Nile Rodgers, the man who brought us disco, to talk at the 2012 Edinburgh Book Festival

This article is from 2012

Nile Rodgers

Roy Cox

How one man helped shape a generation of pop

As the Book Festival programme announces, Nile Rodgers is ‘The Man Who Brought Us Disco’. Or, to be more accurate, he is: The Chic Frontman Who Brought Us Disco; Who Worked with Mick Jagger, Prince and Debbie Harry; Who Produced Madonna, David Bowie and Diana Ross; Who Created the Most-Sampled Band of All-Time and then Flat-lined with Mickey Rourke. But that’s not the half of it.

As befits a pioneer who has sold over 100m records, conquered addiction, seen off cancer and written some of pop’s greatest songs – Chic’s ‘Le Freak’ and Sister Sledge’s ‘We Are Family’ for two – Rodgers is a terrific storyteller. His autobiography, Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and History, is enthralling.

Did Rodgers realise what impact he’d make on our culture when he started writing Chic songs in the 1970s? ‘I don’t think when you’re creating art that you’re thinking that far into the future, even though we called ourselves futurists.’ Rodgers’ Book Festival appearance promises colourful anecdotes from throughout his life. ‘It’s not just about being in the band Chic, it’s about the Chic Organisation, the artists I worked with, the songs that I wrote for Diana Ross, Duran Duran and INXS.’ And it’s not just about Nile Rodgers. It’s about pop music as we know it.

10-19 Aug, 9.30pm, £10 (£8).

Rodgers about writing his book

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Disco and 70s grooves from the man who gave us 'Good Times', 'Le Freak', 'Everybody Dance', 'We Are Family', 'He's the Greatest Dancer' and 'Lost in Music'.

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Belgian artist Jean Pierre Muller has enlisted some pretty heavyweight musical assistance for his audio-visual sound sculpture installation; his collaborators are Archie Shepp, Robert Wyatt, Terry Riley, Nile Rodgers, Sean O'Hagan, the great Ethiopian jazzman Mulatu Astatke and Brazilian guitarist Alexandre Kassin. The…

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A literary experience like no other. Anything goes: storytelling, music, performance, poetry, stand-up – it’s a raw, surprising, sometimes emotional ride. Come with an open mind! Part of Edinburgh International Book Festival

Nile Rodgers: The Man Who Brought Us Disco

He may be best known for the disco hit Le Freak but Nile Rodgers’ influence on pop music has been so very much greater than that. Rodgers wrote and produced classics such as 'Like a Virgin' for Madonna, 'We Are Family' for Sister Sledge and David Bowie’s bestselling album Let’s Dance. He’s worked with Mick Jagger, Bob…

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