After having rediscovered a beloved song from my childhood, ‘Disco Duck’ by Rick Dees and his Cast of Idiots, I felt compelled to do something about it.
I realised that there was a lot wrong with the song that I was too naive to understand as a child. On rediscovery, I realised that the lyrics were misogynistic and generally distasteful. Disco as a subculture and music genre was pioneered by gay and black communities. The song on the contrary, is a white-washed appropriation of Disco. It is emblematic of Disco’s surge into the mainstream media in the mid-late 1970s, made for a white heterosexual audience. I wanted to bring the character Disco Duck back to life, addressing the cultural changes in pop culture that have ensued since the song’s development. My main focus was to consider who this duck was in his heyday and how he was subsequently trying to stay relevant in a world that has outgrown him. I was keen to explore the toxic effects of living with and after fame – with attention to how it builds the ego, which is subsequently difficult to navigate once the fame is gone.