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Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny [Anglais] [Broché]

Nile Rodgers
4.8 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (5 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

5 juillet 2012
NAMED ONE OF THE TOP 10 ROCK MEMOIRS OF ALL TIME BY ROLLING STONE
 
From Chic to Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers is the creative force behind some of the biggest hits ever recorded. Here is the story of how global pop’s greatest genius transformed his own dramatic life into the brilliantly joyful playlist of a generation.
 
You will hear a Nile Rodgers song today. It will make you happy. In the 1970s and 1980s, Nile Rodgers wrote and produced the songs that defined the era and everything that came after: “Le Freak,” “Good Times,” “We Are Family,” “Like a Virgin,” “Let’s Dance,” “I’m Coming Out,” “Rapper’s Delight”—and worked with every influential pop star to create a string of enduring hits, from Diana Ross and Madonna to Duran Duran and David Bowie. Even today, he is still musically relevant: writing and performing record-breaking hits like “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk and Pharrell. But before he reinvented pop music, Nile Rodgers invented himself. From jamming with Jimi Hendrix in a Greenwich Village haze to the decadence of the disco era to witnessing the birth of Madonna on the Danceteria dance floor, Le Freak traces one of the greatest musical journeys of our time.
 
Praise for Le Freak
 
“[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)
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

one

The Ballad of Beverly and Bobby

It took me a long time to realize that the things my parents did were not exactly normal. I was about seven years old, and it was the tail end of the 1950s, when it started to dawn on me that they were_._._._well, let's just say they were different.

For instance: My friends and I got shots when we went to the doctor, and we hated them. But my parents stabbed themselves with needles almost every day, and seemed to enjoy it. Weird.

Most of my friends' parents sounded like the adults in school or on TV when they talked. People understood them. My parents, on the other hand, had their own language, laced with a flowery slang that I picked up the same way the Puerto Rican kids could speak English at school and Spanish at home with their abuelas.

And then there was the matter of how they talked. My parents and their friends spoke this exotic language very slowly. There were other odd things. For instance, they often slept standing up, and this group narcolepsy could strike right in the middle of the most dynamic conversation. Someone would start a sentence: "Those ofay cats bopping out on the stoop are blowin' like Birrr_._._." and suddenly the words would begin to come out slower. And. Slower. Soon they wouldn't be speaking at all. Eventually our living room would be filled with black-and-white hipsters suspended in time and space, while I ran through the petrified forest of their legs. My favorite game was waiting to see if the ashes from the cigarettes they were smoking would ever drop. Somehow they almost never did.

I can still remember the day when I finally realized that there was a name for this unusual lifestyle. My parents were junkies! And their slow-motion thing was called nodding out.

Oh well-it was nice to be able to name the thing. This was my life, and as far as I was concerned, there was nothing uncommon or uncomfortable about it at all. In fact, for a while at least, it was a carefree Shangri-La.

My mother, Beverly, was a beautiful, brilliant black girl whose family was a generation from southern sharecropping. She got pregnant with me when she was thirteen, the very first time she had sex. Bobby, my stepfather, was white, Jewish, and central-casting handsome. They were an unusual progressive pair: They smoked pipes, dressed impeccably, and read Playboy for the articles. Even in Beat Generation Greenwich Village, New York City, circa 1959, interracial couples weren't exactly commonplace.

Mom's maiden name was Goodman. Technically, it was Gooden, but her father, Fredrick, appropriated the name from a huge Goodman's Egg Noodles billboard that hung outside of the Lincoln Tunnel on the New Jersey side. The family story is that Fredrick had been forced to flee the cotton fields of Georgia after he used a tree branch to beat a white man he'd caught raping his sister. Grandpa Fredrick (never one to let a good story go to waste) told me that he saw the sign for Goodman's Egg Noodles just after his car exited the tunnel connecting New York to New Jersey, the state where he'd begin a new life. When he emerged from the Hudson River baptism, he was a new man. Better than new: He thought the name would help people up North think of him as a "good man." In the end, I guess it sort of worked. Twenty long years later, after the Woolworth CEO he chauffeured passed away, Grandpa got the Cadillac as thanks for his devotion and service.

By the time Beverly Goodman was twelve, she was already what they used to call a fast girl. She ran with a street gang called the Taejon Debs. They dated members of two different rival male gangs, the Copians and the Slicksters. But she wasn't just beautiful and bright. She was hip. She and her cadre of friends were aware of the fact that they knew things that most civilians didn't. She listened to Nina (Simone), Clifford and Max (Brown and Roach), Julie (London), Monk (Thelonius), TB (Tony Bennett), and Ahmed Jamal on a regular basis, and was so down she called them by a single name (except Jamal, maybe out of respect for the fact that he'd gone through the trouble of changing his name from Freddy Jones). She spoke with confidence, just a peg down from arrogance, which only big-city intellectuals could get away with, even if they were only twelve. She had art, literature, and music all around her.

My earliest recollection of life with my mother is of two young people-one so young he'd barely finished wearing rubber pants-living together as roomies, a strange friendship instead of the standard maternal setup I'd see with other kids and their mothers. I always called her Beverly instead of Mommy. She never asked me to do otherwise. Even as a very young kid, I was utterly convinced that my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world. Mom's looks were a combination of African American, Native American, and Irish. This was no accident. Mom's bloodline goes something like this: My great-great- grandmother Mary Ellen was the child of a partially African mother, whose slave name was Caroline, and an Irish doctor and slave owner, Dr. Gough, who was, um, intimate with his property. Though he was married to a respectable, proper English woman, he apparently fathered at least more than one child with his slave housekeeper.

As the daughter of a white man, my great-great-grandmother Mary Ellen was more privileged than the average ex-slave's child, and she was better educated than the darker-skinned blacks around her. This fact was not lost on her. Later, when her own daughters came of age, she passed along some interesting advice: "Protect your children and the benefits you've gotten from my being half white," she told them. "Marry the fairest man you can so your children will have good hair." My great-great-granny and her husband, Lee Randal, had five children with very good hair. One of them, Mabel Ethel (born October 12, 1891), would marry a man named Percy Stanley Mickens, who was born on December 6, 1888.

Percy's father was Abraham Lincoln Mickens. One day a woman named Wicke dropped off a child at his home. Abe's wife Alice couldn't bear children and Wicke had agreed to have Abe's baby (Percy) for them. She was a full-blooded Indian woman (FBI, as they say back on the rez). Percy's birthmother was of the Iroquois Nation, so his hair was also very good. Percy's wife, Mabel, had four children. One was called Alice, after the mom that raised him but couldn't have children of her own. That Alice is my mother's mom. Today those Iroquois and Irish genes are very apparent in my family. Most of us resemble to varying degrees Lena Horne, Halle Berry, Cab Calloway, or Lenny Kravitz.

Except for me.

I inherited my biological father's genes: I'm dark-skinned. "The only spot in the lot" is what some friends and family called me. As screwed up as it is, my great-great-grandmother knew what she was talking about when advising her daughter to "marry light." It's hard to describe how horribly ugly I felt as a dark-skinned kid in the fifties. Thank God for the sixties, when black was suddenly beautiful, no matter the shade.

Which brings me to my stepdad: Bobby Glanzrock. It's not fair to call Bobby a black man in a white man's body, because his style was genuinely his alone. Bobby was a beatnik Ph.D. His observations had angles and perspectives that would make Miles Davis contemplate his own sense of cool. Bobby spoke with a slow, deliberate syncopation that was constantly modulating through the musical scale. This was the preferred style of speaking amongst the hipster class. Think Mitch Hedberg or Jimi Hendrix.

Some of his black friends called him "White Bobby," but my stepdad acted more like the black avant-garde jazz musicians he idolized than the haberdashers in his lineage. He only dated soul sisters, most of whom could have doubled for Cleopatra Jones, all Afro and attitude. That included my mom, who sported the latest Carnaby Street duds and a towering nimbus of kinky hair. Bobby's uncle Lew, who had no sons of his own, groomed his nephew to take over his clothing business. But Lew disowned him for marrying a black woman, even one with a nice Jewish-sounding name. Bobby threw away the glory of the schmatta business for Beverly. And in return, he became the love of her life, and she had more than a few lovers. Me, I was their little groupie. I loved them both like crazy.

And "crazy" may be the operative word. Beverly and Bobby may not have been model parents, but they were a really good fit for each other; art, literature and especially their love of music bonded them together. But as they spiraled deeper and deeper into addiction, they were also increasingly self-centered, not infrequently criminal, and less and less interested in the responsibilities of raising a kid. On some level it was great to be treated like a peer, to be on a first- name basis with my parents, but it wasn't exactly a substitute for the usual parental cocktail of nurturing and discipline. Respect? Yes, there was plenty of that. If I had a problem, we'd "rap on it." Then they'd ask me something like: "Are we copasetic?" If I answered, "Yeah, I guess so," the matter would be settled with a "Solid!" and a five slap or some other affirming gesture.

Bobby always affectionately called me by my nickname, "Pud," short for "pudding pie." Once, after I'd accidentally set fire to the apartment while playing with matches, he sat me down. More disappointed than angry, he stared woefully into my eyes for about five minutes or so, then finally broke the uncomfortable silence.

"Pud, dig yourself," he said.

This was the harshest discipline Bobby ever doled out. My mother then asked me if I wouldn't mind walking over to her and lying down on her lap. She gave me a few whacks on the behind and asked me if I understood why.

"Yes."

She looked me in the eyes and said, "Pud, you really have to start digging yourself."

"OK, Beverly." I cried more from shock than pain, because she'd never hit me before. Then again, I had set the house on fire.

But that incident was an accident, ... --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

“[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) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 336 pages
  • Editeur : Sphere (5 juillet 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0751542776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751542776
  • Dimensions du produit: 19,6 x 12,6 x 2,4 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.8 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (5 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 42.278 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fantastic! 6 juin 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Very well written. Nile Rodgers puts you inside New York's scene on the late seventies (Studio54 and all that...), early eighties. Get to know a great musician & person and his fundamental role on the last 35 years of modern music - Disco, pop (Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran... you name it) Rap (Rappers Delight was made over Chic material), etc.
Great book! I loved the music before i read it, know i respect it even more.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book! 18 février 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I very much enjoyed this book, which tells a great tale about how Nile managed to achieve fame, riches and success, starting from a pretty desperate family background. Nile has a lot to tell, when I finished the book I was actually sorry that I had reached the end of the story, which for me is a quite rare experience as a book reader. It really gripped me. Nile comes across as a very nice man, although admittedly (quite) a bit weird. I recently also read the autobiography of Neil Young, and while I like the music of Neil generally more than Nile's music, based on their books I would definitely prefer to spend a day with Niles than with Neil. Nile's book is also much better than Neil's book.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 le freak 22 janvier 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
good book thank you mister RODGERS very emotional story as you
to see absolutely and no critic it is a life of a genius
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 LA version originelle(2011) 31 octobre 2013
Format:Relié
LA version originelle(2011)de l'autobiographie en vo de Nile Rodgers du célèbre groupe Chic.Voyage chaotique d'une personne incroyablement optimiste. Un régal
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Depth through surface 5 septembre 2013
Par Anon
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Difficult to do justice to the life stories in this book in just a few words. Literature it ain't but NR certainly has a way with stories. (It's been edited and marketed but not ghost-written, by the way). I'm glad he still remembers and is still here to tell the tale... (you'll have to read to understand). This book sheds light on the creative process and the hidden depth in the work of Chic and Nile's subsequent projects. I couldn't put it down and I'm still thinking about it weeks later. NR's music is easily accessible and has a highly-polished surface but there's much depth too (far beyond NR's cheesy cameo in Get Lucky). Chic: Savoir faire. Nile Rodgers: Savoir (sur)vivre.
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