Brothas Be, Yo' Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You? : A Memoir
Legendary leader of Parliament and Funkadelic, George Clinton is unique in pop music - and his story is like nothing you've ever heard before.
Growing up in 50s New Jersey, Clinton was obsessed with doo-wop and R&B. Nothing unusual there. But how many kids like that ended up playing to tens of thousands of rabid fans while wearing a diaper? How many of them built a spaceship, complete with light and sound effects, and landed it onstage during concerts? How many of them put their stamp on four decades of pop music, from the mind-expanding sixties to the hip-hop-dominated nineties and beyond? How many of those kids were artistic visionaries, merry pranksters, out-of-control drug addicts, and savvy businessmen, all rolled into one? Just the one.
So what does an older, wiser, more sober George Clinton do? He tells his story. Now, finally, after fifty years in the business, Clinton is ready to deliver the whole P-Funk saga. It's a story without compare: the musical innovations, the rock-and-roll debauchery, the ups and downs of his career. More to the point, it's a story told by the man who made it happen, and told in his own unique style, which combines an almost photographic recollection of the events of his life with an impish sense of humour and a philosophical bent. There's no one like George Clinton, and no one better prepared to tell the tale of a half-century of innovation, triumph, disappointment, addiction, contradiction, artistry, fandom, fun, and - above all - funk.
How George Clinton got from Point A to Point B and beyond - how he got, in fact, all the way to Point Z - is a story for the ages. By the dawn of the seventies, he had emerged as the leader of a wild and wildly creative musical movement. Clinton's song titles give some sense of the range and energy of his vision: 'Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow', 'Cosmic Slop', 'Tear the Roof Off the Mother', 'One Nation Under a Groove'. He made dance music for the mind and did seriously subversive things with joyfully silly comedy.
As the eighties dawned, the P-Funk Empire began to collapse under its own weight. Clinton rose from the ashes as a solo artist, starting with the brilliant 'Atomic Dog'. Rappers discovered him, sampling him like crazy. Artists as diverse as Prince, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Primal Scream, all of whom named Clinton as a formative influence, collaborated with him. Clinton became a global icon, with his instantly recognisable rainbow hair and his tireless dedication to spreading the gospel of funk music.