George Clinton never died

Back in the Motown days, we used to wear tailored suits. That was the thing to do in Philly. Even in the Ghetto, you’d buy the best suits or have them tailor-made. We was broke as hell, but that was the thing. It was like the clean, pimp style. But seeing how fictitious that was, we welcomed a change. So when kids started wearing hole-y jeans and T-shirts, we’d grab a towel and wear it like a diaper. When it changed again and it had to be clean again, we bought $10,000 leather-winged outfits, spacemen costumes and a half a million dollar Mothership. If it had glitter, we had to make it glitter to the point that nobody had ever done it before.

Then that was getting old after we’d been on tour for ever, so we got the camouflage stuff. We pretty much started that on the One Nation Under a Groove album. We went into the army/navy surplus stores and stuff was like three dollars for a pair of pants. $3.50, $2.50 for shirts. We loaded everything outta there. In a good six months, that shit was up to $30 or $40. Now it’s a couple of hundred dollars to get a good army suit.

The history of Funkadelic begins where Hendrix left of: distorted guitars, orange-purple soundscapes, black cosmology, LSD-weltschmertz, burning american flags, bombed out city centers – but with one forward-looking, crucial difference; they added the Funk, the continuous groove, the steady heartbeat of the Mothership.

The easiest way to break down P-funk? Psychedelic Rock crossed with Funk. This gives Funkadelic their unique flavour, that is why they appeal to both dirtbag rockers and californian gangbangers, that is why their music has met success both amongst American college-nerds and party-goers in the Brazilian favelas. While the original funk was developed under the disciplinary regime of James Brown, the Detroit bastard child was generally to fucked on acid when they were in the studio to accomplish something substantial. Skippable experiments drenched in bad acid and bad hippie wisdom is one of the weaknesses of the p-funk-catalouge. They also had the bad habit of including ballads on their releases, an area which they unlike James Brown did not master. Clinton’s half-baked Frank Zappa-imitations (Jimmy’s Got A Little Bit Of Bitch In Him) are also misplaced, since Clinton’s own sense of humour transcends Zappa by lightyears. To bow down to an inferior is not a good look.

The bitches’ brew that Funkadelic initially served their followers had ingredients echoing both the immanent theology of the likes of Meister Eckhart and Thomas Müntzer and the darker side of that took over after The Summe Of Love. “The Kingdom Of Heaven Is Within” is howled repeatedly on the intro to their first LP. On America Eats It’s Young they even include a text from The Church Of The Process, a congregation founded by ex-Scientologists that worshipped both God and Satan and believed the world would end any minute now. A.S. Van Dorston writes in his brilliant The Afro-Alien Diaspora, that it “seems unlikely that George Clinton took the Process Church seriously for long. Everything he did showed that his songs were meant to benefit everyone in a positive way.” The iconoclastic imagery of Clinton was larger than one church, it was an all rebellious, playful mythology that was riding on the bad acid-vibes of Hendrix and fellow noise-bringers. Dorston continues that

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