"Tribal Rites of the New Saturday
Night" was the title of a 1975 New York Magazine article by British rock journalist Nik
It was the basis for the plot and characters in
the movie Saturday Night
Originally, the article was published as a piece of factual
reporting. However, around the time of the twentieth anniversary of
the film, Cohn revealed that the article was actually a work of
fiction. Assigned to write an article about the early
1970s disco scene, Cohn, a newcomer to the
States, was unfamiliar with the American working-class
subculture he was trying to cover.
To overcome this problem, Mr. Cohn based his piece on a young man
he knew in England. "My story was a fraud," he wrote. "I'd only
recently arrived in New York. Far from being steeped in Brooklyn
street life, I hardly knew the place. As for Vincent, my
story's hero, he was largely inspired by a Shepherd's Bush mod whom I'd known
in the Sixties, a one-time king of Goldhawk Road."
was successful because mod and disco subcultures shared certain
similarities, both emphasized fashion and music, and both the US
and UK characters were working class.