Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Walking on Planet C

Happy New Year Everybody!


The CHIC Organization at Studio 54 - Happy New Year!

At one time, Studio 54 was the center of the disco universe. Symbolically, it still represents the ideal club to many nightclubbing connoisseurs.

We wrote the song "Le Freak" about a dance called the freak, and set the song's action in Studio 54. Since that song was created, revelers on dance floors screaming "Aw Freakout!" are still common thirty-three years later.

I can say with a degree of certainty, there will be hundreds of thousands of people that will sing "Aw Freakout!" this New Year's Eve. Happy New Year Everybody!


The CHIC Organization "Le Freak" LIVE - Happy New Year!

 


Studio 54 Redux


Freaking Out at Studio 54


"Le Freak" single sleeve


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Category: Walking on Planet C

I've Finally Got It Hooked Up


I think I've Finally Got It Hooked Up

Today I was in the Madonna Room, so called because after producing her album "Like A Virgin," that's the room Madonna would stay in whenever she visited me. I'm trying to make the room more functional for guests, now that I spend so much time in this house.

I was moving furniture around and I asked my housekeeper to take pictures so I can study them later. I think I've Finally Got It Hooked Up.

 


The Madonna Room and bathroom are Hooked Up


The TV in the Madonna Room is Hooked Up


The mirrored wall in the Madonna Room bathroom is now all Hooked Up


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Really Serious


"Coming to America" chart - my first major film score

After receiving an original poster from the film "Coming to America" as a Christmas present, I had a flood of memories. It was the first major motion picture that I ever scored and one of the greatest experiences of my life.

The movie was challenging and fun because I had to use a wide range of styles to convey the film's comedic messages. When doing comedy, I believe the music has to be Really Serious.

Actor Paul Bates sang "She's Your Queen to Be" and ended with a deadpan Serious face. The high falsetto voice coming from the hefty Bates made it even more funny.

In one of the film's scenes, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Halls' characters are watching a TV commercial which prompts one of them to change his hairstyle. This "Soul-Glo" moment is seriously funny.

In order for "The Royal Penis is Clean Your Highness" to work as a punchline, the setup music had to be Really Serious.


"The royal penis is clean, your Highness"

 


Semmi and Akeem watching the Soul-Glo commercial


Oha singing "She's Your Queen to Be"


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Category: Walking on Planet C

"The Engagement Party"


Framed Sexual Chocolate poster

Yesterday I shared one of the most unique Christmas gifts I've ever received - an original poster from the movie "Coming to America," starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. It was sent to me by the film's brilliant director, John Landis. John taught me a lot about storytelling during the making of "Coming to America," which was my first major orchestral film score.

Tomorrow I'll talk about some of the comedic music, "Soul-Glo," "She's Your Queen to Be," and "The Royal Penis is Clean," but today I want to share what Landis taught me about storytelling through music: Completely know the characters and the reasons for their actions because the music must heighten the story's emotional reality. This is the story of a fictional African prince who goes to America to seek his perfect bride.

When scoring the film, I always had to consider our main character's Africanism - but also understood that most people's idea of a royal ceremony is based on English pomp. The music had to be both familiar and unique.

When "The Engagement Party" guests arrive, I treat them as though they're going to Buckingham Palace. The guests look elegant and refined - sophisticated and comfortable - even though the palace was in the middle of the Zamundan jungle instead of central London.

What I came up with is a cue called "The Engagement Party."


"The Engagement Party" - The original orchestral session on a cassette that's been missing since 1987

 


Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy in Coming to America


Film Director, John Landis


Soul-Glo promotional poster


The Engagement Party guests


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Category: Walking on Planet C

The Best Things In Life


"Coming to America"

Every year around Christmas season something extraordinary always seems to happen to me. Last year I was attacked by aggressive prostate cancer. The pathology lab results were pointing towards an uncertain future. It was pretty bad but I seem to be slowly recovering.

This Christmas, one of my big surprises came from film director John Landis. He's the man who did Michael Jackson's amazing long-form video for the song "Thriller." He's also done a number of successful groundbreaking films, one of which was Eddie Murphy's Coming to America, a film that I scored. John sent me a gift that really knocked me off my feet - a poster advertising Sexual Chocolate featuring Mr. Randy Watson, the hilarious inept artist that performed a song in the film.

If that weren't enough, I accidentally stumbled upon an old cassette tape that I've not heard since 1987. It was the tape that I made while conducting the orchestra when I was recording the score. I can't tell you how shocked I was to find this tape on the same day that I opened John Landis' gift.

They say, "The Best Things in Life are free!" True. The way I see it love, people, music, art and life itself are The Best Things in Life.


Here is "The King's Motorcade" which is a little different than it appears in the film because I wrote it to the original edit

 


Framed Sexual Chocolate poster


Back of Sexual Chocolate poster


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Playing This Music


Playing the intro to "Good Times"

We are in the process of putting together next years live shows. We are going to some new markets so I'm doing a lot of interviews.

A journalist asked me yesterday what our new show was going to be like. I told her we were adding more songs to the set. She asked me if I minded playing many of the same songs after all these years. I said, "I see my songs as compositions and we reinterpret those compositions all the time." Then I said, "Just go to YouTube and pick any version of a live CHIC song."

She picked "Good Times" Live @ le Trianon Paris 2011. After we watched it I said, "It's the only time I ever jammed with the bass solo on that song." This is a great example of why I never get tired of Playing This Music.


Me singing


Folami singing


Kim singing


Uploaded by soulhoperLB
Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Good Times, Live @ le Trianon, Paris, June 18th 2011. The only time I ever jammed with the bass solo during "Good Times". You can see I was surprised when he asked me to play along with him.

 

Le Freak:
An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny
Written by Nile Rodgers

Category: Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs; Biography & Autobiography - Composers & Musicians; Music - Popular
Format: eBook, 336 pages
On Sale: October 2011
Price: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-0-679-64403-3 (0-679-64403-2)

Available as a hardcover and eBook.

You will hear a Nile Rodgers song today. It will make you happy.

Today's pop music—genre-crossing, gender-bending, racially mixed, visually stylish, and dominated by dance music with global appeal—is the world that Nile Rodgers created. In the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote and produced the songs that defined that era and everything that came after: "Le Freak," "Good Times," "We Are Family," "Like a Virgin," "Modern Love," "I'm Coming Out," "The Reflex," "Rapper's Delight." Aside from his own band, Chic, he worked with everyone from Diana Ross and Madonna to David Bowie and Duran Duran (not to mention Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Prince, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Depeche Mode, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry, INXS, and the B-52's), transforming their music, selling millions of records, and redefining what a pop song could be.

Read more about order the memoir here:
"Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny"


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Merry Christmas!


Christmas Day 2010 - I was trying to regain my strength - The future was uncertain but playing guitar helped me stay positive

This time last year I wasn't sure if I'd be alive one year later. I was attacked by very aggressive cancer and as of last Christmas I hadn't chosen my course of treatment yet. I'm happy to say that I'm still here. Merry Christmas!

I have extreme insomnia and regardless of what time I go to bed I get up before sunrise. My bedroom faces east and I love taking pictures at dawn's first light.

I've recently returned from a European tour and my housekeeper has put Christmas lights around my front porch window. This is the first time I've ever had Christmas lights up on any house I've lived in.

My housekeeper is Hungarian and she takes Christmas very seriously. She's cooking, baking, and decorating to help keep my spirits up. I appreciate her, my family, and my widening group of incredible friends. Merry Christmas!


Dawn from my Bedroom - Merry Christmas!


Sunrise in My Front Yard - Christmas lights around my front porch window - Merry Christmas!


Canadian Friends Resting in my Backyard on their migration south - Merry Christmas!

 

Le Freak:
An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny
Written by Nile Rodgers

Category: Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs; Biography & Autobiography - Composers & Musicians; Music - Popular
Format: eBook, 336 pages
On Sale: October 2011
Price: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-0-679-64403-3 (0-679-64403-2)

Available as a hardcover and eBook.

You will hear a Nile Rodgers song today. It will make you happy.

Today's pop music—genre-crossing, gender-bending, racially mixed, visually stylish, and dominated by dance music with global appeal—is the world that Nile Rodgers created. In the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote and produced the songs that defined that era and everything that came after: "Le Freak," "Good Times," "We Are Family," "Like a Virgin," "Modern Love," "I'm Coming Out," "The Reflex," "Rapper's Delight." Aside from his own band, Chic, he worked with everyone from Diana Ross and Madonna to David Bowie and Duran Duran (not to mention Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Prince, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Depeche Mode, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry, INXS, and the B-52's), transforming their music, selling millions of records, and redefining what a pop song could be.

Read more about order the memoir here:
"Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny"


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Kim Kardashian's Wedding Dress


Kim Kardashian's Wedding Dress

Yesterday I signed books at my local retailer in Westport, Connecticut. My publisher told me that people like to buy author signed books. I've never been famous, but I've luckily had a great career because my music is.

"Le Freak" as a song is my biggest seller. It's Atlantic Record's only triple-platinum single and their only song to go #1 three times on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It was an instant radio smash. Many people bought it after just one listen.

"Le Freak" the memoir is a different situation because the consumer actually has to buy it - and then read it - unlike when you first hear a song which is free and a relatively passive experience.

After I'd signed a large stack of books, the store manager tried to sell my memoir to a woman customer who was standing next to me. The customer asked me, "What do you do?" I jokingly said, "Oh, I made Kim Kardashian's Wedding Dress." She got excited upon hearing this fiction. I quickly laughed, smiled and said, "No that's not true. I didn't make her Dress - I've written a bunch of #1 hit songs that you probably know, some you might even love. This book I've just signed is the story of my life." She wasn't vaguely interested in the reality.

Here's the funny part. Prior to that encounter the store manager had just said that she loved the book and the great reviews are well deserved. I thanked her and said, "But we'd have a runaway bestseller if I was the guy who had made Kim Kardashian's Wedding Dress."


My memoir "Le Freak"


I composed the score to the film Coming to America and here's Lisa's Wedding Dress


Here's the sheet music to "We Are Family." I have a feeling they played it at Kim Kardashian's Wedding reception

 

Le Freak:
An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny
Written by Nile Rodgers

Category: Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs; Biography & Autobiography - Composers & Musicians; Music - Popular
Format: eBook, 336 pages
On Sale: October 2011
Price: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-0-679-64403-3 (0-679-64403-2)

Available as a hardcover and eBook.

You will hear a Nile Rodgers song today. It will make you happy.

Today's pop music—genre-crossing, gender-bending, racially mixed, visually stylish, and dominated by dance music with global appeal—is the world that Nile Rodgers created. In the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote and produced the songs that defined that era and everything that came after: "Le Freak," "Good Times," "We Are Family," "Like a Virgin," "Modern Love," "I'm Coming Out," "The Reflex," "Rapper's Delight." Aside from his own band, Chic, he worked with everyone from Diana Ross and Madonna to David Bowie and Duran Duran (not to mention Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Prince, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Depeche Mode, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry, INXS, and the B-52's), transforming their music, selling millions of records, and redefining what a pop song could be.

Read more about order the memoir here:
"Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny"


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Black & White


Getting my make-up done in Black & White

Today I have so much to catch up on. As part of my responsibility as a member of the Original Score panel for the AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences) awards, I have to play a ton of the newest video games (Oh poor me.) I ran downstairs anticipating Call of Duty 3, InFamous 2, Batman: Arkham City, L.A. Noire and at least two dozen other hot titles.

When I went into the room to get the box where all the games were stored I noticed a huge stack of photos. This was the master pile of photos that I'd compiled for my memoir "Le Freak."

After a full day of gaming in HD I went back and looked at the photos. I was surprised that so many of my favorites were in Black & White.


Me and Eric Clapton in B&W


Me and Janelle Monáe in B&W


Rick James and me in B&W


CHIC in B&W


David Bowie and Liz Taylor in B&W


Me and David Bowie in B&W


Kimberly, Me and Folami in B&W


Me by Robert Mapplethorpe in B&W


Me and 'Nard in B&W


Me and 'Nard in B&W


Me in B&W


Audra, me and Sylver in B&W


Me and James Brown in B&W


Me and Charlie Sheen in B&W


Me and Ky-Mani Marley in B&W


Me in the studio with Adam Lambert in B&W

 

Le Freak:
An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny
Written by Nile Rodgers

Category: Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs; Biography & Autobiography - Composers & Musicians; Music - Popular
Format: eBook, 336 pages
On Sale: October 2011
Price: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-0-679-64403-3 (0-679-64403-2)

Available as a hardcover and eBook.

You will hear a Nile Rodgers song today. It will make you happy.

Today's pop music—genre-crossing, gender-bending, racially mixed, visually stylish, and dominated by dance music with global appeal—is the world that Nile Rodgers created. In the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote and produced the songs that defined that era and everything that came after: "Le Freak," "Good Times," "We Are Family," "Like a Virgin," "Modern Love," "I'm Coming Out," "The Reflex," "Rapper's Delight." Aside from his own band, Chic, he worked with everyone from Diana Ross and Madonna to David Bowie and Duran Duran (not to mention Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Prince, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Depeche Mode, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry, INXS, and the B-52's), transforming their music, selling millions of records, and redefining what a pop song could be.

Read more about order the memoir here:
"Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny"


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Category: Walking on Planet C

There's No Place Like Home


There's No Place Like Home

I arrived home yesterday after a month's long tour in Germany with Night of the Proms. I was supposed to be home the day before, but my flight got cancelled due to Europe's first major snowfall.

Now that I'm back, the first order of business for me is to get some rest. And for that, There's No Place Like Home.

 

 

Le Freak:
An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny
Written by Nile Rodgers

Category: Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs; Biography & Autobiography - Composers & Musicians; Music - Popular
Format: eBook, 336 pages
On Sale: October 2011
Price: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-0-679-64403-3 (0-679-64403-2)

Available as a hardcover and eBook.

You will hear a Nile Rodgers song today. It will make you happy.

Today's pop music—genre-crossing, gender-bending, racially mixed, visually stylish, and dominated by dance music with global appeal—is the world that Nile Rodgers created. In the 1970s and 1980s, he wrote and produced the songs that defined that era and everything that came after: "Le Freak," "Good Times," "We Are Family," "Like a Virgin," "Modern Love," "I'm Coming Out," "The Reflex," "Rapper's Delight." Aside from his own band, Chic, he worked with everyone from Diana Ross and Madonna to David Bowie and Duran Duran (not to mention Mick Jagger, Debbie Harry, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Prince, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Depeche Mode, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, Bryan Ferry, INXS, and the B-52's), transforming their music, selling millions of records, and redefining what a pop song could be.

Read more about order the memoir here:
"Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny"


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Category: Walking on Planet C

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