“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 their cigarettes would ever drop. Somehow they almost never did.”
— New Yorker, guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers turns 60 years old today. Considering his work with his band Chic, and Diana Ross, and David Bowie, and Madonna, and INXS, and Duran Duran, and the B-52s and lots of other artists, one might say that he is as responsible for the sound of pop music in the 1980s as any other single person. Considering the passage above, and the essay from which it comes (as excerpted in The Times’ T Magazine)
, I would guess that the memoir he published in December, Le Freak: An Upside Story of Family, Disco and Destiny, is excellent. He is battling prostate cancer, too, as he wrote very movingly about in a blog post last year, so here’s wishing him many more happy returns.