Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I'm a big George Clinton fan. I got into the whole Parliment-Funkadelic thing I guess in the late '80s and early '90s, mainly through hip-hop groups who sampled them (notably Public Enemy - I still remember a special issue of Rolling Stone where then-current artists posed with their influences, and there was a cool picture of Chuck D and Flavor Flav with George), but also The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who cited him as a huge influence, and who used him as a producer on their Freaky Styley album.

Things really took off for him again when Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg started sampling his music in the early '90s, and it was great to see so many younger people showing up at his shows. At the same time, he was starting to get a Deadhead/hippie crowd. The thing about George is, he's done too many albums that were billed as his "comeback," and done too many tours where people thought that Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell were back in the band. And his shows are a bit too Deadheady these days, the last few times I went, it was very jammy. I mean, Funkadelic always jammed, as did Parliment, but I felt it was getting a bit unfocused, and I stopped going.

So, Billboard reports that George's next album will have a big guest list, including the Chili Peppers, The RZA and Sly Stone, among others. I wonder if that will do anything for him - if the public will pay attention. I'll check it out for sure

I don't mean to sound down on George. If I was going to describe myself with a mixtape, it would have to include Funkadelic's "Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?" and "One Nation Under A Groove." The early Funkadelic and Parliment records can improve your life. I hope this new record is good; maybe it will get me to go to George's shows again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice to see George and Sly working together again. I can't wait to hear this cover. I write about George and Sly's long friendship and adventures in my book Sly: the Lives of Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone.