George Clinton Getting Funky In Anaheim


GEORGE CLINTON plays the Grove of Anaheim Jun 25; press photo

In 1955, a Plainfield, NJ barbershop was filled with people looking for a good hairstyle, some stereotypical barbershop gossip, and, hidden in the back, the Godfather of Funk. George Clinton started as a simple, hard-working man, who later became revolutionary in fighting the legal system, knocking out hits, such as 1967’s “(I Wanna) Testify,” and landing Parliament Funkadelic’s mothership on stage during unforgettable performances. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic land at the Grove of Anaheim Jun. 25.

“It’s gonna be a hell of a show; you’re gonna be in outer space for sure!” Clinton laughs. “The mothership is in the Smithsonian as of September of this year. All of the samples, all the different eras of music… it feels good for the mothership to be there.”

Even with the mothership no longer present on stage, the band is keeping true to their intergalactic roots and their promise to keep funk alive.

“I came up with the mothership in the 70’s,” Clinton said. “It started with the funk coming from the planet Sirius, which is the Dog Star, and the mothership bringing the funk back to the planet. It’s our own funk opera. Gotta save the planet because they’re losing their funk!”

While continuing to be the Godfather of Funk, Clinton also manages to keep true to modern tastes and lyrics, combining his doo-wop and Motown beginnings with a modern twist of R&B and rap. During his collaboration with Kendrick Lamar and Ice Cube on “Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?” the lyrics perfectly capture the epitome of Clinton’s life with, “I was hard when I started / I’ll be hard when I get through,” while enticing a new generation with what is currently the modern funk.

“Coming out of doo-wop into Motown was a big change for me, going from Motown to rock-n-roll was a change,” Clinton said. “My grandkids, they let me know what stuff is going on, like the Fetty Wap’s, the Drake’s, the Lamar’s. Stuff I might not really like, I know it’s the next stuff, so I learn to like it real quick. I’m a songwriter, first of all, so I have to write for all styles of music. So I got used to learning to appreciate a lot of different styles.”

With the tour underway, Clinton is set and getting ready for another new album release, Medicine Broad Dog, which is due to come out sometime by the end of the year. The album focuses on the drug industry’s take over in today’s world, the social aspects, rehabilitation, side effects, pill mills (the prescribing of narcotics with no legitimate necessity), etc.

“It’s called Medicine Broad Dog, but it’s about One Nation Under Sedation,” Clinton explains. “You can’t get away from it. I just quit doing drugs five or six years ago, and when I quit, I look around and I see everybody else on drugs, but legally. It’s going to be the next serious criminal situation.”

Even with 50+ years in the industry, Clinton continues to fight the legal system and discuss the concerns not only in the music industry, but society as a whole. His memoir titled, “Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?'” tells the story of how he has spread the funk gospel and the hindrances he’s faced while spreading it.

“I’m from the 60’s, so I’m used to fighting for some kind of right. They’ve just ignited me. The fact that they’re trying to keep me silent, that gave me a mission to write new stuff. The mothership is in the Smithsonian now, I’ve got to fight for it.”