Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FreakOut! Let's Dance

January 8, 2013


My dear friend and CEO of Montreux Jazz Claude Nobs, has been in a coma for the last two weeks

My dear friend Claude Nobs has been in a coma for the last two weeks as a result of a skiing accident. I love him very much and I'm praying for his recovery. He has never shown me anything but respect.

When CHIC first performed in Europe, the legendary CEO of the Montreux Jazz festival was our tour manager. He's been making an Impact on the world music scene as far back as I can remember. Deep Purple's iconic '72 classic "Smoke On The Water," is about the fire that burned down the site of the Montreux Jazz Festival, and even refers to "Funky Claude" who rescued people from that fire.

When David Bowie and I did the first demo for the album that would become his biggest seller Let's Dance, we called Claude who furnished us with local musicians. I wrote the arrangement in my bedroom at David's chalet in Lausanne, Switzerland and we recorded it at Queen's Mountain Studios in Montreux. David even heard guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan for the very first time at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Claude has always been a musician's friend - whether you're just starting out or a seasoned veteran, he loves being part of helping you see your musical vision.

A few years ago Claude awarded me with the Miles Davis Gold Medal for CHIC's performance at Montreux. He told me I could do whatever I wanted to do at the festival for the rest of my life. Last year he let me curate my own festival within his festival. It seemed fitting that I'd name my festival for mine and Bowie's biggest single's as a tribute to Claude. I performed the first incarnation of Freakout! Let's Dance on July 13th, 2012. I called it The Evolution of Dance Music.

I have never been more proud to be associated with music, musicians and this wonderful man named Claude Nobs. Get well soon my dear friend - and we can hug, laugh, and Freakout! Let's Dance.

 


VIDEO: Freakout! Montreux - A Nile Rodgers Curated Event

 


CHIC back in the 70's


Deep Purple


"Let's Dance" lead sheet


A few years ago Claude awarded me with the Miles Davis Gold Medal for CHIC's performance at Montreux


Bowie heard Stevie Ray Vaughan for the 1st time at Montreux Jazz


Last year Claude let me curate a festival within a festival at Montreux Jazz


Claude letting me know what time Grace Jones was arriving


Johnny Marr, Mark Ronson, and me working out the guitar arrangement


Claude Nobs, me, Grace Jones, Paulo (her son), and Felix da Housecat after all knockout performances


Get well soon my dear friend - and we can hug, laugh, and Freakout! Let's Dance