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George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic live on Lehman stage

DEARDRA SHULER | 4/12/2011, 4:40 p.m.
George Clinton

The great George Clinton will be bringing his funk to Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, N.Y., on Saturday, November 7 at 8 pm., via his avant-garde bands Parliament and Funkadelic.

Parliament-Funkadelic created a genre of unique music known as 'P-Funk' (Pure Funk). Originators within this funky, funky music genre, Parliament-Funkadelic became known for their unique brand of music, wherein they experimented with various harmonies and melodies that gave life and fresh air to the psychedelic music generation. Funkadelic took a cue from Jimi Hendrix and experimented with psychedelic guitar distortions, cosmological rants, booming bass lines and bizarre sound effects that eventually gave birth to the Mothership, a wild spectacular that featured a huge spaceship on stage, complete with out-of-this world music, costumes and hairdos.

Clinton and his collective bands are presently on tour. "I can't wait to get back home to New Jersey. I am in Tallahassee, Florida, as we speak. We are touring Europe and just returned from Japan. We are going to be in Africa near Madagascar. And as soon as I finish my performance at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx, I will be heading to Finland and the Netherlands, "said the talented funkmeister.

At 15 years old, George Clinton formed the Parliaments in Newark, N.J. "That was in 1956. Frankie Lyman had his hit out, 'Why Do Fools Fall in Love,' at that time. Parliament was just getting started performing doo-wop," remarked Clinton. "Eventually, we ended up at Motown, and when that faded out, we started a group called Funkadelic. Funkadelic played behind Parliament. It was our backup band, but we were all one group because we all played together at the same time and still do.

"When Parliament didn't have a regular album, then we would put out an album with Funkadelic. Funkadelic did the psychedelic music. Funkadelic came out with 'Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow' and 'Maggot Brain.' There were 10 of us then, five singers and five musicians. When one band didn't have a recording, the other one would come out with one," noted George, whose bands revolutionized the music scene in the 1970s.

Parliament came out with "Chocolate City" in 1975 and a single entitled "Flashlight," which became their signature. "The band went on to release a series of hits, 'The Motor Booty Affair,' 'Gloryhallastoopid,' 'Trombipulation' and 'Aqua Boogie,'" said George, who wrote songs for the Jackson Five and the Supremes, et al, while at Motown.

"'We Got the Funk' was our first million dollar seller," said the music genius. "Funk means do the best you can, and after that, 'Funk it!'" laughed Clinton, whose spectacular theatrical shows have included a huge spaceship.

"The Mothership was a million dollar stage set. It landed on the stage and was 60 feet across. It landed at Madison Square Garden a couple of times. During that period, everybody was playing with us. Sly Stone played with us for a time and was one of the few who actually stepped out of the Mothership. Jimi Hendrix played with us before we went psychedelic and before he became the Jimi Hendrix Experience.