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P-Funk lives!

Posted by Richard on November 17, 2005

Wow! I just saw George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic on the Tonight Show! I didn't even know he/they/it were still doing their "thang." I didn't know he'd regained the rights to use the names Parliament and Funkadelic (I vaguely remember he lost both, leading him to call his group "The P-Funk Experience" for a time).

I don't think I've seen Clinton since the late 80s or early 90s. He looked pretty good — lots of gray, but still freaky and having fun. Did you know Parliament/Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year? Clinton himself was inducted back in 1997.

If you've never seen George Clinton's Mothership Connection show, you've really missed something. Clinton has, since the late 60s, blended R&B, rock 'n roll, psychedelia, and his own unique perspective and sense of humor.

Parliament and Funkadelic, for many years, were separate but complementary and overlapping groups. Parliament was the r&b group with the hit records, while Funkadelic was the more psychedelic and experimental outlet for Clinton's imagination. Both owed a lot to Sly and the Family Stone, which I consider one of the most important — and enjoyable — bands in the history of rock and roll.

And then there were the side projects such as Brides of Funkenstein (pretty sucky) and Bootsy's Rubber Band (pretty awesome, but that's to be expected from Bootsy Collins).

If you're at all interested in R&B and/or psychedelia, and you're not familiar with Clinton, it's time to correct that. Here are a couple of links that can steer you toward the P-Funk experience: One Nation P-Funk and New Funk Times.

Remember, "Soul is a joint rolled in toilet paper." Take a chance on a 70s album or two, like Parliament's Mothership Connection and Funkadelic's One Nation Under a Groove. I bet you'll like them.

UPDATE: As a sorta follow-up, Big & Rich appeared on Conan O'Brien. I'm impressed. Never heard of them, and they're country, but they're somehow appropriate following George Clinton. I'd describe them (based on one song, mind you) as country/rock/psychedelia. I liked it, and I'm going to check out some of their music. As they say, "Somebody's got to be unafraid to lead the freak parade."

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