Watch Out! It Makes You Dance and Causes The Aids.

In Blog, Culture, History, Humourby Rashers Tierney4 Comments



Fuck, synthesizers can breed? Learn the shocking truth of London’s new dancing AIDS craze.

We came across this report while prowling around Pearse St archive last week. Interesting to note just how carbon copy a lot of this form of journalism is. England snorts a line and Dublin catches the headlines. The similarities with reporting on the head shop chaos springs immediately to mind. Written by Ces Cassady, it’s from the Irish Press on Tuesday and is dated September 20 1988.

Whatever about the shock headline, the author did pin point the moral panic behind the British press with their claims “that its use encourages promiscuous sex despite warning about the dangers of risking Aids infection.”


To be fair, the tabloids weren’t the only ones running scare stories. The line about how pills sold in the London club underground for £20 and £25 brought to mind an early rave number.

The Ragga Twins, who just a few years later would end up mashing up the Mansion House (yes, the Lord Mayor’s gaff…) alongside the likes of Shades of Rhythm, Altern8 and local lads The Banana Boys – released an amazing little dance hall bubbler as their first release with Shut Up And Dance.

It too describes how ecstasy “mash up the mind, physically if you take too much it’ll paralyze your body, give you brain haemorrhage permanently.”

You might be interested in the odd tale of Micheal Clegg, an ex Catholic Priest, who threw in the silly gown and decided to flood Dallas with yokes. In the early 80s, it was popular with everyone from housewives to cowboys. Now, that’s not something I’d have noticed from watching Dallas.

Here’s an extract from the wonderfully factual Ecstasy Rising documentary that’ll take you up on the rest of the story. The scenes with the drug being discussed on Phil Donahue’s chat show really are breathtaking, showing just how quick it slipped into very mainstream, therapeutic use.


  1. Pingback: #rabbleReels: It must affect the brain in some way. : rabble

Leave a Reply to (@wearerabble) (@wearerabble) Cancel reply