Spanish/English Interview on W Radio, Colombia S.A.
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Former Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers is everywhere at present. First came his illuminating autobiography, which shed light on the excesses of the disco era and his fight against cancer. Then came news of his collaboration with Daft Punk. Now comes word of a new La Roux album, apparently inspired by the great man.
A report in the new issue of Mojo (via FACT) highlights Rodgers' influence on the album, currently being recorded by the duo in a barn in the countryside in England, which singer Elly Jackson describes as having “its own climate. Surrounded by geese and otters.”
There’s no new yet of a title or release date for the new recordings, but if the duo can come up with something half as catchy as the eternally airplayed “Bulletproof,” then they’re likely to strike gold again. The description of the album as being influenced by "rare disco" tends to suggest they will.
He might be a musical icon himself but it turns out Johnny Marr still enjoys meeting his heroes.
In fact, the former Smiths guitarist is such a big fan of Nile Rodgers, guitarist and founder of 1970s disco hit machine CHIC, that he named his son after him.
So when Nile came to Manchester at the weekend to talk with DJ Dave Haslam about his recent memoir, Le Freak, and career as musician and producer for the likes of Madonna and Duran Duran, Dave couldn’t resist getting the two legends together.
The pair met backstage at the Zion Arts Centre, Hulme. And it turned out they got on so well that they decided to make a weekend of it – by appearing together on stage the following night.
Johnny joined CHIC during the encore at super cool nightclub The Warehouse Project, in Piccadilly, for a very special rendition of the band’s biggest 1978 hit Le Freak.Add a comment Add a comment
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Extraordinary personal stories from around the world.
Today, the legendary musician and producer Nile Rodgers.
He's the co-founder of 70s disco band Chic and has collaborated with stars like David Bowie, Madonna and Diana Ross.
He tells Matthew about his rise from being the child of heroin addicts to the top of the music industry and about his own battle with drug addiction.
Now he's written a book about his extraordinary life called Le Freak, after one of his best known songs.
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Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah, I wanna boogie with you. And I did! As did many other fans invited onto stage by Chic to dance, dance, dance!
Yes, the legend that is Nile Rodgers graced the HMV Forum, together with legendary R&B / funk outfit Chic (in new formation), for a night of non-stop fun – playing a repertoire that catapulted the audience back to the era of Studio 54. Well, in spirit anyway, seeing how the Forum is not exactly a venue that oozes atmosphere from the golden days of disco (or any particular atmosphere at all!). And anyway, what is someone like Nile Rodgers doing playing the HMV Forum, hell, the Koko Camden would have been more appropriate! Not that it put much of a damper on Chic or Mr. Rodgers who, despite having spent most of the year battling cancer, delivered a show many will remember in time to come.Add a comment Add a comment
Star survivor: Nile Rodgers played a gig that would have left a smile on the face of a gargoyle
"Ain't no party like a disco party," said Nile Rodgers here - an old line proved overwhelmingly true by a gig that would have left a smile on the face of a gargoyle. This rare coming of a legend was disappointingly short of a sellout, and a sour note was added by security insisting that many people sit down to experience the most danceable music ever created. If it's really not safe to stand upstairs, HMV Forum, make it safe.
Rodgers, the last surviving creative force behind the band, announced from the stage that he has recently beaten prostate cancer - one euphoric moment of many. A medley of hits written for other people (including Upside Down and We are Family) that he threw away as the fifth song would have been most bands' ultimate encore. By the time he got to Le Freak and Good Times the stage had been invaded by ecstatic fans.Add a comment Add a comment
Nile Rodgers: Le Freak
NILE Rodgers sounds remarkably chipper for a man fighting cancer, especially since he was only discharged from an emergency hospital stay the day before we speak.
The celebrated Chic songwriter and producer, the man who co-wrote Good Times, We Are Family and I’m Coming Out, who has collaborated with more or less any A-list artist you care to name from Madonna to Michael Jackson and sold around 100 million records in the process, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer 12 months ago and underwent surgery in January. He was recently rushed into hospital after blood started pouring from his ruptured bladder.
“I laughed when I got to hospital,” he says breezily. “I thought, ‘Boy, it’s really great I’m an insomniac. If I hadn’t woken up to do my blog, I could easily have bled to death. So it’s all good and I’m very happy and in great spirits.”
This is the mindset of a man who is simply grateful to be alive, although it’s clear from Nile’s frank blog (nilerodgers.com/blog) that he’s not always in such a positive frame of mind.Add a comment Add a comment
Photo Credit: Jean Morisson
Nile Rodgers is everywhere these days, from your local bookstore, where his just-released memoir, Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny, is a hot item, to the New York Times, to a New York City studio where he and Adam Lambert are finding their groove.
The two have been trading tweets for days and now comes video of the American Idol alum and the guitar great and super-producer working out a riff on a track possibly destined for Lambert’s forthcoming second album -- albeit muted so as to “protect the integrity of the song” (see clip below).Add a comment Add a comment
Credit: Jerrit Clark/Getty
Nile Rodgers has certainly lived a lot.
Besides his illustrious career (producing smash albums for everyone from his seminal disco band CHIC to Madonna to David Bowie), he also battled severe drug and alcohol addiction and is still dealing with fighting off cancer.
The hitmaker's biggest highs and lows are detailed his incredible new autobiography, Le Freak: An Upside Down Story Of Fame, Disco And Destiny. But reading it wasn't enough for me, so I dialed up the man himself to chat about a few of his wild times, famed friendships and grappling with his disease.
UsMagazine.com: Why did you write the book and was there a hesitation about revealing so much?
Nile Rodgers: Let me be brutally honest here. I wrote the book simply because I was out at a party and a friend of mine who was a literary agent who I hadn't seen in a gazillion years was at the party too. He knew my story, and asked me to answer these twenty questions that he had prepared. I had to write my answer, look at it one time, edit it and then not look at it again and send it all to him. I didn't know what the hell he was doing! So he then took it and all he did was collate, he didn't even do anything. He just put it in the order that I had answered him and he sent it back to me bound, and asked if I thought this guy could write. Because I didn’t want to write it, I said let someone else tackle the task of writing this. He sent it back to me and asked me if I thought that guy could write. And I looked at it and I was really shocked because it sang. I was basically tricked into doing it myself.
Us: How were you able to go into such detail about your family? There was a lot of drug use and family drama.Add a comment Add a comment
Photo Credit: Theo Wargo / WireImage
Nile Rodgers might be the quintessential Zelig of popular music. His band, Chic, defined the disco era, and its grooves laid the foundation for hip-hop. As an up-and-comer, Rodgers jammed with Jimi Hendrix (and dropped acid with Timothy Leary). As a producer and session guitarist, he helped mold the young Madonna, remade David Bowie’s career with Let's Dance, confided with Michael Jackson and recorded with Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant and the B-52s, to name a (very) few. On top of all that, his work has appeared in ads for Nike and Budweiser and all over video games such as Halo. "I’ve had an amazing life," says the guitarist, whose memoir, Le Freak, was released October 18th, 2011.