disco Demolition Night.” Where the beat, so they thought was never going to come back again after most of the radio stations stopped playing the music, but it didn’t stay there long.
Where it began, in Chicago it has since moved to cities all across the country. Chicago will be known as the city that birthed this unmistakable sound. But cities like New York and London will also be remembered for allowing it to come alive too. . They followed suit and heard what Chicago was doing and gave it an opportunity to grow more. They and the people in it are to thank to for bringing this music alive.
To the djs and artist s that felt it and saw the vision, and felt the beat of this music you are to thank for starting this music that as blessed so many peoples lives to this point. You are to thank for your incredible contriubution.
This music is not over yet and it is still building,and grwoin, so many people are yet to eperience what this music is all about.
And you the pioneers who believed made this happen. Your vision is still growing and evolving.
To the next club and person that is given the opportunity to enjoy this music and profit from it’s beat, we we wish you all the best and are glad you’re on board with House music.
What happened in the club that night in the 1970’s, as house music was born is up for interpretation.
Witness’ of the night are still being sought out but no one has stepped forward yet to explain what went on in that club.
Except… for one individual that has asked for his name not to be mentioned in this article.
The individual was asked only one question.
“How would you describe that night?”
The anonymous individual replied, “It was fucking wild.”
By- Tom Kubrak IG & TWTR - @TomKubrak
Resources Pump Up The Volume - Documentary