Daft Punk Producer Nile Rogers on the Disco Backlash
Before Nile Rogers found work as a producer–his first big break was signing on for Let’s Dance with David Bowie in 1983–he was deeply involved in the New York disco scene as part of Chic. You remember them, right?
Rogers has this remembrance of those disco days and the backlash that followed. From Vulture:
I grew up in the West Village, in the late fifties and sixties, when this area was light-industry manufacturing and butchers. I’d walk down the street and I thought I was in an adventure every day because the only people around were adults, and they were Beatniks and were cool and fascinating and wonderful—you would see very, very famous people all the time. My parents were super into music. They were mega-bohemian—and heroin addicts. They moved here because Greenwich Village was the place to be.I didn’t pick up the guitar until I was 16. I started with the flute, and then the clarinet—I was a classical musician.
But because of the politics of the time, nobody wanted to date a clarinet player. Guitar was the instrument of the hippie era, and I’m a hippie. Everybody played guitar. By 19, I was working professionally with Sesame Street. In just three short years, I already learned how to play guitar because I was a good music reader and applying music theory, and that made all the difference in the world.
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