George Clinton And P-Funk At Lehman

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Known as the Godfather of Modern Urban Music, Clinton has inspired artists such as the Outkasts, Snoop Dog, Missy Elliott, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes and Fishbone.

[Entertainment: Music]

The great George Clinton will be bringing his funk to Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY, on Saturday, November 7th  at 8:00 pm., via his avant garde bands Parliament/Funkadelic. 

Parliament-Funkadelic created a genre of unique music known as  “P-Funk” or Pure Funk. Originators within this funky, funky music genre, Parliament-Funkadelic became known for their unique brand of music wherein they experimented with various harmonies and melodies that gave life and fresh air to the psychedelic music generation. 

Funkadelic took a cue from Jimi Hendrix and experimented with psychedelic guitar distortions, cosmological rants, booming bass lines and bizarre sound effects that eventually gave birth to the Mothership, a wild spectacular which featured a huge spaceship on stage, complete with out-of-this world music, costumes and hairdos.

Clinton and his collective bands are presently on tour. “I can’t wait to get back home to New Jersey.  I am in Tallahassee, Florida as we speak.  We are touring Europe and just returned from Japan.  We are going to be in Africa near Madagascar.  And as soon as I finish my performance At Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx, I will be heading to Finland and the Netherlands,” said the talented funkmeister.

At 15 years old, George Clinton formed the Parliaments in Newark, New Jersey. “That was in 1956.  Frankie Lyman had his hit out “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” at that time.  Parliament were just getting started performing doo-wop,” remarked Clinton.

“Eventually we ended up at Motown and when that faded out, we started a group called Funkadelic. Funkadelic played behind Parliament, it was our back- up band.  But we were all one group because we all played together at the same time and still do.  When Parliament didn't have a regular album, then we would put out an album with Funkadelic.  Funkadelic did the psychedelic music.  Funkadelic came out with “Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow” and  “Maggot Brain.” 

There were 10 of us then, 5 singers and 5 musicians.  When one band didn't have a recording the other one would come out with one” noted George whose bands revolutionized the music scene in the 1970s. 

Parliament came out with “Chocolate City in 1975 and a single entitled “Flashlight” that became their signature.  “The band went on to release a series of hits, “The Motor Booty Affair,” “Gloryhallastoopid,” “Trombipulation” and “Aqua Boogie,”  said George who wrote songs for the Jackson Five and the Supremes, et al, while at Motown.

“We Got the Funk,” was our first million dollar seller,” explained the music genius.  “Funk means do the best you can and after that “Funk it!” laughed Clinton who had spectacular theatrical shows which included a huge spaceship.  “ The Mothership was a million dollar stage set.  It landed on the stage and was 60 feet across.  It landed at Madison Square Garden a couple of times. 

During that period, everybody was playing with us. Sly Stone played with us for a time and was one of the few who actually stepped out of the Mothership.  Jimi Hendrix played with us before we went psychedelic and before he became the Jimi Hendrix Experience.” 

We copied Jimi's mastery of the psychedelic guitar. Eddie Hazel was our lead guitar player and the only person that could play anywhere near Jimi and also come up with his own songs.  In fact, we had a song “Maggot Brain,” that a lot of people thought emulated Jimi's sound.  He came out of the Mother Ship.  We had about 60 or 70 folks playing with us at that time.  We did the Mothership again in 1996 and plan to do this again some time next year” recalled Clinton who captured 40 R&B hits singles and recorded 3 platinum albums whose recent releases in 2008 are “How Late Do You Have 2 BB4UR Absent?” and “The Gangsters of Love.”

Clinton became a solo artist and signed with Capitol Records wherein he played the P-Funk All Stars releasing “Computer Games,” Loopzilla,  “Atomic Dog,” “Nubian Nut,” “Do Fries Go With That Shake.”

Known as the Godfather of  Modern Urban Music, Clinton has inspired artists such as the Outkasts, Snoop Dog, Missy Elliott, Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes and Fishbone.  He sang with Tupac Shakur on the song “Can't C Me” from Tupac's album “Eyez on Me.” And worked with the WuTang Clan on their the song “Wolves,” from their album “Diagrams.”  He also wrote the vocals for the ground breaking release “Freaky Styley” with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Most recently, George did an amusing puppet show project to be aired on Nickelodeon.

“I am always changing.  I don't think about the music I have made already, I think about the music I am going to make.  I can’t think about “One Nation” “Atomic Dog” or “Knee Deep,” because if I have that on my mind, I can’t come up with a new sound.  I don't really listen to my music from the past unless I bump into someone playing it.  “Gangsters of Love” and “How Late Do You Have 2 BB4UR Absent?” are my latest and came out pretty much at the same time.  Those tunes are a departure from my early days.

I am already back in the studio.  We are doing an entire album of Motown stuff, said Clinton who has received several awards including “The Heroes Award,” “Lifetime Achievement Award,” the “NAACP Image Award” and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Fans of this originator and music master can buy tickets at the Lehman Center Box Office for George Clinton's November 7th concert by calling 718-960-8833 or go online at www.LehmanCenter.org



 

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