Next stop Yorkshire, UK (via Manchester) for the Magic Loungeabout! Then Camp Bestival, Belfast, Dublin and more. It's Back to Europe!
Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven
A few hours after this blog post goes out I'll be heading to yet another cancer specialist - one who's also a neurologist because it's clear that I have some nerve damage. When I talked about my first cancer incident it was during a concert with Earth, Wind, and Fire when I lost muscle strength in my right hand. My strength has improved but never fully recovered - on the other hand for years I'd suffered partial neuropathy in my left heel but after doing therapy for the cancer recovery it's completely healed. (No pun intended. Go figure?)
The human body is amazing, wonderful, and complicated. Tomorrow, I'm playing a concert in NYC at Lincoln Center, and immediately after flying back to Ireland to play a series of concerts, then I go back over to England, followed by a show in Monaco, and all in just the next few weeks.
I'm not complaining. I have the greatest job in the world. I get to play and hang with some of the coolest people on earth. Look at the happy faces in this post. Believe this: as happy as the fans are - I'm twice as happy to be there playing this music I love so much.
And you have my word that I'll funk my heart out until My Dying Day.
We're playing a CHIC concert in NYC at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
I'm flying back to Ireland to play a series of concerts
More happy faces
Happy people in France
A happy woman in Juan-les-Pins
Believe this - as happy as the fans are - I'm twice as happy to be there playing this music I love so much
Today, I'll be hoping back across the pond for a show in New York City and then it's back to Europe for us! My flights today are Nice > Paris > NYC.
Arriving at the Montreux Jazz Festival to put the finishing touches on Freakout! Montreux
Freakout! Montreux was a show that I curated at the 2012 Montreux Jazz Festival. It started on the evening of July 13 and ended in the wee hours of the morning of July 14. It featured a huge roster of multifaceted talents that pushed the boundaries of the musical status quo.
Over the next few days I'll feature some lo-res unedited clips to give you a sense of one of the greatest days of my life. It took months to plan but the vibe was so amazing that I'm already working on next year's version.
Many of you may not know that I was attacked by very aggressive cancer about twenty-months ago and it's been the greatest struggle of my life. But I'll just keep planning for the next gigs - because Death Has It's Own Plan.
Mark Ronson said it would be his dream for Alison Moyet, Johnny Marr and CHIC to play his arrangement of "Stop Me" - He said that Johnny and I are his two fav guitarist - Here's a little snippet
After months of planning I could see my vision starting to come true
The Freakout! Montreux plan included legends Dimitri from Paris & Ultra Naté
The team worked like a well-oiled machine - Ultra Naté ripped it up while I was in heaven
The A-Team Sooze, Claude, & Tess
Every detail was planned
We even designed the fruit
Going over last minute details with Scarlett Etienne who played keyboards, sang, and DJ'd in the opening
The one and only Martha Wash sound checking
Me and French disco legend Marc Cerrone having a laugh at sound check
La Roux's Elly Jackson going "In For The Kill"
Me and Tavares go over the opening number
Felix da Housecat assuring me that he's got it covered
And Grace and her son Paulo turned it out!
The whole team WORKED HARD to make this night perfect
Many things have caused major changes my life - seeing Bryan Ferry and Roxy music in the mid 70's was one
Many things have caused major changes my life, and over the next few weeks you will see one of them: Freakout! Montreux. This was a multi-act show that I curated at the 2012 Montreux Jazz Festival. When I was a youngster I took to the guitar like a duck to water. I didn't pick up the instrument until I was sixteen years old - but by nineteen I was a working session jazz guitarist touring with TV's Sesame Street.
At around twenty-three years of age, my then girlfriend and I walked into a disco and I heard continuous music for the first time. It was the beginning of the disco revolution and my personal evolution. In a matter of a few short months I'd evolve into a composer, arranger, and producer of funky dance based groove hits. In less than a decade I was honored as Billboard Magazine's # 1 Single's Producer.
This year, the CEO of the Montreux Jazz Festival Claude Nobs wanted to honor me, but I wanted to honor the music that changed my life. A basic characteristic of anything is to evolve. As I absorbed more technical information my musical calling became clearer and more heightened.
When I entered the dance music scene it was open to everybody. I saw it as the highest form of communication between human beings. We all spoke the same language and had the same philosophy: If it moved people's souls to get them up and dancing - it worked! We didn't need critics and experts to explain it to us. The people are the experts!
As dance music evolves, the genres are as varied as single-celled organisms - but It Never Dies, It Multiplies.
A lo-res snippet from Freakout! Montreux of "Tell It To My Heart" by Taylor Dayne, diva of freestyle AKA Latin hip-hop and electro: a form of dance music that blew up in New York, Miami, and New Jersey in the early 80's.
Freakout! Montreux Sound check
This was a multi- act show that I curated at the 2012 Montreux Jazz Festival
Billboard Magazine Award
Claude Nobs the CEO of the Montreux Jazz Festival wanted to honor me this year
I see dance music as the highest form of communication between human beings
The people are the experts!
We just multiply- Alison Moyet, me, Johnny Marr, and Mark Ronson
We just multiply - CHIC and Elly Jackson of La Roux
We just multiply - Tavares
We just multiply - Claude Nobs and dj Scarlett Etienne
We just multiply - Selan from CHIC with the voice that launched a thousand hits, Martha Wash
We just multiply - Me, Mark Ronson, Claude Nobs, and Quincy Jones
We just multiply - Grace Jones
We just multiply - Quincy Jones, world-champ female beatboxer Butterscotch, and Ultra Naté
We just multiply - Dimitri from Paris (red jacket), Marc Cerrone (white hair), Claude Nobs, & Taylor Dayne getting they're dance on
We just multiply - me with dj extraordinaire Felix da Housecat
We just multiply - Me with Patrick Juvet
Nile and a few thousand of his closest friends in Montreux for the FreakOut! Montreux All-Night Dance Party
Hi there, it's IAmMisterD again with another installment of hacked blog footage from FreakOut! Montreux 2012.
Nile will be back and better than ever as soon as he settles in to the next strand of tour dates, but in the mean time, there was just too much video footage to keep to myself. It was a very proud night for us, as our Maestro here again broke boundaries and made magic and history.
These are just some of my fave clips - and I do have to say that watching Quincy Jones rock out side-stage for the entire night was crazy awesome. Hope You Enjoy!
CHIC setting up the mood for an amazing night of music and dancing
Elly Jackson of La Roux with CHIC performing her hit "Bullet Proof"
Mark Ronson in DJ form, mixing it up for everyone to Enjoy!
Quincy spent the night side-stage rockin' out and showing his love and support for Nile's vision
This really happened. Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Johnny Marr and Alison Moyet performing Mark's version of Johnny's classic "Stop Me"
Greetings from Montreux! Many of you know me, but for those that don't my name is D and I'm Nile's Media Director / Tech guy. I'm on here as IAmMisterD. Nile's had a groundbreaking and unbelievable few days - weeks.. It's just non-stop funk to the max in his world at the moment.
Montreux Jazz 2012 was no exception. As a matter of fact, boundaries and cross genre, heart thumping, funk went down last night, in a way that Montreux has never seen.
Now, I'll let Nile tell his stories the way he does and we all love, but for now, I'll share with you some of my pics from FreakOut! Montreux. They're Electric.
The day before FreakOut! Montreux Claude Nobs invited everyone to hi chalet - Here's Nile with Taylor Dayne and Ultra Naté on the ride up telling rock-n-roll stories
The view from Claude Nobs chalet - Claude founded the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967 and it's arguably the largest music festival in the world
Checking out a hanglider from Claude's chalet with Scarlett Etienne
Nile, philosophising the mysteries of music
Nile plays a MEAN game of Ping Pong - like an old-school New Yorker
Setting it up
A FIERCE backspin
A proud Nile overlooking his people from the balcony at Claude's chalet
Mark Ronson backstage last night - ready to make history
A beautiful and amazingly talented Alison Moyet - all smiles
On stage with Elly Jackson from La Roux - "Bullet Proof"
Jerry Barnes (Bass) breaking grounds
The CHIC Machine in all it's splendour
This is Rock-N-Roll
Nile and Claude - thank you's, love and music
Overlooking the crowd
Nile played like there was no tomorrow - he left every bead of sweat on that floor
This.. is Nile Rodgers
A video screen shot
The CHIC Horns, amazing as ever
The crowd coming to life
The CHICsters laying down the groove
The CHICsters laying down the groove
Butterscotch, the world's greatest female beat-boxer, getting ready to funk it up with CHIC
This crowd never knew what hit them - Music Nonstop
At one moment, I went up to Nile and was like "What's this, Ibiza?"
The crowd was on fire
Claude Nobs and Nile addressing a packed house at Montreux's famous Stravinski Auditorium
For The Last Week or so I’ve not been able to update my blog. But in the last week I've given two speeches
For The Last Week or so I’ve not been able to update my blog. I’ve tried to get it done as consistently as I have in the past but it’s been impossible. My situation made me feel frustrated, anxious, and even angry. It started to take a toll on me. I realized I had to accept the reality and just let it go. I started the blog because I wanted it to be a comfortable healing place. I’d had more than my fair share of stress the very first day I wrote my very first word about my cancer experience.
Today, I consciously had to repeat to myself, “Relax Nile. The schedule is purely arbitrary and everything is going to be fine.” I was so tense today I nearly passed out from stress. This is one hundred percent true. But to be completely accurate it wasn’t just my frustration of not being able to tend to my blog post properly, it was due to the severe stress of travel. Well I'm now in England and have full bandwidth and all the drama is behind me. So let me show you in pictures what it's been like The Last Week of My Life.
IBIZA123 Festival with Sting, Elton John and yours truly
I strained a muscle and was tended to by maybe the coolest Dr. on earth, who fixed me enough to play a show the next night
We did an incredible gig in an incredible place called Blainville, France
Jamming in my semi Cab Calloway suit in Blainville. The Rock n Roll Dr. fixed me pretty good
A few hours after we got back to our hotel in Rouen, France we'd go to Ibiza, Spain
Hours after we arrived in Ibiza, it was party time
Party time Ibiza style
Beautiful Body Art
Another flawless cadenza by Kim
A Burn Girl
Cool peeps in Ibiza
Jamming at the end of "Let's Dance"
Me w Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, Power Station, etc. He's a great musician and a fantastic guy
The super motor yacht Radiant was docked outside my bedroom my last night in Ibiza
I landed in Manchester, England to do press for my upcoming gig
One of our upcoming gigs The Magic Loungeabout
Bernard Edwards and me signing CHIC to Atlantic Records in 1977
I was up all night planning the final pieces of our mega Dance Party at Montreux Jazz on July 13. It will be the first event of it's kind that I've curated since the formulation of CHIC. I see it as "The Evolution of Dance Music."
I respect the big voice divas, 70's orchestrated disco, 80's synth pop, house, techno, and the killer Dj's the same way I respect other great artists. I believe that they use they're instruments as creatively as many of the best virtuoso musicians. And I don't mean just battle Dj's who dazzle us with their turntable skills - but the great composer Dj's who create emotional and artistic musical collages while keeping the dance floor packed and the rumps shaking.
I'll bring together many legendary artists who represent the ever changing world of dance music - past, present, and future. We'll literally go "On and on till the break of dawn," then have breakfast. And if we pull this off - we will positively Freakout! Montreux.
The full early CHIC Org - Sadly, of the five guys, I'm the only one still alive
The rarest CHIC record I've ever seen - from a shop in East Germany
To this very day, I try and keep the Studio 54 vibe alive
The CHIC Organization Box-Set with remixes by Dimitri from Paris
Playing "Le Freak" while doing the dance called 'The Freak' back in the day
Freak Out! Montreux official flyer
Alison Moyet (Yazoo)
Dimitri from Paris
Elly Jackson (La Roux)
Felix Da Housecat
Johnny Marr (The Smiths / Electronic)
Me being photographed by legendary Bruce Weber and his team for his next book
Today, I did an amazing photo session and interview with the legendary Bruce Weber. It will be for his next project. We didn't playback any live music during the session because we recorded every word exchanged between us. I've never felt more comfortable in my life with a photographer!
Throughout the entire session, my internal Dj kept playing one continuous happy loop. It was a song I'd originally done with David Bowie back in the 80's. Here's CHIC's version. Are you Ready? Get Set. "Let's Dance."
CHIC "Let's Dance" LIVE at LOVEBOX FESTIVAL 2012
I've never felt more comfortable in my life with a photographer!
Bruce had found a cape by Pablo Picasso's cape maker
Me (in the cape) and Bruce Weber
We were supposed to go on a walking tour but he became enchanted with my neo-classical style apartment
Throughout the entire session my internal Dj kept playing one continuous happy loop
My shot of Bruce shooting me
We got along so well he talked me into wearing a dreadlock cap!
Years ago I had a VH1 TV show and John Lee Hooker once told me, "Always wear your sun glasses indoors"
Some of Bruce's cameras on my dinning room sofa
"Hey Nile, are you ready? Get set. 'Let's Dance.'"