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Taken from WEBSITE (May 28, 2019)

George Clinton says farewell to Cincinnati with Parliament-Funkadelic

by Chris Varias, Special to Cincinnati Enquirer


George Clinton. Photo Jenny Risher
George Clinton. Photo Jenny Risher


George Clinton's connection to Cincinnati runs through musicians such as trumpeter Clayton "Chicken" Gunnells, guitarist Phelps "Catfish" Collins and, of course, Catfish's brother, William "Bootsy" Collins, players who made their name here playing with James Brown, as the Godfather of Soul cut hits at King Records in Evanston.


Members of Brown's band eventually made their way to Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic, none having a greater impact than Bootsy, co-writer of several P-Funk hits and personification of funk music itself.


As Clinton sets out for the road for what's billed as his farewell tour, he took a few minutes to talk about the Collins brothers, as well as what retirement might look like.


Question: When someone mentions the name "Cincinnati," what do you think?


Answer: Lots of funky music. Bootzilla, and then all of the other funk that came out of King Records. But Bootsy is the first thing to comes to mind.


Q: How's your relationship with Bootsy these days?


A: We were together at the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards a couple days ago. We had a big jam session. It was great.


Q: Is that a rare occurrence, or do you keep in touch?


A: It's not rare but not everyday, either. We have a lot of business we have to get straight. We're in touch. It's cool. It's a cool relationship.


More: Things to do in Cincinnati this week: Bunbury, Summerfair, Garlic Festival, Rob Lowe


Q: Will he be hanging out at the show here?


A: I don't know. From the way it was the other day, I wouldn't be surprised.


Q: Everybody in Cincinnati knows Bootsy. Fewer know Catfish. Can you school Cincinnatians about Catfish?


A: Oh my God. That was like the foundation that we all leaned on. He was the one that concept of what James (Brown) was about. He had that feel that was unbelievable. Catfish was like ... oh my God. But then Bootsy got that from him, so there was both of them. But Catfish was, wow. You couldn't move him. When he played his rhythm, you might go off, but he's gonna keep his part. His part, you could count on like a clock.


George Clinton. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SESAC)
Singer/Songwriter George Clinton performs onstage at the 2017 SESAC Pop Awards on April 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SESAC)


Q: What was your relationship like with James Brown?


A: I only met him a couple of times with Bootsy, but I didn't know him that well. He's a funky dude. That's what I know.


Q: Did he resent you because of the players in his band that went over to you?


A: Oh, I don't think he resented that. He could get musicians. He was mad at them first, before they left him and came with me. I'm sure he felt proud of them


Q: Were you a fan of any King Records artists aside from James Brown?


A: The Midnighters, Hank Ballard. That was one of the ones, boy.


More: What does 'The Mountain' mean? Dierks Bentley explains his tour and his focus in 2019


Q: What will be a typical day of retirement? Eighteen holes of golf?


A: Me making records and promoting cartoons. That's my next phase. The music is good for movies and cartoons. That's the way you're going to get it out to people.


Q: So you're not fully retiring. You're just trying to get off the road.


A: That's what it would be. The kids are killing it in the band now, and I'm just directing them, and it's taking away from what they can do, people thinking that it's me doing it, other than being their inspiration. They're killing it.


Q: If the band tours next year without you, who steps into your role as the face of P-Funk at live shows?


A: There's about three or four of them that are jockeying for it, so it makes it interesting. It will be fun to watch it. We could do some sort of reality show to see who will take it over.


If you go


What: George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic with Galactic, Fishbone and Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1
Where: Riverfront Live, 4343 Kellogg Ave, East End; 513-321-2572
Tickets: $40 advance; $45 day of show



 
 

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