Tuesday, April 13, 2010

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic -- 9:30 Club - April 12 2010

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic - The circus returns to DC or rather the Starship has landed. I always liked Clinton's assessment of his role as leader of this mammoth enterprise consisting of up to 27 people rotating onstage with about 15 being the average number of musicians. Many called Clinton the ringleader, but he said he was more of a referee. That kind of makes sense in that it is clearly his show, but he allows others to lead various portions of it. Many long time P-Funk musicians are here along with a lot of DC area guests who have historical ties to the band. The primary DC area guests were the three-part "P-Funk Horns" if I heard correctly. And I should note, although I have lots of P-Funk's early albums, I am hardly an expert at keeping track of this amazing roster of musicians. However, that matters little to me and most in the crowd, as everyone is here to have a good time and get some mind blowing fusion of funk, soul, blues, blistering rock, and whatever else the P-Funkers decide to throw at the crowd. The opening act is much of the band playing for over an hour. Then, Clinton and crew play another 2 hours plus. The music is fun, high quality and covers a lot of the classic ground. The highlight for me is always the killer instrumental, "Maggot Brain" which is a ten minute guitar solo written by Eddie Hazel and performed for years here by Michael Hampton. Three guitars and a rhythm section accompanied him, so it rocked to say the least. There really isn't much more to say about this legendary act except that it seemingly lives on a tour bus and maintains many of the legendary musicians of its early days with plenty of young blood as needed and ultimately delivers a great show that you would have to be way too cynical for me if you did not enjoy it. So check it out if you have not done so, or revisit it if it has been a while. Although it probably can't go on forever, there is something cosmic and otherworldly to it all. And as he talked about his song "Paint the White House Black", it is interesting to note its release in 1993. So maybe he can keep the mothership flying forever.

photo by Marcy 

Quote of the Night" from George Clinton - "The mothership is still flyin' y'all! Fuck what they said in the paper today." referring to a lengthy piece on how the original mothership used on stage was in storage here until someone's mother wanted their garage back and it got sent off to a Prince George County dump. I have no doubt it is still flying.

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