Rodgers's page-turning memoir is packed with emotionally charged vignettes of a tumultuous childhood and equally dramatic adulthood that found him awash in cash, cars, and celebrities. Raised and surrounded by junkies and alcoholics, Rodgers was literally shuffled from coast to coast and relative to relative during his formative years. Music was his salvation, and he pursued it with vigor, playing whenever and wherever he could. Those skills would eventually lead him to working with some of the biggest names in music (Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Madonna), as well as creating his band Chic, with which he had massive hits, such as "Le Freak." Sadly, however, the combination of success and drugs and alcohol spiraled out of control. While the story of velvet ropes and addiction is a common one, Rodgers's version emphasizes the arc of his life, rather than relying on salacious details or name-dropping to provide a narrative. His storytelling skills propel the reader through the book, making the ending all the more jarring. Remarkable for its candor, this rags-to-riches story is on the year's shortlist of celebrity memoirs.
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[An] amazing memoir . . . steeped in the incestuous energy of the times: Punk, funk and art rock mixed it up in the downtown clubs, where musicians partied together and shared ideas. . . . Le Freak has plenty of sex and drugs. But it’s the music that makes it essential. . . . Rodgers gave those dreams a beat—and helped invent pop as we know it today.”—Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone
“This book is an absolute knockout: exhilarating, warm, and courageous, deeply moving and deeply funny. Le Freak is as much about the greatness of life as it is about Nile Rodgers’s extraordinary musical journey. As Rodgers well knows, the best music is the stuff we feel, the stuff that speaks to us and won’t let go. Le Freak does all that and much more. This is truly one of the best books ever written about art, music, life, and the way we grow to be exactly who we are. Actually, one of the best books period.”—Cameron Crowe
“A coming-of-age tale every bit as impressive as the musical insights and star-time chronicles that follow.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Consistently entertaining . . . His legacy as a funk-rock visionary is assured, and his autobiography serves as further proof that disco does not suck.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“An unforgettable, gripping book.”—The Sunday Times (UK)
“Name a star and you can bet they’re in this book, playing or partying with Rodgers. But far from being a succession of name-dropping anecdotes, this autobiography is a wonderfully funny, moving and wise reflection upon the important things in life: the people you love and the things you create.”—The Sunday Telegraph (UK)
“Rodgers’s page-turning memoir is packed with emotionally charged vignettes of a tumultuous childhood and equally dramatic adulthood that found him awash in cash, cars, and celebrities. . . . His storytelling skills propel the reader through the book, making the ending all the more jarring. Remarkable for its candor, this rags-to-riches story is on the year’s shortlist of celebrity memoirs.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A musician, composer, arranger, and producer, Rodgers has sold millions of albums and hung out with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, the B52s, and Laurie Anderson. So this memoir promises to be good and juicy. A real insider's account from the guy responsible for "Like a Virgin"; buy wherever pop music books move.
One of the heaviest figures from an unjustly maligned musical era tells all, and tells it well. Casual music fans may not recognize Rodgers' name, but they will definitely recognize his music: The producer/composer/arranger/guitarist's fingerprint is all over such smashes as Madonna's "Like a Virgin," the Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight," David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out." But what launched and ultimately made Rodgers' career was his work with his band Chic, most notably on the disco classic "Le Freak." His heavy discography alone would merit a memoir, but add a dash of family drama, a dose of drug addiction, a bird's-eye view of the music industry, and the result is a book that will appeal to both music aficionados and casual fans. Rodgers is enthusiastic, honest and charming, and he has a reverence for the artists who came before him; he discusses the Chitlin' Circuit with as much authority as he does Studio 54. The author also provides an insider's look at the disco world unlike any that has been offered before, if only because he was coming at it from all angles--he was both in the scene and of the scene. The book should appeal to readers interested in music, the '70s, survival and triumph. In his energetic memoir, Rodgers, as was almost always the case with his songs, brings the funk.
…eventful and engaging…one of the surprise gifts of Le Freak is that a third of it covers Rodgers's own opening acta coming-of-age tale every bit as impressive as the musical insights and star-time chronicles that follow…Like his music, Le Freak convincesand moves.
The New York Times Book Review