George Clinton and P-Funk
May 05, 2006
BY IAN O'LEARY
I'm sitting here just hours away from getting my funk cherry popped by none other than the Innovator of Inter-Planetary Funk himself, George Clinton, and my mind is starting to wander. As a devout punk rocker, I don’t know a lot about him. My Dad told me stories about seeing him at the Municipal Auditorium back in the 70’s, I saw PCU, I know he worked with RHCP, I’ve heard some of his music, but I don’t "know" George Clinton. Are some of his old band mates going to be there? How ‘bout Bootsy Collins, inventor of the “izzle” vernacular? What about “Guy in a Diaper” or “Guy in a Wedding Dress”--are they going to be there?
What about the crowd? I heard hippies like this guy. Is it gonna be overrun by hippie chicks who look like they have Don King in a headlock? I also heard GC has a very diverse audience, and that’s cool. Of course, Dr. Funkenstein did invent the term "Chocolate City," which our own Sugar Ray Nagin chose to resurrect, thus alienating about half of the city’s population. Whatever, right? Remember that Mayor Wonka forgot the line, “God Bless Chocolate City, AND its Vanilla Suburbs.” So, enough build up! This punk wants the funk!
As soon as I walked in I thought, “So much for diversity." The last time I saw this many hippies in one place was at a Ralph Nader rally. These hippies are the rudest bunch of people I’ve ever encountered. They don’t excuse themselves when passing, bumping into you, or burning you with various lit objects. Within five minutes of P-Funk taking the stage, my friend Grant and I almost got in a fight with another show patron. This waste of food actually asked me to be quiet during the set. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! We didn’t want to get kicked out during the first song so we merely explained to this chap what he could do to himself, and he scampered off to make some hemp underwear or something.
So what was the show like? Well, frankly, the show stunk. GC was high as a kite on something what wasn’t medicinal. The PA was awful, he was incoherent, and I just couldn’t get down on him telling me that he was gonna funk me up for 15 minutes. Can't that be done in 5 minutes and then spend the next 10 actually funking me up? “Guy in a Diaper” was there, no Bootsy or “Guy in a Wedding Dress,” though. Bummer. So between the stink of patchouli, the horrible crowd, the horrible sound, the suspect effort exhibited by the guest of honor and the fact that I just didn’t get it, we left after 5 songs. I'm not giving up on George though. I'm going out first thing tomorrow to buy some old records and see if I can't get to "know" George Clinton.