'The Get Down' Ripped Off My Club, Disco Fever, Hip-Hop Pioneer Says

 Sal Abbatiello, who ran the pioneering hip hop club Disco Fever in the 1970s, will host a 40th anniversary show for the club on May 6 at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts.

Disco Fever
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THE BRONX — The founding father of a well-known Nineteen Seventies Bronx hip-hop membership who labored with pioneers together with Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Blow says that “The Get Down” director Baz Luhrmann ripped off his spot for the present.

The now sixty five-yr-previous Sal Abbatiello opened his membership Disco Fever on Jerome Avenue in 1976, a transfer he claims was answerable for bringing hip-hop indoors.

“I went to the park. I discovered Grandmaster Flash — they have been all youngsters again then — so I wound up bringing in Flash,” he stated. “The primary night time, seven hundred individuals confirmed up, and I used to be like, uh, that is it.”

The membership closed in 1986, however Abbatiello stated a model of it referred to as Les Inferno can now be seen within the Netflix unique collection “The Get Down,” one thing he isn’t too completely happy about.

“They ripped me off with that Membership Inferno,” he stated. “That was the Fever.”

The present, which focuses on disco and the delivery of hip-hop in Nineteen Seventies New York, positions Les Inferno as a particularly in style nightclub for music and dancing, however Abbatiello says it’s only a pale imitation of Disco Fever.

“He copied my emblem. He copied the signal outdoors,” Abbatiello stated. “He made the membership appear to be my membership.”


Abbatiello stated he and Luhrmann met about two years in the past when “The Get Down” was nonetheless in improvement, and the director requested him about serving as an advisor on the collection.

Nevertheless, he by no means heard from Luhrmann once more after that and is upset about what he views because the collection’ inaccurate portrayal of New York’s Nineteen Seventies membership scene, he stated.

“He did the improper factor,” Abbatiello stated, “particularly if you’re making an attempt to painting hip-hop and train the brand new youngsters the historical past — the right historical past.”

Netflix declined to remark.

Nevertheless, in an August 2016 interview with Yahoo, “Get Down” producer Nelson George stated that, whereas the Kipling household’s barber store was impressed by the outside of Disco Fever, Les Inferno was modeled after a disco referred to as Membership 371 on E. 166th Road.

Though Abbatiello maintained that hip-hop now isn’t fairly as vibrant because it was throughout Disco Fever’s heyday, he stated that is largely only a perform of the music style turning into older and extra established.

“It’s type of shrunk slightly bit now as a result of they will’t reinvent themselves anymore,” he stated. “Hip-hop has gone via so many actions…

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