Saturday, November 22, 2014

Walking on Planet C

Heartbreak, Death and Destruction

November 4, 2012


It's a week after hurricane Sandy struck the northeast coast of the USA

It's a week after hurricane Sandy struck the northeast coast of the USA. Though I'll have to do a lot of cleaning up and repairs, my home is relatively unscathed.

Today, I was asked by people whom I work with to come out to Staten Island, the 5th borough of New York City, to see their devastation first hand. What I saw was unbelievable. Boats, houses, trucks, and cars where thrown around like toy pieces. I can only imagine the nightly horror when it's cold and dark as this area is still without power.

I saw and heard about acts of sacrifice and overwhelming kindness as well as many stories of Heartbreak, Death and Destruction.

 


Though I'll have to do a lot of cleaning up and repairs, my home is relatively unscathed


Boats, houses, trucks, and cars where thrown around like toy pieces


I can only imagine the nightly horror when it's cold and dark as this area is still without power


There were many people like this woman giving out free food


Hurricane Sandy's winds and surge deposited these boats and debris here from a mile away


In this shot things look normal but if I turn the camera just inches there's destruction everywhere


A car that was dropped by mother nature on another


People lining up to get gasoline for their generators


This cute sculpture survived the storm


Here it is from another angle with a couple of boats tossed up on land behind it


She said, "All my life I've taken care of diplomats, now why can't somebody take care of me - I've just retired from my job at the UN"

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Halloween Party in My Building

November 1, 2012


It's Halloween night and Lower Manhattan is still blacked-out in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy

To say this has been an unusual week could be the understatement of the year. As I write this it's Halloween night and Lower Manhattan is still blacked-out in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, my assistant Sooze, has been trapped in her high-rise apartment building for the last two days because her lobby is underwater (she'll be rescued tomorrow).

I still have many friends stranded here from around the world because the airports are closed, and we were forced to reschedule our annual We Are Family Foundation gala. Three days later the Ballroom still has no electricity.

Though it's Halloween, which is usually festive and my ex-partner Bernard Edwards' birthday, I feel helpless because all the things I've just mentioned are beyond my control. I've accepted my situation and tried to make the best of it. At least the kids had a good Halloween Party in My Building.

 


Unprecedented flooding in New York City


A shot of New York's La Guardia Airport after hurricane Sandy


We were forced to reschedule our annual We Are Family Foundation gala


Halloween in my hood


Halloween in my building


Halloween in my building


Halloween in My Building

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Gala Rescheduled, Please Stay Safe

October 28, 2012


Donate $1 or more to the We Are Family Foundation - CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE

HELLO!

In the spirit of We Are Family, we welcome everyone...however, an uninvited guest named Hurricane Sandy decided to stop by and stay a while!

With the safety and security of everyone in mind, the We Are Family Foundation is RESCHEDULING the 2012 Celebration Gala scheduled for Monday, October 29, 2012 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC to the soonest possible date.

We will be in touch this week with our new date - we don't want you to miss the best party in town!

Many states have declared States of Emergency. Please take this storm seriously and take all precautions necessary to be safe. We look forward to seeing you very soon after Hurricane Sandy leaves town.

Onward & Upward!
We Are Family Foundation Team

 

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Building Bridges of Peace

October 22, 2012


Here's a behind-the-scenes rehearsal clip for last year's gala with CHIC, Q-Tip & GZA

We work hard year round and celebrate our accomplishments at our annual gala. Please join the ever growing We Are Family Foundation family, and help us to continue Building Bridges of Peace.


Donate $1 or more to the We Are Family Foundation - CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE

 


Me & CHIC performing at last year's gala with Q-Tip and GZA


A CHIC and Elton John, gala performance


Me and Slash, gala performance


Me and Anita Baker, gala performance


On the red carpet with Joanna and Tony Bennett


Me, Steven Van Zandt and Jackson Browne, gala performance


The crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom


Classic CHIC Stage Rush!


A moving gala performance by Valerie Simpson


On the red carpet with Kate Pierson (The B-52s) and Jackson Browne

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

A Night to Remember

October 19, 2012


"We Are Family" A Musical Message for All

I'm busier than usual because I'm directly involved with a number of charitable commitments as well as my normal job. I started this blog because there are many people who, like myself, are struggling with cancer problems specifically, but hardships in general. Life is mainly hardship with moments of happiness.

I try and find good in the most difficult times so I can experience as much happiness as I can control. I try and think of working and giving as fun and rewarding.

I've traveled all around this world since I was a child and I've seen acts of kindness where you'd least expect to find them. People have a great ability to be kind. Regardless of whatever health issues I'm dealing with, my life is fun and rewarding. I've created many songs that have changed my life. "We Are Family" is even the inspiration for my own charitable foundation - and like the song, our programs have reached millions and what we've accomplished in the first eleven years humbles me.

The whole We Are Family Foundation team is working overtime on our upcoming gala. It will take place on Monday, October 29, 2012 at Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom. We're honoring a few visionary humanitarians: Sting and Trudie Styler, Jeni Stepanek, Ph. D., and Daniel Stern of Reservoir Capitol. Many of my friends will be performing. If the past can forecast the future, it will be A Night to Remember ».

 


Dora The Explorer producer Brown Johnson & me at Peter Gabriel's Witness Gala


I attended and performed with the Oscar nominated IMPACT Repertory Theatre, of which I'm a board member


I try and think of working and giving as fun and rewarding


The building of one of our We Are Family Foundation schools - People have a great ability to be kind


The completed WAFF school with students


Copy of original We Are Family leadsheet


WAFF and Court TV collaborated to produce "Empowering Children in the Aftermath of Hate" in 2002, a 30-minute special that won two Beacon Awards


TEDxTeen is another one of our WAFF programs


Teens from WAFF's Three Dot Dash program listen to presentations from Rachael Chang (Catchafire), Celeste Borttorff (Coca-Cola), Rose J. Flenorl (FedEx)


This almost sums us up in a nutshell because we also have fun


Sting & Trudie Styler WAFF 2012 Humanitarian Honorees


Mattie J.T. Stepanek and his mom Jeni - He was our first and she's our current WAFF Peacemaker Awardee


Daniel Stern President of the Film Society of Lincoln Center


Me and Sir Elton John performing with CHIC at a WAFF gala


Me, Little Steven and Jackson Browne at a WAFF gala


The B-52s at the WAFF gala last year


Me and Miss Piggy at a WAFF gala

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

New York Comic-Con

October 13, 2012


Talk about dedication-there was a person inside this realistic looking sculpture all day!

Whenever I go for medical test I feel the gamut of emotions. I always have a certain amount of fear, despair, anger, caution, pain and stress, but I somehow get back to feeling hope, respect, patience, love and happiness. The different jobs I do assure me that inevitably I'll get back to appreciating life and people. This week my medical procedures were pleasantly interrupted by my duties as chairman of Sumthing Else Music Works, a company that specializes in video game soundtracks. I was part of a panel of composers who talked about the art of scoring video games. It took place at a huge sold-out event at the Jacob Javits Center: New York Comic-Con, the largest pop culture event on the East Coast.

We had a totally packed house and my SEMW staff worked really hard. Not only did the distinguished panel of composers lift my spirits, but there was so much happiness emanating from the dedicated patrons of New York Comic-Con.

 


Here's another shot so you can see that he moved


Some very talented video game composers at the Sumthing Else Music Works booth at New York Comic-Con


We had a totally packed house- We need our own Grammy Category PEOPLE!


This dudes attention to detail was amazing


I wonder if she had a pressing engagment


Marth Vader


Cosplayers at NYCC


Dude posing with Halo's Master Chief at the Sumthing Booth


Peeps at the Sumthing Booth at New York Comic-Con


Solomon Grundy rolled up on me singing "Aw Freak Out! Le Freak C'est Chic."


A picture's worth a thousand words


Patrons of New York Comic-Con


Dude's going Gangnam Style

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

I Guess We All F***'d Up?

October 6, 2012


I'm going through a low-point in my physical health but I'm not complaining-Here I am after leaving the emergency room a few days ago

I'm going through a low-point in my physical health but I'm not complaining. Instead I ask myself, "Who has it better than I do?" I've cheated death more times than I can count and I'm currently on the mend (again) and working more than ever before.

Q. What is my job? A. To help expand the artistic reach of pop culture regardless of the medium.

My job is a service job - albeit a creative, fun, and artistic one. As a music-maker, I'm always challenged to help my artists expand their artistic reach. In other words, my job is to make pop, aka popular, aka hits, aka chart-toppers. I don't always get it right because that's spiritually not possible since art is in the heart of the beholder - but I do the best I can.

Yesterday, I was in LA taking meetings regarding some growing interest in my life story being adapted for film, stage-play, graphic novel etc. When I returned to my hotel after filming a segment for a different project, I had a ton of emails congratulating me on my band CHIC being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This brought a smile to my face but not for the reasons one might think.

CHIC's career was cut dramatically short due to Disco Demolition Night and the Disco Sucks backlash. After a string of gold, platinum, and multiple-platinum records, CHIC never had another hit after the summer of '79, which is when Disco Demo Night took place.

CHIC's last hit was "Good Times." It was released in '79, and some might argue that it was "The surrogate father of hip hop," birthing "Rapper's Delight," and a number of homage successes - amongst them Queen's smash hit "Another One Bites The Dust." Though CHIC never got another hit, both myself and CHIC's co-founder Bernard Edwards, continued to do our jobs (see aforementioned job description).

Last night someone texted me, "This could be CHIC's year because they're allowing the public to vote!" "Really?" I had to check this process out. I went to the RnRHoF site to see how it had been curated. The top CHIC song on the list is "Rebels Are We," which was released in 1980. This song was the beginning of the longest run of flops in my career. I'm not sure if my own mother knows this song let alone the now "voting public."

This is our seventh nomination which understandably has throngs of non-CHIC fans scratching their heads, and I sort of get it. If one were curating this list under the edict of making the voter aware of why CHIC is nominated or just expanding pop culture, shouldn't it include CHIC's most popular recordings, all of which were before 1980? Songs like "Everybody Dance," and even a b-side like "CHIC Cheer," are more well known than the band itself.

One of the greatest things about my life other than the fact that I'm still alive is, I love my "making music" job. Whether CHIC ever gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a ton of artists that I did my job with will.

All of the men in the original CHIC Organization have passed away, save me. They had great senses of humor and would get this comedic irony. We formed CHIC based on influences from two distinctive bands of our era: the sophistication of Roxy Music and the anonymity of KISS (before they removed their make-up and Gene Simmons became a famous TV star). Neither of those bands are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame either. I Guess We All F***'d Up?

 


Here I was having fun on the set between segments


My job is to help expand the artistic reach of pop culture regardless of the medium


The Vaughan Brothers and me - I'm always challenged to help my artists expand their reach


My job is to make pop - I don't always get it right but I do the best I can


CHIC's career was cut dramatically short due to Disco Demolition Night and the Disco Sucks backlash


After a string of gold, platinum, and multiple-platinum records, CHIC never had another hit after the summer of '79, which is when Disco Demo Night took place


Bernard Edwards and me signing CHIC to Atlantic Records in 1977


The story of my life


CHIC's last hit "Good Times" was released in '79


Rapper's Delight with CHIC writer's credit


Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust" is closely related to "Good Times" musically but they didn't sample our master


After I produced David Bowie's "Let's Dance" album, my string of flops ended and soon both Bernard Edwards and I would have a string of successes


Alison Moyet, Johnny Marr, and me performing together a few months ago - I love my "making music" job


The Full Early CHIC Organization - Sadly, of the five guys I'm the only one still alive


Roxy Music were early CHIC role models - they're not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


KISS were early CHIC role models - they're not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Something to Be Afraid Of

October 2, 2012


Walking past the Gibson Bus on my way to a meeting at Clinton Global Initiative - Every day last week I've had extra activities beyond my usually heavy workload

Every day last week I've had extra activities beyond my usually heavy workload. Midweek, though I didn't injure my back, I was suddenly having excruciating middle-back pain - this happened to coincide with the timing of my regular cancer follow-up examination, so in a way I thought, "How convenient." I spent a full day having the normal battery of test and a few more to address my back problem.

After a routine blood-pressure test my doctor said, "127 over 70 that's good." Well, I'm normally 110 over 70 and I felt that my systolic was most likely higher than normal because I was nervous about my back pain. I went home with basically a clean bill of health but my doctor thought I could have a bladder or urinary tract infection and prescribed antibiotics.

Later that night, the back pain worsened and my temperature and heart rate got very high. I could barely speak or control my muscles. I thought I may be having a stroke based on what I know of my old friend Luther Vandross' story. I called 911. My symptoms were very real but my mind was playing tricks on me and I became afraid.

Sometime the best fear generator is not knowing what's wrong. I waited for the emergency workers to arrive. I'd just been given a relatively clean bill of health and wanted to show them the new medication I'd taken.

My initial fear was reasonable - but as I worked harder to not pass out, I started to think about what was most likely happening. The ambulance arrived and I explained my story as clearly as I could. I adjusted my attitude and I started to slowly feel better. They took me to the hospital for a five hour ordeal. By the time I left my mind was in a good place and I'd reasoned that this was yet another infection that I've become more susceptible to since the first cancer surgery.

I was still a little nervous but I wasn't afraid. I believe the best defense against fear of the unknown is to embrace the fact that "I don't know." My motto is: Try not to be afraid until I'm absolutely positive there's Something to Be Afraid Of.

 


My regular cancer follow-up examination


I spent a full day having the normal battery of test


These fine guys gave me a few more test to address my back problem


My old friend Luther Vandross died of a stroke


The ambulance arrived and I explained my story to the St Lukes workers as clearly as I could


They took me to the hospital for a five hour ordeal


Chilling in my NYC apartment and my mind is in a good place


Try not to be afraid until I'm absolutely positive there's Something to Be Afraid Of


I try and stay positive and concentrate on feeling better

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

I'm Still Freaking Out

October 11, 2012 - Update by: @NileRodgers
On my birthday a couple weeks ago I got the most amazing surprise. A whole slew of my friends got together and recorded something I'll never forget - a two hour plus video birthday card. I'd promised to post the whole thing but I got sick, then had to go away. I'm still sick but I'm back home. Here's The Entire Birthday Video.
September 23, 2012


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | FULL VIDEO

On my sixtieth birthday I was on a plane heading over to London, England. I was going to attend an old friend's wedding. Nobody could reach me in the air on my milestone birthday, so some of my closest friends embarked upon an epic undertaking.

They sent Happy Birthday from around the world. This was not just from pop stars, but friends from all areas of my life - even twitter and facebook.

Film clips are still coming in and my crew has put together a feature length video. This blog typically talks about my daily adventures since being attacked by aggressive cancer about a year and a half ago - however, the love and positivity in my life flows in both directions and I'd like to share some of it.

Hopefully, I won't have any health issues that override this series of snippets. I'll run as many as I can because they're heartwarming, funny, and entertaining. I'm truly thankful to all my friends and their pets. I'm Still Freaking Out.

 


Bryan Ferry


Steve Vai


Daft Punk


John Taylor (Duran Duran)


Dimitri from Paris


The B-52's


Paul Simon


Quincy Jones


Steven Van Zandt


XL Video


Narada Michael Walden


Chris Cornell


Q-Tip


Brett Ratner


Adam Lambert


Sinbad


Jerry Greenberg


Slash


Chris Matthews


Jody Watley


Steve Winwood


Me & Mom


Simon Le Bon


Alison Moyet


Taylor Dayne


Montel Williams


Johnny Marr


Sting


André Leon Talley


Deepak Chopra

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

Happy to be Alive on My Birthday

September 19, 2012


Here I am in front of Electric Lady Studios and you can see Paul McClean and Rich Hilton's reflections in the glass

CHIC's first single was called "Dance, Dance, Dance" - it was recorded at Electric Lady Studios on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. This is the studio that was built by Jimi Hendrix. It was in the heart of the neighborhood I was raised in. When I was a kid Electric Lady was a nightclub called Generation.

When I was sixteen-years old I'd go to Generation even though the legal drinking age then was eighteen. Because of the military draft system America had during the Vietnam War, our primary form of identification was a draft card. This was a simple document that was easily forged in any high school print shop so all my friends had them. Many eighteen-year olds looked like sixteen-year olds and vice versa, so I was never asked to leave any club. Though I was skinny and looked very young, I had a draft card.

After Generation became Electric Lady, I worked with scores of artists there: INXS, Hall & Oates, CHIC, Macy Gray, D'Angelo, Femi Kuti, Roy Hargrove, Daft Punk and more than I can count without looking up a music reference guide.

I was going to do a long blog today about all the people, places and things that I've done since becoming a professional musician because I've been walking all over New York with Paul McClean from BBC Radio. But while I was writing this, I realized today is my Birthday.

I started this blog talking about being sixteen-years old, and today I'm sixty-years old. Given what I've been through in my life, honestly, I'm just Happy to be Alive on My Birthday.

 


Our first single "Dance, Dance, Dance" was cut at Electric Lady Studios


This cheap paper stock document that was smaller than a credit card "when folded" was called a draft card and it was easy to forge


Practicing a Fela song with Questlove, D'Angelo, and Femi Kuti in Electric Lady's lounge


I took a picture with Paul then I took him inside Electric Lady Studios


I told Paul a ton of great Electric Lady recording stories


There was somebody recording in Electric Lady in total secrecy while we where there - I have a pretty good idea who it is


I realized it was my birthday so I looked up other birthday photos - Last year I got my first Ice-Cream Birthday Cake


CHIC reunion on my birthday with Paul Schaffer, Luci Martin, me Alfa Anderson, Bernard Edwards and Fonzi Thornton


Lionel Richie, Esai Morales, Nile, Russell Wong, Dustin Nguyen and girls affectionately called Niley's Angels outside my birthday day party in LA


Okay I admit it, I went out for a really fast drive today because I'm just Happy to be Alive on my Birthday

 


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Category: Walking on Planet C

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