The Night I “Got Lucky” with Daft Punk

For the last year I have had my eye on Daft Punk, as they made very few public appearances to promote their enormous album “Random Access Memories”.  Since 2000, the French electronic duo featuring Thomas Banghalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo have been steadfast in their commitment to secrecy and not revealing who they are under their robot helmets.  Thus began the challenge of finding the French duo in public.  A challenge that I relished and looked forward to taking on.

However, I needed some sort of information, a starting point, which the Grammy’s would bring. Once Daft Punk was slated to perform, I knew they would have to rehearse, and finding them rehearsing would be my only shot.  I had hoped through some research and investigative techniques I could locate the rehearsal space, and then decide how I would approach the mystery men, and most of all how I would document this rare experience. The documentation part being almost as key as finding them, as nobody would believe I had met Daft Punk without some sort of visual evidence.  I had enlisted a friend to help film and take pictures, as well to help me obtain autographs, as I had a large inventory of Daft Punk memorabilia to get signed.

Once I located the rehearsal space, I discretely observed how Daft Punk and their inner circle operated. Once I had a better idea of when and where I could make my approach, and how to get some sort of coverage. The rehearsals were very tight and you could sense the paranoia amongst the Daft Punk inner circle. When I walked into the rehearsal room, I saw two life-size mannequins in white with white Storm Trooper-like helmets on them, behind a huge wood DJ booth, and for a second I thought the mannequins were real! Rehearsals took place late at night into the wee hours of the morning, most likely this was done to protect their secret location.

Thomas Banghalter of Daft Punk signing for TSl at private Grammy rehearsals

Thomas Banghalter of Daft Punk signing for TSl at private Grammy rehearsals

Guy Manuel of Daft Punk signing for TSL on a late night Grammy rehearsal

Guy Manuel of Daft Punk signing for TSL on a late night Grammy rehearsal

Nile Rogers poses with TSL & a signed Get Lucky vinyl signed by Daft Punk, Pharell & Nile Rogers

Nile Rogers poses with TSL & a signed Get Lucky vinyl signed by Daft Punk, Pharell & Nile Rogers

 

With Pharell, Nile Rogers, Nathan East, and the Robots on hand, I stood by the rehearsal door listening to them run thru songs like “Le Chic”, “Get Lucky” and “Around the World”.  I finally had my opportunity to approach the duo as they winded down on night two of rehearsals.  Using only a vague photo of them from the Columbia record offices in New York this past year, I was able to fully ID the duo in person. Not knowing how they would react to autograph requests (as they have never really been asked in person for years, due to their under the radar lifestyle), I was pleasantly surprised when both were incredibly accommodating. They signed beautifully, adding in Daft Punk below their signatures.

A very rare signed vinyl of Daft Punk's Grammy winning album of the year Random Access Memories

A very rare signed vinyl of Daft Punk’s Grammy winning album of the year Random Access Memories

 

 

A fully signed Get Lucky 12 inch vinyl

A fully signed Get Lucky 12 inch vinyl

Daft Punk's breakthrough album Homework signed by the French duo

Daft Punk’s breakthrough album Homework signed by the French duo

 

 

The duo signed several albums including their breakthrough album “Homework“, “Random Access Memories” and the 12 inch single “Get Lucky”, which Pharell and Nile Rogers also signed at rehearsal.  My second night at rehearsals was a great success, but I knew I had something special at my fingertips. When I returned for day three rehearsals, I brought a beautiful Gold guitar to have the them sign. In addition to their signatures, they added they lyric “We’re up all night to get lucky” on the guitar, making this the piece of the 2014 Grammys.  We had one last hurrah signing posters, shot a little more documentation, and my Daft Punk experience was complete.