Fresh off touring in Australia (including dates with his famed disciples the Red Hot Chili Peppers), music legend George Clinton has launched what he says will be his final tour with Parliament-Funkadelic after five decades in the biz.
“I would love to keep on doing this, but I’ll be 78 in a few more months,” Clinton said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Even though I feel like I’m just getting started, the reality is the group needs to go ahead and keep it going. I’ve been up there representing for people, but they’ve actually been turning the place out.”
Clinton is one of the primary architects of Funk music, slathering the groove with a psychedelic glaze and a sci-fi aesthetic. Clinton and Co. sold millions of albums and produced classic songs like “Up for the Down Stroke,” “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)” and “Flash Light.”
Watch a full 1976 P-Funk concert taped live in Houston, Texas:
A no-brainer Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Clinton’s music has endured and been wildly influential, including for generations of Hip Hop artists. Alongside James Brown’s grooves, Clinton’s music is some of the most sampled ever, used by everyone from De La Soul and N.W.A. to YG and Earl Sweatshirt.
Clinton’s current Parliament-Funkadelic experience features longtime P-Funk players like trumpeter Bennie Cowan, saxophonist Greg Thomas, bassist Lige Curry and guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight. The Funk extravaganza — dubbed the One Nation Under a Groove tour — will be further enhanced by special guests Fishbone and Galactic, as well as relative newcomers Miss Velvet & The Blue Wolf.
The legendary musician received a special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys recently. In the Rolling Stone interview, Clinton said the honor meant a lot to him because it offered a platform to celebrate the many musicians he’s worked with over the years, including peak-era band members Bernie Worrell and Cincinnati native Bootsy Collins, both critical to the P-Funk sound.
“It’s never been about me or no particular thing,” Clinton said to Rolling Stone before the Grammy’s ceremony. “As I’m getting ready to get a lifetime achievement award and all of that, there’s so many people that’s been in the band… that award will belong to everybody that’s participated in making the P-Funk what it is. It will be for all the people that’s ever been through the P-Funk army.”