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Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny Hardcover – 20 Oct 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 20 Oct 2011
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (20 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847443141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847443144
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.9 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A rich, warm tale of a fascinating life in the golden age of New York and pop --Observer

Book Description

* The astonishing and wildly entertaining memoir of Nile Rodgers: legendary producer and co-founder of the band Chic.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
Nile Rodgers (or `Pud' to his family) is a lucky man. Not in terms of his successful musical career as a songwriter and producer, or the long list of people he's worked with, but lucky in fact that he's lived to tell the tale, and what a story it is.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I've just finished this. As one might expect from Nile Rodgers, it's a cut above the average autobiography. He doesn't come across as very likeable during his full-on hedonist phase, to be honest. There also remains the occasional narcissism, hero-worship and self-obsession that one often gets with celebrities. However, in contrast to that, he does come across as very loveable. You can see why so many people were drawn to him. I guess that there was much left out of this account of his life, but everyone is entitled to their secrets. One still gets a sense of honesty in his persistent attempt to provide balanced reflections on what was happening. I also admired his refusal to indulge in self-pity or point-scoring.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second purchase of this book that I have made. I love and admire Nile Rodgers and bought this copy as a gift for a friend who enjoyed reading about this great man as much as I did. Compulsive reading for any Nile / Chic fans. Full of facts and anecdotes, I did not want to put this book down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A must read!
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Great read!
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By PB on 10 April 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
STAYING AWAKE ALL NIGHT TO FINISH NILE RODGERS AMAZING STORY.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book arrived at the right time, and in perfect shape. It's a great deal for me, it's much cheaper than buying it in the stores here in Norway. T
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is a fantastic book a must read
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