Monday, November 20, 2017

Walking on Planet C

Give It Away


Many people tell me to slow down but it's the love of the job that keeps me going!

Many people tell me to slow down. I know they do this out of concern - and after last Saturday's hospital incident, some folks asked me not to take the long trip to Ibiza, Spain. Well, let me try and explain. What keeps me going is doing my job. As a live musician, I consider the audience before I consider myself. This is how I'm wired. I detail how this behavior developed in my memoir. I worked at private airport around old-school entertainers and I'd see them drag their butts to work under amazing circumstances.

Don't misunderstand me, I more than appreciate your concerns and I don't ever want you to censor what you say because you may be right - and one day I might agree. But I don't do what I do recklessly. If I know I'm unable to perform the task, I don't try, but if I feel like there's an ounce of a chance, then I do my job. No ifs, ands, or buts. (sorry foreign language translators.) Saturday I was very sick, but I went to the hospital, rested, and the next day I felt up to the job.

Now I'm in Ibiza. Had I not come I wouldn't have been stranded on the plane for two hours and had pure sleep. I would not have run into my dear friend Chris Cornell, whom I found out was also appearing at Montreux Jazz this year and wants to sing with us. Mega! And I wouldn't be at this year's Ibiza International Music Summit, where I can Give Away what I've learned just like the old-schoolers before me.

I don't expect everyone to like my music - but I want everyone to expect me to like it. I love the gift of music and I want to keep it for the rest of my life. I was taught the only way you can keep it, is to Give It Away.

 


Nile Rodgers Keynote Speaker / Ibiza 2012

 


I consider the audience before I consider myself


I worked at a private airport around old-school entertainers and I'd see them drag their butts to work under amazing circumstances


Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and his Christina II Lear Jet, which I've cleaned many times


I don't do what I do recklessly. If I know I'm unable to perform the task I don't try, but if I feel like there's an ounce of a chance, then I do my job


Now I'm in Ibiza


Had I not come I wouldn't have been stranded on the plane for two hours and had pure sleep


I would not have run into my dear friend Chris Cornell, whom I found out was also appearing at Montreux Jazz this year and wants to sing with us


And I wouldn't be at this year's Ibiza International Music Summit. Where I can Give Away what I've learned


I don't expect everyone to like my music


I want everyone to expect me to like it


I was taught the only way you can keep it, is to Give It Away

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Ibiza Wonderland


Ibiza Wonderland

After a quick stop in Madrid, Spain I am now en route to Ibiza. More tomorrow from Ibiza Wonderland.

 

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Robin Gibb and I Talked of Michael Jackson's Death


A harrowing Saturday night in the hospital

Yesterday, I stayed in bed after a harrowing night-before in the hospital. I was simply enjoying just another day of life. I watched the complete videos of our most recent performances and I thought this Sunday would be completely uneventful. Then I got a call saying that Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees had died and the journalist wanted my comments. I respectfully declined because the last time I'd spoken to Robin was when he and I did a live BBC program on the death of Michael Jackson. I was not in the right frame of mind to talk about death after what I'd gone through the night before.

Robin's passing didn't feel shocking because he'd been sick for some time. We've never worked together but had tremendous respect for each other since the day we met in 1978 at an awards ceremony for songwriters. (I'm sorry that I don't remember exactly which organization's event it was.)

My partner, Bernard Edwards and I won a plethora of awards for "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Everybody Dance," "Le Freak," "I Want Your Love," "He's The Greatest Dancer," and "We Are Family." The Bee Gees were in the bathroom with us during a break but didn't realize who we were. We eavesdropped on they're entire conversation. At one point Robin said, "How can these guys write so many hits in a year?"

I jokingly reminded him of that event when we were off camera the day Robin Gibb and I Talked of Michael Jackson's Death.

 


A clip from one of our most recent performances in Curacao


A clip from one of our recent performances


A clip from one of our most recent performances


A clip from our last gig in Texas


I got a call from a journalist friend saying that Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees had died


The Bee Gees were in the bathroom with us during a break but didn't realize who we were


My partner, Bernard Edwards and I won a plethora of awards the night we met the Bee Gees


I was off camera the day Robin Gibb and I Talked of Michael Jackson's Death


The day Robin Gibb and I Talked of Michael Jackson's Death


This Michael Jackson posing on diving board picture was taken the year we first met


I never got a chance to work with Robin but I toured with the Jackson 5 in '73 and played on HIStory


 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

"I Know That I'm Dying"


The Curaçao crowd was wonderful - The gig was hard for me because I was sick and was broken hearted about Donna Summer's death

I've slept more in the past few days than I can ever remember. I've been very sick and I've had to marshal my strength for the extensive travel and concerts. Even with all the rest I got progressively worse. On the drive home from the airport today I felt so sick that I couldn't help but think "I Know That I'm Dying." I tried to think positively - but the phrase "I Know That I'm Dying" kept repeating in my head.

By the time I got home I was really sick. I had a racing pulse, shallow breath, and a fever of almost 104 degrees Fahrenheit. My housekeeper rushed me to the hospital. In the short trip to the emergency room my condition worsened. I was semi-delirious, could barely walk and was unstable, and was very lightheaded. It was at that moment I started forcing myself to repeat "I Know That I'm going to live."

They thoroughly tested me for everything possible because my vital signs had them extremely concerned, especially with my heart. They looked for a possible blood clot because they knew I'd been flying a lot. When they said that, I thought about the loss of Heavy D a few weeks ago. They started medicating me in this very professional environment - and the mantra "I Know That I'm going to live" got louder in my head.

After many hours of testing they finally came into the treatment room and said, "Mister Rodgers, you were very sick and your body did exactly what it was supposed to do - fight the infection." I was discharged around midnight and reflected on my two different states of mind during this traumatic day - "I Know That I'm going to live" and "I Know That I'm Dying."

 


Taking our final bows at the end of the Curaçao show. It was the 1st of two shows we did this weekend thousands of miles apart


We played Richardson Texas the next day and travelled thousands of miles with no direct flights to either of the shows


We played the gig in Texas Loud and Proud


My housekeeper rushed me to the hospital. In the short trip to the emergency room my condition worsened


They stared medicating me in this very professional environment - and the mantra I Know That I'm going to live got louder in my head


After many hours of testing they finally came into the treatment room and said, "Mister Rodgers you were very sick and your body did exactly what it was supposed to do - fight the infection."


They decided I should be discharged around eleven and I was discharged around midnight


Meditating on getting the I Know That I'm Dying thoughts out of my head


Adopting the "I Know That I'm Going to Live" attitude and I told the nurse I'm heading to Ibiza in two days

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

I Need A Day Off


I've done nearly 500 daily blogs - and since Whitney, Dick Clark, MCA, Chuck Brown, Duck Dunn, Donna Summer and a number of other significant music personalities passings, I'm overwhelmed. I need a day to travel, think, rest, and prepare for Ibiza.

Yesterday was my tech guru D's birthday and I'd like to give him a night with his family. So I'm going to let him pick a funky play list and I think I'm going to fall asleep again.

I'll have so much to report tomorrow that frankly my blog family will be over whelmed. I've really grown to love you and this relationship keeps me grounded, and since I'm grounded, I know I need A Day Off.

 

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

I Love You Donna


I'm performing at Montreux Jazz on July 13, this year. My big wish was to have Donna Summer sharing that stage with me, and many great artists whom I personally feel connect the dots to modern dance music.

Yesterday's news of her passing has devastated me. I've wanted to work with her ever since I heard that magical voice. We've only gotten a chance to work together once, though not for lack of trying.

The video below has very bad sound - but you can see and feel the sheer joy and professionalism of Donna Summer working with CHIC.

I was the Music Director of a VH1 Diana Ross Divas special. Whatever I say today feels wrong, but what we both said that night was so right.

I respect you Donna. I miss you Donna. And most of all, I Love You Donna!

 


Diva's 2000 Rehearsal - Donna Summer and CHIC

 

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Adam Lambert and Diana Ross?

May 17, 2012 - Update by: @NileRodgers
After a day of traveling that started at 3:00 AM I arrived in Curacao and passed out. I'm leaving up yesterday's post and we can all comment on the newspaper coincidence again and give the people who missed it yesterday a chance to chime in.

 


Part of the living room in my NYC apartment

I spent yesterday night in my NYC apartment - but I had to get back to Connecticut for an early morning session. While walking through Grand Central Terminal to get the commuter train, I grabbed one of the many free newspapers they offer. This is something I never do because I get my news online.

What are the odds of the only newspaper I've ever taken at that station having these two stories exactly one page apart?

The first story was on Adam Lambert's new album Trespassing - and the article highlighted "Shady," a song that I'd worked on. The second story on the following page was on a new Diana Ross DVD, and it highlighted "I'm Coming Out," another song that I'd worked on. In fact, I co-wrote, orchestrated, co-produced, and played on it. It's from the album Diana, which happens to be the biggest selling album of her career.

I ask you once again, "What are the odds of these two songs being highlighted, in back-to-back articles about Adam Lambert and Diana Ross?

 


Walking through Grand Central Terminal to get the commuter train


What are the odds of the only newspaper I've ever taken at that station having these two stories exactly one page apart?


The first story was on Adam Lambert's new album Trespassing - and the article highlighted "Shady," a song that I'd worked on


The second story on the following page was on a new Diana Ross DVD, and it highlighted "I'm Coming Out"


The biggest selling album of her career - Diana


Adam Lambert


And Diana Ross

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

The Best It Could Be


I was relaxing in my Chinese bed just before shooting a promo video message for an upcoming festival

I was relaxing in my Chinese bed just before shooting a promo video message for an upcoming festival. I got a call from my doctor's office and I knew it was my post-op cancer results. I felt good but I was also mentally prepared for bad news. I nervously answered the phone. The nurse said to me, "Your blood work results came in and it was The Best It Could Be."

I thanked her and hung up the phone. Then, for some strange reason a crazy situation popped into my head. A few months ago we did a corporate gig in Switzerland, and the agents who'd booked us were preparing us for bad news. Before our show they told us not to take it personally because it's a very corporate Swiss crowd and they don't dance at these concerts.

I told the agents, "The music we play makes people dance!"

The video's sound perspective changes because my guitar tech is walking throughout the room. Our very corporate Swiss crowd was dancing - and that result was The Best It Could Be.

 


Before our show they told us not to take it personally because it's a very corporate Swiss crowd and they don't dance at concerts

 


The music we play makes people dance!


The music we play makes people dance!


The music we play makes people dance!


The music we play makes people dance!


The music we play makes people dance!

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

A Typical Walk on Planet C


Part of my pre and post cancer operation therapy is walking

Part of my pre and post cancer operation therapy is walking. Walking has many benefits for most people, but for me it not only exercises my body - it exercises my mind. I sing to myself based on things I see and feel and I never carry a music player. Walk with me and you'll see what I mean.

I'm so eager to get going today that I forget my trademark bandana on my "Hair." As I walk away I turn around so I sing, "Turn Around 5,4,3,2,1" by Flo Rida. This sets the tempo of my walk very fast.

When I reached the corner I see bamboo that I've never noticed before. I instinctively start singing Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie - Bamboo." A few hundred yards beyond the bamboo I reach the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club, but what grabs my attention is a rabbit running across the road. I start singing "Running Away" by Roy Ayers.

I make many friends on my walks and the first new friend I made today was a dog. "1, 2, 3, and to the 4, Snoop Doggie Dog and Dr. Dre is at the door." I start singing "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" for a very long time - past the newest house on the street - past our little private bridge, and past an early morning fisherman.

I sing this song for about ten minutes until I started paying attention to the neighborhood houses. I start singing various house music songs with similar types of grooves, "Move Your Body," Pump Up The Jam," and "Can You Party" by Royal House until I finally get back to my own house. You've just taken A Typical Walk on Planet C.

 


I'm so eager to get going today that I forget my trademark bandana on my "Hair."


As I walk away, I turn around so I sing, "Turn Around 5,4,3,2,1" by Flo Rida


I instinctively start singing Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie - Bamboo."


A rabbit running across the road grabs my attention and I started singing "Running Away" by Roy Ayers


The first new friend I made today was a dog


The newest house on the street


Our Saugatuck Island bridge


A fisherman out, trying to make an early morning catch


A house I've seen a hundred times before today started my internal DJ pumping house music songs into my head


Another neighborhood house that had me singing house music songs


And another neighborhood house that had me singing house music songs


Finally I get back to my own house

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

"Ain't That a Real Mother For Ya!"


Me and mom - she was 14 and I was a few months old

Today is Mother's Day in America. My mother and I have always been close, but since I was attacked by cancer we speak to each other almost every day. We're also very close in age because Mom got pregnant with me at 13 years old. I'm the first of her five boys. Because we're so close in age, we have so many things in common - including our senses of humor.

She married my stepfather Bobby when I was seven years old. They were cool beatniks and treated me more like a peer than a child, which is probably why I'm so independent. Now that I'm older, I appreciate that.

My parents are two of the funniest people I've ever known. Bobby died not too long ago. He was as funny as Lenny Bruce and mom is just as hysterical. She just called me and thanked me for her Mother's Day present, and then we laughed the entire time.

At the the end of the conversation, I hung up the phone and thought about how much I love, respect, and understand her. She's beautiful, unorthodox, intellectual, wacky, and unique - "A Real Mother For Ya!"

 


My mom back in the day between the beatnik and hippie epochs


My aunt Midge and her brother Bobby a couple months after he'd married my mom, who took this picture


My Stepdad Bobby with our dog


All of Bev's boys


My mother and Chris Tucker on the set of Rush Hour 2


Mom lead by Honor Guard at my stepfather Bobby's funeral


Bobby's Honor Guard at his flag ceremony for his military service - His ashes are in the box


Lionel Richie, Mom (she loves her animal prints), and me - A Real Mother For Ya

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

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