Hy-Notes : Le Freak

5 Of The Coolest Things I Learned: 

  1. Nile’s first professional job was in the band for the touring show of Sesame Street.
  2. Luther Vandross sang backing vocals in Chic and did the vocal arrangement for “Everybody Dance.
  3.  “Le Freak” was written when Nile and Bernard Edwards were denied entry into Studio 54. “Freak out” was originally “fuck off!”
  4. A then unknown Stevie Ray Vaughn played guitar on Bowie’s Let’s Dance.
  5. Nile and Madonna fought over what should be the lead single from Like A Virgin. Nile wanted “Material Girl,” Madonna wanted the title track. Madonna won out and “Like A Virgin” was #1 for 6 weeks.


Easily the best part of Le Freak is the fact that Nile Rodgers wrote this all himself. There’s all sorts of self deprecation and timely pop culture references that make this feel like story time with Uncle Nile rather than a formal re-telling of his life. The obligatory upbringing portion of the story, usually a necessary and highly boring evil, is one of the most fascinating to ever be put to print in an autobiography. The product of bohemian parents, Nile was all but emancipated from birth – moving across the country multiple times and often ended up directly in the wake of his parents’ dangerous drug habits. But Rodgers reflects on and share this part of his life with no self pity or bitterness towards the people in his life. He is clearly a glass half full guy, with rarely a bad word to say about anyone (even the record executives who he’s proved wrong over the years). He’s modest practically to a fault, at one point listing off A caliber musicians he’s worked with almost as an afterthought. The only disappointment of Le Freak is that it was published before his work with Daft Punk, which would’ve been an entertaining addition to an already storied career.

Rating: 4.5/5


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