NILE RODGERS: STILL SO CHIC IT HURTS
The guitarist and super-producer look back on a extraordinary career of collaboration with some of the world's greatest musicians.
…The 1959 historical film epic Ben Hur tells the tale of a Jewish prince, played by Charlton Heston, who falls from grace in ancient times and gets condemned to the galley of a Roman warship. There, in a pivotal scene, the boat’s commander Quintus Arrius speaks these memorable words to Heston: “We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.”
It’s a line mired in the dark subtext of ancient Roman slavery, but Chic co-founder and disco-era guitar visionary Nile Rodgers, who has a knack for turning negatives into positives, looks back on it in a far more hopeful light: “I always have adopted that strategy,” he said. “I live to serve the project. While I’m working with you, you’re my artist and I live to serve you and everything is about you being perfect. That’s just how I think regardless of who I’m with. It could be Bowie, it could be [Lady] Gaga, it could be a completely unknown person. I look at that person the same way as I would Duran Duran or Madonna. I look at it as, ‘Okay, they’re the most artistic person I ever met.’ Let me see how we can create something together…”