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
Thus far I've only gigged in the Republic of Ireland
Thus far I've only gigged in the Republic of Ireland, Galway, Cork, Dublin, and our first gig at the Electric Picnic. They've all been amazing. I'm so looking forward to coming back there to play the Button Factory in Dublin, but also performing in Northern Ireland for the first time. We have a large group from Belfast that show up at CHIC shows in England. I did a keynote speech in Belfast for Music Week that kicked off the MTV Awards, but there is nothing like connecting with the people through performing our songs for me.
Our set list will most likely include not only music by my group CHIC, but a number of records I've written and produced for others that CHIC played on originally: David Bowie, Sister Sledge, INXS, Madonna, Diana Ross, Sheila and B Devotion (He's a "Spacer"), and maybe a few others depending on the vibe of the crowd.
I'm guessing Belfast is going to be as breathtaking as our gigs in the Republic. The power of music supersedes economics and politics. When I was younger I'd save my pennies to hear the music that moved me because the experience enriched my spirit. The sole purpose of our music is to move your hearts, feet, and your A$$es.
When we arrive on the largest island in Europe, We're Coming to FREAKOUT!
THE GALWAY SHOW WAS JUST ABOUT PERFECT!
Don Harris and Bill Holloman in perfect sync in Galway
We always invite the audience up on stage at the end
Irish fans getting their groove on
Getting a kiss in sheer pandemonium. The Irish crowd was FANTASTIC! We played things we'd never played before
Backstage with three Irish sisters. Love the dark hair and blue eyes
Jerry Barnes killing it on "We Are Family" -Kim, Nile, & Folami in bkg
We're coming to Ireland to FREAKOUT!
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.