Nile Rodgers Remembers David Bowie, “The Picasso Of Rock ‘N’ Roll”

“You have to see that this is a very special man.”

January 12, 2016

David Bowie collaborated with a lot of musicians over the course of his career, and many of them came forward yesterday to speak fondly about working with the protean star. Pitchfork interviewed Nile Rodgers, guitarist and co-founder of the seminal disco group Chic, who assisted Bowie with his 1983 album Let’s Dance.

“I had always idolized and respected [Bowie],” Rodgers remembered. “We first met in the early ‘80s at an afterhours club, where we talked for a while. Then we met at his Manhattan apartment, where he showed me a picture of Little Richard in a red Cadillac and said, ‘I want my album to sound like this.’ He just had to show me a picture, and I completely understood. He wanted something that felt like the future but was rooted in rock‘n’roll, something soulful, black, and R&B, but morphed and evergreen.”

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Rodgers added, “I’ve always called him the Picasso of rock’n’roll, because I know that if I showed him anything—like a grapefruit—he would see the grapefruit that I see and then he’d see the grapefruit that he sees, and they would be two different things. He would have to explain to me his vision of the grapefruit, and then I would go, ‘I get it.’”

In summary: “You have to see that this is a very special man.” Read the whole interview here, and revisit Let’s Dance below.

Nile Rodgers Remembers David Bowie, “The Picasso Of Rock ‘N’ Roll”