Disco Dancing Tonight


One word that comes to mind when looking through “Disco Dancing Tonight” by Andy Blackford, is “lurex” because this shimmering metallic yarn is woven into many of the outfits featured throughout this literary gem.  Another word is “fascinating”, as this book begins with a very entertaining hypothetical situation where archaeologists of the future discover the ruins of night clubs and make some interesting, but incorrect deductions based on their findings.  However, soon after it moves on to the real message, which is that disco was “the single most important cultural influence of the decade”.

This book has gobs of photos of disco-tastic fashion (can you say spandex?), instructions for the hottest dance moves and information about the most famous night clubs so that people would know where to shake their booties in style.  I also love that it includes some of the lighting effects used back in 1979 to ensure party goers could dazzle on the dance floor and have the most fantastical night of their lives.  In fact, my favorite moment in the book comes in a paragraph that refers to light-up dance floors as “underfloor lighting” to “give a flashing chessboard effect”.  Get it?  They didn’t have the official name of “light up dance floor” yet- adorable!  Because of all the endless magic inside,  “Disco Dancing Tonight” is truly a fabulous addition to my already fabulous collection.


DISCO: The Book

James Brown once said, “Any problem in the world can be solved by dancing”, a sentiment that we echo and honor in the Sparkle Army.  Within our mission to spread the Word of Glitter, is to also have parties to bring people together to celebrate life, love, sparkles and freedom.  The freedom to laugh, smile, wear whatever we want (usually some kind of sequin number with glitter accents and bedazzled space cuffs) and to get down on the dance floor.  There’s no denying the sense of unity created when people are moving rhythmically under disco balls and laser beams, and this gorgeous phenomenon has been going on for decades.  As proof, I exhibit photos from the newest addition to my library of fabulosity, “Disco” by Roberta Morgen,  which are all accompanied by supportive captions.

Published in 1979, the theme of freedom and the priceless feeling that one gets from letting loose on the dance floor is consistent throughout this book.  It also offers us evidence that this powerful and sometimes religious experience was not exclusive to major cities. That’s right, dazzling on the dance floor was something that people everywhere joined in on (and still do!).  Check out this photo from the Lamar disco in Mississippi- with this kind of interior you can bet many fun and decadently free nights were had!

I must also give special mention to the makeup section because it’s almost as if I hopped in a time travel machine and wrote it myself, but alas, that’s impossible Soldiers (or is it?).  In any case, more proof that at one time, people everywhere had fabulous taste and made sure they looked their best while under flashing lights and through gobs of billowing smoke.

I’m so excited to now have this book in my collection because in addition to topics like music and fashion, it has a very strong message.  The message that dancing is an important part of life and that it’s something we need to feel happy, fabulous and most of all, free.  Plus, it’s also really great to know things haven’t changed that much.



The Ruby Slippers of Oz

Let’s face it, none of us would have any sparkle shoes today if it wasn’t for the Ruby Slippers.  These dazzlers hit the big screen in 1939 in full glorious Technicolor and in fact, the decision to make this a color film was largely based on these shoes and what a fabulous moment in film history!  Since then, both girls and boys from everywhere have spent their lives longing to possess these magical shoes, myself included.

I knew I was obsessed because I can get that way, but I really had no idea that there were so many of us and that it’s been going on for decades.  It wasn’t until few years ago when I picked up “The Ruby Slippers of Oz” by Rhys Thomas that I learned about the mystery and intrigue that surrounds the most famous sparkle shoes of all time.  What’s explained in the book is that back 1970, there was a general disinterest in Old Hollywood and its artifacts (can you imagine?) so everything was being liquidated.  What didn’t sell at auction was destined for the trash.  Hundreds of historical treasures would’ve been lost to us if it wasn’t for a man named Kent Walker, a costumer and long time movie fan.  Basically, he started stealing the objects and selling them black market to collectors.  Because of his daring actions, he single-handedly salvaged many priceless items including set pieces, props and costumes and among them was the legendary Ruby Slippers.  Except do you know what he did when he found these glittering treasures?  Exactly what any Sparkle Soldier would do- he TOOK THEM HOME!  That’s right Soldiers, there’s no place like home- especially when you find the holy grail of sparkles.

There’s more to the story, but you’ll have to read the book.  OR, you can do it American style and just watch the videos below from a television special based on the book.  I’ve only included parts 2 & 3 because they’re the most exciting, however if you’re a hardcore “Slipperette” like me, you’ll want to put on your favorite pair of sparkle shoes and watch the whole thing.



The Fabulous Sylvester

I recently received my copy of “The Fabulous Sylvester” and as expected, it’s a marvelously entertaining read chock full of not only glitter and sequins, but of fascinating stories from the many people who knew him.  It seems that from the very start of his life, Sylvester knew exactly who he was and had no time for those that didn’t accept him as is. Right now, I’m on the section about his time living in San Francisco and performing with The Cockettes, the infamous commune and performance group that loved to dress in drag and sing show tunes but pretty soon, I’ll be moving on to “Disco Superstar” territory!  Of course, the end of this story is no secret:  a beautiful bedazzled angel of song who was put on earth to bring light, love and fabulous entrances to the masses is taken from us too soon.  Just remember that we continue to pay homage to him each time we step on that light-up floor and dance like there’s no tomorrow so we must do it as much as possible.  I’m also hoping that  “Mighty Real”, the documentary about Sylvester, will be available in the very near future because this trailer has me gagging to see it!