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(The New York Times)   He's Tony Disco to You   (nytimes.com ) divider line
    More: Ironic, Tony Disco, crowd watching, Bay Ridge, illuminated dance floor, Knights of Columbus, discos, Catskills, boardwalks  
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3313 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 30 Jul 2012 at 12:00 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



19 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-07-30 03:14:33 AM  
Wow. This guy rocks.
 
2012-07-30 03:30:41 AM  
Good for him.
 
2012-07-30 04:31:40 AM  
i1079.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-30 05:48:22 AM  
I love him.
 
2012-07-30 12:10:50 PM  
This guy kicks total ass. And almost 80 years old? Forget about it!
 
2012-07-30 12:12:18 PM  
But Disco Stu doesn't need to advertise.
 
2012-07-30 12:28:31 PM  
Didn't have kids because "He was too busy dancing."

That's one way of putting it, sure.
 
2012-07-30 12:29:02 PM  
no wonder there isnt a 4th season of venture brothers, doc hammer in addition to ween is trying to keep the 70s alive.

auxiliarymagazine.com

graphics8.nytimes.com
 
2012-07-30 12:46:44 PM  
I was surprised it wasn't Tony Danza since he can't play any roles without the first name being Tony.
 
2012-07-30 12:51:42 PM  
Eddie Izzard approves.

i134.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-30 01:07:42 PM  

phyrkrakr: Eddie Izzard approves.

[i134.photobucket.com image 703x418]


Everyone into za Disco Room!

i2.listal.com
 
2012-07-30 01:12:25 PM  
Italian trash is Italian trash.

Ehhhhh, go figure.
 
2012-07-30 01:20:13 PM  
I thought we weren't supposed to submit paywall links, submitter...
 
2012-07-30 01:24:40 PM  

Trocadero: I thought we weren't supposed to submit paywall links, submitter...


I believe you get a certain number of 'free articles' on NYTimes.com each month, then you hit the pay wall.
 
2012-07-30 01:46:15 PM  

Trocadero: I thought we weren't supposed to submit paywall links, submitter...


For you, bubby:

THE golden age of Brooklyn disco is not dead - it's hiding in Tony Ferrante's closet in Gravesend.

"See, look at this; you tell me, who's got a shirt like this?" he asked, rummaging through a rack of vintage shirts and pulling out a shiny silver number with collars wide enough to ski down. "I do, that's who."

Mr. Ferrante, 78, who is better known by his nickname, Tony Disco, held forth in the Bay Ridge dance clubs during the "Saturday Night Fever" era. These days, he is known mostly as a nimble-footed fixture on the Coney Island Boardwalk, where, on weekends, a D.J. pumps music for sweaty dancers and hordes of onlookers.

"Tony's a Brooklyn legend," said Rican Vargas, the founder of the Coney Island Dancers, a nonprofit D.J. group that has been providing that music since 1996. "Where else but Brooklyn are you going to see that kind of style?"

It was Thursday evening, and Mr. Ferrante was dancing on the Boardwalk, dressed in white slacks and white loafers - "bought before you were born" - with a flowing Hawaiian shirt and a white fedora. His hair was jet black, combed over to perfection and swooping past his sideburns - Elvis meets Sal from "Dog Day Afternoon."

Every rainless weekend, Mr. Ferrante shows up, hits Ruby's Boardwalk bar for a drink and Nathan's for a hot dog, and then dances for several hours in the sun.

Mr. Ferrante, who has worked most of his life as a barber, said, "Dancing and cutting hair, I'm a master at both."

He has lived his entire life in Gravesend, and went to church dances as an adolescent. "The priest would come around and make sure you weren't dipping your girl," he recalled.

Then came sock hops, swing and ballroom, and Mr. Ferrante became a regular on Catskills dance floors.

"I danced every style, everywhere, but I got my best moves from Latin music," he said. "The big bands of Tito Puente, Joe Cuba and people like that. I danced to them all live, 20-piece orchestras, forget about it."

On weekend nights, Mr. Ferrante is king of the dance floor at the local Knights of Columbus. Before stepping out, he prepares elaborately in the one-bedroom apartment a few blocks off Ocean Parkway that he shares with his longtime girlfriend, Marianne Marciante.

"You have to have variety because everything's got to match," he said on Thursday evening as he showed off his collections of costume jewelry and sunglasses, and then rifled through his closets of loud tuxedos and stacks of dance shoes, slacks and debonair hats. Ms. Marciante describes his wardrobe this way: "Unique. I'll leave it at that."

"You dress to fit the mood," he said. He slipped on a few rings and his central accessory: the pendant necklace bearing his photograph dancing on "America's Got Talent."

Mr. Ferrante appeared on the show in 2009, after Ms. Marciante submitted a Tony Disco video. He flew to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, where he performed an improvised routine that had him sprawling on his back and doing Michael Jackson-style moves that drove the crowd wild.

"I wasn't nervous at all," he said. "As long as there's a crowd watching, I'm ready to go. I made up the whole thing on the spot, freestyle."

Mr. Ferrante had hoped the appearance might lead to stardom outside South Brooklyn, and he still hands out fliers with photographs of himself dancing on the show and signs them "Tony Disco."

"I really would like to make some money with this dancing before I go kaput," he said.

Mr. Ferrante said his clothes came from the hippest shops in south Brooklyn.

"The stores are all closed now, but I still got the clothes," he said, pulling shirt after snazzy shirt out of his closets, like the Gatsby of Gravesend.

"You're never going to find a shirt like this again, ever," he said. "I got it in brown, also. Look at this - one's better than another."

"The clothes make me dance better," he added. "Look at that, it's see-through. When you put that on, it changes your whole way of doing things."

His preparation brought to mind Tony Manero, John Travolta's character in "Saturday Night Fever." And on the Boardwalk, as passers-by stopped and watched this spry older man perform, with the Cyclone and the Parachute Jump as his background, some of them yelled out, "Tony!"

"Even at 78, I'm still developing new steps," Mr. Ferrante said. "People try to copy me, but they're wasting their time."
 
2012-07-30 03:11:00 PM  
i759.photobucket.com

In other news, John Cazale apparently faked his death.
 
2012-07-30 05:21:15 PM  
So, this is Travolta's inspiration, huh?

At least God knows where to find him when the time comes.
 
2012-07-31 12:52:20 AM  
I happen to know a guy who is genuinely named Tony Disco, so I'm gettin' a kick.
 
2012-07-31 07:44:26 AM  
This thread fails without video.
 
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