The history of the Parliament Funkadelic is a funny, and sometimes confusing thing. Break-ups and reconstructions of the band have resulted in, at this humble reporter’s count, three different incarnations of the P-Funk. The first, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic, is spearheaded by the lively dreadlocked singer. Billy “Bass” Nelson heads another, called O.G. Funk. Funk founders Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell both have thriving solo careers.
Last, but by no means least, is the group that will be performing this Friday night in the UC Grandroom, The Original P-Funk, led by founding members Fuzzy Haskins, Grady Thomas, Calvin Simon and Ray Davis.
Is there such a thing as too much funk? Not by a long shot. Each of these bands has the power to call down the groovalicious and world-famous Mothership to tear the roof off the proverbial sucka. And the funkasaurus isn’t going extinct as long as long as the Original P has anything to say about it.
Many folks say that they’ve heard of Parliament, but never actually heard their music. The reality of it is that most people have heard the Funkadelic, but just didn’t realize what it was. In addition to funk classics like “Give Up the Funk,” “Flash Light,” or “Dr. Funkenstein,” the group’s music has appeared in more rap and DJ samplings than probably any other.
For those who still are not sure what the “funk” is, imagine the most butch disco song you can possibly muster, add a stronger snap-n-pop bassline, syncopated drum beats, catchier lyrics, the occasional strong brass section, a bigger party atmosphere and a greater booty-shakin’ factor.
Oh, also put everybody in outrageous looking costumes and instruments. Then, prepare to get funkified.
If someone out there is still not convinced that they will feel the power of the funk, then consider this. All four founders of the Original P-Funk are members of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. There’s got to be a reason for that.
For a refresher course in what the Parliament was all about, I suggest taking a listen to the penultimate funk album, “One Nation Under A Groove,” or to their greatest hits, “Tear The Roof Off: 1974-1980.” To get an inkling of what the Original P-Funk sounds like, check out their album, “What Dat Shakin’?”
The show starts this Friday night at 9:30 p.m. in the Grandroom of the University Center. So blow the cobwebs out of your mind, call down the mothership, take a trip to Chocolate City, and the behind will follow.