Mr Welsh holding back a little chuckle as I play "Aw Fuck Off," the original version of "Le Freak"
The last few days in Edinburgh have been nothing short of amazing. I was there primarily for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where I did two formal events, but I was also a part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival at Summerhall's Visual Arts Programme. I collaborated with artist Jean Pierre Muller to create 7x7, an exhibition on an entire street with him and seven musicians: Robert Wyatt, Archie Shepp, Sean O' Hagan, Mulatu Astatake, Kassin, Terry Riley and myself.
There were so many highlights that happened over the last few days, I literally could write an entire book on all of my amazing encounters. Since this is only a blog, I'll show and tell you about a mere few in no particular order of Importance or Hipness.
Highly opinionated author extraordinaire Irvine Welsh interviewed me at sold out event for my memoir Le Freak
Me in the foreground with Clive Anderson on BBC 4 show Loose Ends - Greg Proops from Whose Line Is It Anyway (left)
Me and the brilliant TV personality Sue Perkins, who interviewed me at the 7x7TH STREET exhibit
My little corner of the 7x7TH STREET - Check out Norma Jean poster at the Lenox Lounge
A night I'll never forget - I picked up my guitar and the whole place started singing almost every song I'd ever written
I stole the idea from a beautiful girl that I met in Ibiza when I posed for this photo at the book festival
The book signing line was so long it went outside and around the building
7x7TH STREET in the Summerhall booklet (photo taken while the street was under construction)
Playing jazz standards while the people take their seats for my first book lecture
Fan holds up one of the bowie albums I produced while heading to their seat
Me in front of the 7x7 sculputre that features my F Indigo Suite
Heading home after an amazing weekend at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Today's flight is from Edinburgh to NYC.
The Edinburgh International Book Festival's author logistics officer Emma Hay and me
Though there was a slight drizzle of rain, it was unseasonably warm when I landed around 10 A.M. in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was met by the Edinburgh International Book Festival's author logistics officer Emma Hay. She told me my room wouldn't be ready until noon. We dropped my bags at the hotel, then we killed a couple hours eating breakfast and touring the festival grounds.
As we approached the entrance I said to myself, "I'm at the largest book festival in the world." It actually felt a little awkward when my laminated pass said "Author" instead of musician, talent, or access-all-areas, which is typical in the music business.
There's something exciting about being a new person, in a new field, in a new place. My overactive imagination fired up. I always hear music soundtracks in my head but today I was thinking about words and pictures too. I saw a statue and thought of a scene from the film Jason and the Argonauts where a statue comes to life. Near the base of the statue was a large rubberized area covered with puddles of rain and colorful squares with phrases designed to make one think. I named it Pick Your Rain Soaked Truth and heard Teddy Pendergrass singing Harold Melvin's "Wake Everybody" in my head.
I walked into the large bookstore. I was overwhelmed. So many people and so many books - could this really be my new world? Then I entered the tent where I'll give my first performance, it reminded me of the film The Greatest Show on Earth. As my eyes scanned the room I started hearing the film's score in my head. I looked on the stage and noticed the same image that was on the rubberized area outside near the statue. In the center it simply said, The World, In Words (& Music).
The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the largest book festival in the world
My laminated pass said "Author" instead of musician, talent, or access-all-areas
I love when statues come to life in films - I was waiting for him to suddenly ride off the festival grounds
As I walked the festival grounds I happened upon this large rubberized area - I don't know what it's called but I named it Pick Your Rainsoaked Truth
Customers and curious browsers at the Edinburgh Int. Book Festival - I was overwhelmed
The Guardian Spiegeltent where I'll give my 1st performance
The Greatest Show on Earth movie poster
I looked on the stage and noticed the same image that was on the rubberized area outside near the statue
Le Freak - My World, In Words (& Music)
Headed to the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, to talk about my memoir "Le Freak." My engagement is on Sunday the 19th.
The event will be held at the RBS Main Theatre, and tickets can be purchased here: TIX
Here's the info on this trip from NYC > Edinburgh.
Songwriters Hall of Fame - Master Sessions at NYU with Nile Rodgers
On April 10, 2012, NYU Steinhardt songwriter-in-residence, Phil Galdston, interviewed me at the Frederick Loewe Theatre for a Songwriter's Hall Of Fame event. We talked about many different aspects of songwriting. Phil is a 1st class songwriter with with a long list of hit recordings to his credit. He and I have written together in the past and are collaborating on a project currently.
Here is the entire interview. I'm sorry I can't provide subtitles for all the languages the blog gets translated to - but if you don't speak English at least you can see how much fun I had at The Songwriter's Master Class.
Daft Art's Paul Hahn and me at Michael Jordan's restaurant (shot by a dude at the bar)
Over the last few days I've had tons of meetings to plan for the rest of what's already been an exciting year. Just when I thought I couldn't get more hyped up about the future, I got a call from Daft Art's Paul Hahn. He was in New York and so was I - we figured out a way to meet between our other meetings. We linked up at the bar at Michael Jordan's restaurant in Grand Central Terminal. We talked about as many things as we could fit into our quick meeting.
Suddenly, I remembered I had to make a few calls because I was late for my next meeting since my earlier ones had gone overtime. Paul was cool with my frenetic situation. As soon as I hung up we jumped back into our conversation without dropping a beat. We marveled about some new technology, some visual concepts, and how many things had come together over the last few months. We talked about my Fender Stratocaster nicknamed "The Hitmaker," my plexiglass Guitarman nicknamed "The CHIC-ocaster," and of course the current state of the mixes for the next Daft Punk Album. I'm Hyped.
Me playing my Fender stratocaster nicknamed "The Hitmaker"
My plexiglass Guitarman nicknamed "The CHIC-ocaster"
Officially, I'm Hyped!
Nile Daft Funk
Daft Punk animation by @CatnipSoup
Today I did a TV special called Unsung
Today I did a TV show called Unsung. It's a really exceptional music series and I've watched several of them on YouTube. During one of the breaks between shooting, I checked my email and I'd gotten a letter that made my heart jump for joy. It was from Luci Martin, who was in the second incarnation of the CHIC Organization (from C'est CHIC to Believer). She talked about how much we used to laugh, the true love we have for one another, and how that love will never go away. She didn't have to say that because I've always known that, but it was nice to read. I have deep unending love for her and every CHIC alumni.
My dearest Lulu, your email was perfectly timed. It hyped me up better than a Starbucks Double Espresso Macchiato. I ran back down to my basement where the camera crew was set up and finished the four-hour long interview about the history of disco with clarity, gusto, and a big smile on my face.
I'm grateful for a life where I've been able to work with some extraordinarily talented people which continues To This Very Day.
The entire early CHIC Organization at dinner in San Remo. Karen Milne (violinist) front left, and Luci Martin with wine bottle
C'est CHIC album cover
CHIC album cover Believer
The two cameras that recorded my four-hour Unsung disco diatribe
I'm grateful for a life where I've been able to work with some extraordinarily talented people which continues To This Very Day
A t-shirt a fan gave me in Ireland after one of our shows
After I finished my last show I had one hour to pack. I then had to travel all night and day before I finally got home to my own bed. The show had taken place in Liss Ard, Cork County Ireland. It was near the town of Skibbereen and it wasn't exactly easy to get to or from.
When I finally arrived home I checked my email. The very first message was a clip that someone had shot of me during a book signing event in Belfast, Ireland shot a few days ago.
The clip starts in the middle of me answering a question about what it was like to work with Stevie Ray Vaughan and it continued with the story of the song "Let's Dance" by David Bowie. It was the first song Stevie Ray had heard from what would be The Then Next Bowie Album.
Nile Rodgers in Belfast on David Bowie and Let's Dance
Irish fans waiting for autographs
On the street with fans in the town of Skibbereen
People from our last show at Liss Ard
Some of the Liss Ard crowd
After our last show I had just one hour to pack
Thank you for another amazing week! And now, home. Cork > Manchester > NYC.
The final stop this week is Cork, Ireland for the Liss Ard Festival. En route - Malaga, Spain to Cork, Ireland