Nile Rodgers on His Battles With Cancer and Cocaine, Chic's Rock Hall Snub and Producing Bowie and Madonna
Guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers' impressive and astounding musical credits reads like a history of popular music. In the mid '70s, with the late Bernard Edwards, Rodgers founded Chic, the great R&B/funk band who had a string of smash hits during the disco era, such as 'Le Freak,' 'I Want Your Love' and 'Good Times'; both he and Edwards also wrote and produced the hits 'We are Family' for Sister Sledge and 'I'm Coming Out' and 'Upside Down' for Diana Ross. After Chic's career wound down in the early '80s, Rodgers became a superstar producer and has worked with numerous acts including David Bowie, Madonna, Duran Duran, the B-52s, the Thompson Twins, the Vaughan Brothers and Mick Jagger.
Rodgers' recently published memoir, 'Le Freak,' talks about his musical achievements, but it only tells a part of his life story. Like his biological father, Rodgers success as a producer was accompanied by a serious drug addiction. When it got out of control in the early '90s, Rodgers went into rehab and has since become clean and sober for almost 20 years. But then, in October 2010, he revealed he was battling another obstacle: An "aggressive" form of prostate cancer.
In this interview with Spinner, Rodgers talks about the origins of Chic. working with Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran, the cocaine-fueled moment that turned him around and his cancer treatment.
How are you feeling since your cancer surgery?
It's up and down, in and out. It's really weird for me. There's no straight line to recovery and healing. Especially for the