I want you to watch this clip, wherein Nile Rodgers says his music had to be instantly accessible, it had to make the dancers move their bodies INSTANTLY!

That’s one of the many things I hate about complainers today, that I need to give them more time. Let me ask you, are they making any more? Is there a bank I can go to? Because I’m challenged, there’s just not enough hours in the day to do everything I want. Maybe I need thirty, maybe I need thirty-six, maybe then I can pack in all the newspapers, the websites, the novels, the physical activity.

But NO! (Said like John Belushi…) You don’t want to hear what I have to say, you don’t want to think about me at all, you just want to pile drive me into submission, with your endless e-mails and tweets telling me to take an hour out of my day, if at all possible an hour every day for a week, to let your album sink into my brain.


Are you NUTS?

Nile was a nobody. He’d go to clubs and wonder…what it would take to get noticed.

First he had to establish a relationship with the deejay.

Then he had to feed him something so infectious that not only would the deejay not lift the needle, but the dancers would throw their arms up in exultation.

Ergo, “Le Freak.” And “Good Times.” And Chic’s initial hit, “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah.)”

Do we rate Chic any lower because of the instant infectiousness of their tracks?


Listening doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, stuff you don’t get the first time through. But now, with so many options, people don’t endure that which is not pleasing, they move on, so if you think repetition is your friend, you’ve got none.

Or let’s look at “Let’s Dance.” Far from one of my favorite Bowie cuts, I will say you get it immediately.

Everybody wants more of our time, and we don’t want to give it to them!

I will not talk on the phone, absolutely not. Because you want to waste so much of my time. Making like we’re friends for twenty minutes before you ask for the favor I don’t want to give you.

But it’s not only me, it’s kids. Phone calls? Are you kidding me? Send a text! It’s cleaner, it’s faster, there’s no wasted time.

The basics never change. You’ve got to practice, be original and wait for your moment, when you have to deliver. And if you think that’s a TV slot…well, there was Susan Boyle who delivered once and became an international star overnight, but isn’t it interesting that the only thing we know about her is that performance, I challenge you to name one of her tunes… She’s a novelty, not an artist!

And isn’t it fascinating that we’ve got Justin Bieber backlash. His career is toast and R. Kelly keeps sailing along, despite his legal problems, because people believe he’s an artist. If you think the Biebs is an artist, you’re a fingerpainter.

“We were an R&B band that had figured out this jazzy-type of formula to present music that deejays could listen to one time, and play it, and that the people would hear it, one time, and respond.

And that’s how we crafted our records. You play it first time, you got ’em.”

Daft Punk | Random Access Memories | The Collaborators: Nile Rodgers

It’s incredibly easy.

But it’s incredibly hard.

You don’t need any money, you don’t need any of the trappings, from looks to Facebook friends to an uncle in the business, you’ve just got to have that one indelible cut, that makes us need to hear it more. Whether it be Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” or the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

It works in every genre of music. You’re enraptured by the sound of Jay-Z’s “Can I Get A…” and then the girls come in and your head starts to spin and you ask that classic question…HOW DID THEY COME UP WITH THIS!

From Frank Zappa to today, that’s the mark of a great artist, someone who leads us into the unknown who we can’t help but follow.

Yes, I’ve got all kinds of time for new and great.

But that’s not what’s on a TV game show.

That’s not what’s being played in your basement, loved by your parents and friends.

Rather it’s something transcendent, as Pete Townshend sang, one note, pure and easy.

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