May 28, 2023

Parliament Funkadelic- The Mothership Connection Live 1976 [Throwback DVD Review]

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What’s up everyone, from time to time we might do a classic or throwback review for you. Before I get started I just wanted to let you know about…. wait, wait, what’s that noise, where is that disturbance comin’ from… hold up ladies and gentlemen, seems like we… are experiencing technical difficulties… excuse me who are you and what do you want…….

Good evening.

Do not attempt to adjust your radio, there is nothing wrong.
We have taken control as to bring you this special show.
We will return it to you as soon as you are grooving.
Welcome to station WEFUNK, better known as We-Funk,
Or deeper still, the Mothership Connection.
Home of the extraterrestrial brothers,
Dealers of funky music. P.Funk, uncut funk,
The Bomb. Coming to you directly from the Mothership
Top of the Chocolate Milky Way, 500,000 kilowatts of P.Funk-power.
So kick back, dig, while we do it to you in your eardrums.
And me? I’m known as Lollipop Man, alias the Long-Haired Sucker.
My motto is: Make my funk the P.Funk I want my funk uncut…

parliament1976livedvdOk now that I have control of the airwaves again, Let ya friendly neighborhood Editor-In-Chief set the stage for ya, paint ya a picture if you will!

It’s Halloween Night, October 31, 1976. ‘Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)’ their first top 5 R&B hit was doin’ just that on commercial radio not just getting heavy rotation but every rotation. Parliament Funkadelic was like five dates into their tour… And The Mothership Lands in The Houston Summit!

George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and the rest of the P-Funk Collective in their 1970’s prime take the stage and bless the crowd with their cosmic brew on interplanetary funk!

Giving you get a rare opportunity to get your proper dose of The P-Funk in this seldom-seen performance. Originally released October 21, 2008, and available everywhere, No tricks here, just straight treats for 85 minutes. No self-respecting P-Funk fan should be without and young heads can get a taste of one of the biggest contributors to hip-hop outside of James Brown! Now if that ain’t enuf, George Clinton, Dr Funkenstein himself calls back up Bootsy and The Rubberband and Sly And The family Stone who all performed earlier back up to the stage and the collective continue Funkin’ For Fun which is the highlight of the Brian Blum directed DVD.

You can keep da chocolate and the candy corn…
Ya Heard!!!!

parliament1976livedvddiscA little history…

George Clinton had founded Parliament as a barbershop quintet back in the ’60s, and that is literally what they were, as Clinton earned a living my styling hair while rehearsing with the vocal group. Parliament had a #3 R&B hit in 1967 with “I Wanna Testify,” but the winds of change were blowing, and it wasn’t long before Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone showed up on the scene to change things forever. Of course, no discussion of funk can even begin without talking about the man who invented the genre, and James Brown was at the peak of his powers.

It was a combination of these musical influences, together with the rise of the black power movement, and the availability of psychedelic drugs that informed Clinton’s next move. While Parliament continued on, he created a rock band that he called Funkadelic. They toured the northeast, often sharing the bill with white bands like the Stooges, and the MC5, and also hit the black college circuit in the South and on the East Coast.

The big break came in 1974, when Clinton signed his whole organization to Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records. To say the label was eclectic is something of an understatement. Other artists signed to Casablanca included disco queen Donna Summer, and make-up kings Kiss. Parliament’s early success was such that Bogart agreed to give Clinton a massive budget for his next project. Nearly half that money went to the creation of a spaceship for the upcoming Parliament-Funkadelic tour. On Halloween night, 1976, the tour arrived at the Houston Summit, the fifth date on the P. Funk Earth Tour. They needed seven trucks to get them there. Fortunately, the tour date was filmed, and it’s finally been released on dvd by Shout! Factory.

Don’t let the fact that it was Halloween fool you. Having attended several P. Funk shows, I can assure you that the outlandish costumes the band members were sporting were not just for that night. The band at that point was a virtual who’s who of funk, including keyboard player Bernie Worrell, sax player Maceo Parker and trombonist Fred Wesley, both veterans of James Brown’s band, the just-out-of-high-school guitarist Michael Hampton who was taking the place of the jailed Eddie Hazel, guitarists/vocalists Garry “Starchild” Shider (yes, he’s the one in the diaper), and the incredible Glenn Goins. Hampton and Shider remain in the band to this day. Goins tragically died of Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1978. Then there are the Parliament singers, the female backup singers, an amazing rhythm section, more horn players, George Clinton himself … let’s just say there was a cast of thousands on the stage that night.

While much has changed since 1976, one thing remains the same, there are good times and there are bad times, but when those bad times come around, nothing helps quite as much as just shaking your ass to the funk. George Clinton knew it then, and he knows it now. Makes a great gift for ya average Funkster anytime of the years. Again I say this is a must have for any real FUNK fan!!!

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