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Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny Hardcover – 20 Oct 2011
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A rich, warm tale of a fascinating life in the golden age of New York and pop --Observer
* The astonishing and wildly entertaining memoir of Nile Rodgers: legendary producer and co-founder of the band Chic.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
From the age of seven this New York native witnessed his parents injecting themselves on a daily basis, his constant asthma attacks, plus the fact that his mother was always leaving him with another relative, as he said himself "I felt I wasn't good enough to keep".
Add to this the fact that his grandmother was raped and became pregnant as a result; the school caretaker was abusing the children around him. To be a survivor he would have to look after himself, this included skipping school and befriending a wino who'd write sick notes for him. His father had being left at the altar by his mother, turning his dad into a bum on the streets and ironically Nile would run into him, as he says "not once, but twice, 10 years apart in a city of 8 million people".
Moving back to California (so his mother could shake her drug habit), Nile would start glue sniffing, lose his virginity, while his mother would be raped.
Despite all this, it was music he wanted to pursue, and getting that first guitar for Christmas changed everything. Once his mothers' boyfriend tuned it and he could play A Day In The Life, and he never looked back. As he says himself "I strummed and a perfect G-major chord rang out......then strummed an E minor and dropped to the seventh. There are no words to accurately describe what this felt like". This is why he ran away from home at 14, with his guitar, eventually joining the Sesame Street theatrical road show (a 70s version of Glee perhaps).
Not long after his dad died, Nile turned professional.Read more ›
The cultural importance of the work of Nile Rodgers and his collaborators in Chic (chiefly Bernard Edwards, of course) has been given insufficient recognition. Rodgers is aware of this but he isn't bitter or resentful to any great degree. His generosity of spirit towards others, regardless of colour or any other aspect of culture or background, is a telling indicator of why he managed to achieve so much. It is also in stark contrast to the casual racism that he and Bernard Edwards had to deal with repeatedly over several decades. That they did so with grace and humour is a testament to their decency and maturity and contrasts with the small-mindedness of many of those they dealt with. Accusations of racism are sometimes bandied about too freely these days, but Rodgers' comments about the impact of racism on Chic's achievements in the field of dance music and music more generally strike me as restrained if anything. The 'Disco Sucks' movement was just the tip of a singularly ugly iceberg.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fabulous read. Such an amazing life from the early days of being passed from pilar to post as a child to being producer extraordinaire and then his battle with cancer which he... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Crystal Tips
For some reason, I was expecting this to be better, but it's a great read overall.Published 6 months ago by Indy Fan
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Such an interesting man who had s difficult upbringing but always managed to put a positive spin on things. Would definitely recommend it!Published 8 months ago by Mrs. M. Robinson
This book was brought for a friend as a present and it was gratefully received.Published 11 months ago by MISS ML MILLARD
Disco Heaven! Great read, took me back to my youth and all the music I loved and lived! Really honest biopic of a truly talented man, was amazed at all the work he has done. Read morePublished 12 months ago by jackieR
Nile Rodgers is a legend. It's amazing he's still with us, given the substance abuse and childhood surrounded by junkies and violent criminals. Read morePublished 13 months ago by S. Gardiner
Having read Neil McCormick's excellent killing bono autobiography, when he interviewed Nile he said Le Freak was his favourite. Boy was he right ! Read morePublished 13 months ago by michael t ring