Scotch Club

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The Scotch Club in Aachen was the first discothèque,[1] opening on 19 October 1959. It was closed in 1992.

Origin of the discothèque[edit]

In the 1950s, dancehalls were common throughout the world. People danced to the music of a band that usually played cover songs. On 19 October 1959, the former restaurant re-opened as a dancehall, but the owner did not want to hire a band and used a record player instead. Klaus Quirini, a volunteer newspaper journalist reporting on the event, was as bored as most of the visitors and took over the record player. He used the style common with many radio news reporters, announcing songs and audience games and giving comments. The first song he played was the chart hit Ein Schiff wird kommen by Lale Andersen. His style was immediately popular, and he from then on remained the disc-jockey, the first DJ ever. As DJ Heinrich, he organised other DJs to found a workers' union that made DJ an official (i.e. healthcare registered) profession.

Later development[edit]

Udo Jürgens, Peter Maffay, the Rattles and Giorgio Moroder began their careers in the Scotch Club. The dress code was strict and bouncers refused entrance to men not wearing a tie, even celebrities such as television presenter Frank Elstner and singer Udo Lindenberg.[2]

The club closed in 1992. Opposite its address in Dahmengraben 7, another old disco, Le Bistro, is still in use. Since the opening of the Scotch-Club in late 1959, other discothèques opened throughout Aachen and in other major towns. When the first club opened in the USA, there were already 17 discos in Aachen.


Coordinates: 50°46′33″N 6°05′17″E / 50.7758°N 6.08816°E / 50.7758; 6.08816