The disco of old was starting to give way to funky R&B, which was the progenitor of all modern dance music going all the way back to African tribal music, and I instinctively knew that we needed to shift our focus to R&B – or suffer the consequences.
As I started to make changes, I got some resistance – mostly from Steve Rubell. It started when I began giving Rick James the super VIP treatment when his number one hit “Super Freak” was totally on fire. I knew what a star he had become and refused to change. So Steve sought advice from David Geffen, who said, “He’s huge” and Steve backed down. I also gave VIP treatment to Chaka Kahn, Eddie Murphy, Nile Rogers, Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, and Valerie’s brother Jimmy, among others.