Nile Rodgers reveals he nearly lost his hitmaker

The Chic frontman left the legendary instrument on the train

Nile Rodgers has revealed that he nearly lost his legendary Hitmaker guitar this week.

The funk icon played his white 1959 Fender Stratocaster, known as The Hitmaker, on some of the biggest-selling albums of all time by artists from David Bowie to Madonna and Diana Ross. The total value of music to have been played through the instrument was once valued at $2 billion (£1.3 billion).

Writing on his blog, the Chic frontman and Daft Punk collaborator described his day on Tuesday (October 8), which started off with an expert from Fender Guitars coming round to is apartment in New York to take measurements to create a replica of it. He then caught a train to his studio in Connecticut with the guitar in hand.


During the journey, Rodgers writes, he received a call from a friend who has cancer: “I was so immersed in our conversation I almost missed my stop. I ran off the train and caught a taxi to my house. As I pulled up to my driveway I realized I’d left my guitar on the train. I was instantly overcome with fear because I knew I’d never see my guitar again. I felt like a parent who’d lost a child. I was terrified.”

He continues: “This is the one guitar I can’t live without. It’s never let me down. It’s played on so many records, at so many concerts, and even comforted me after the death of my Chic band co-founder Bernard Edwards, whose dead body I discovered right across the hall from my hotel room. The loss of my guitar gave me that same type of fear. Paralysing fear. Devastating fear.”

Rodgers then details how he jumped straight into his car and drove all the way to New Haven at the end of the train line. “I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown,” he recalls. He details the ticket agent and police officers he encountered who put in numerous calls to try and help him retrieve the instrument over the next few hours. As a last resort, the police officer suggested they tried the train yard to see if it had been left there.

“There it was…,” he concludes. “In its soft case lying next to a skateboard. One nano-second later there was jubilation, joy, and extreme gratitude in my heart.” Read the full post here.

Nile Rodgers recently announced that he was working with UK dance duo Disclosure.