God­fa­ther of funk Ge­orge Clin­ton brings Par­lia­ment Funkadelic to the Sig­nal Satur­day

Clin­ton brings Par­lia­ment Funkadelic to The Sig­nal

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - FRONT PAGE - BY BARRY COURTER STAFF WRITER

At nearly ev­ery turn, whether he’s walk­ing by a tele­vi­sion, near a ra­dio or video game, Ge­orge Clin­ton is re­minded of just how big his mu­si­cal foot­print has been. He’s also re­minded that he hasn’t got­ten paid for much of what he is hear­ing.

At first it up­set him, but then it rekin­dled a fire in him to fight for what was his, and to rein­vent him­self again ar­tis­ti­cally speak­ing. He re­leased his first new stu­dio al­bum in 38 years last year with “Med­i­caid Fraud Dogg,” which was cri t i cally ac­claimed

Clin­ton said in a tele­phone in­ter­view that his re­cent court bat­tles over copy­right and money owed him, and con­stantly hear­ing his mu­sic be­ing sam­pled by other artists, woke up the dog in him, so to speak.

“That gave me t he in­spi­ra­tion to write some new stuff as op­posed to giv­ing up. We’ve been sell­ing out all over the place and those things have helped fuel me.

“It gives me the en­ergy to ac­tu­ally fight.”

He and his le­gendary band the Par­lia­ment Funkadelic will be on­stage Satur­day night, Dec. 29, at The Sig­nal.

Clin­ton be­came in­ter­ested in doo-wop while a teen in the early ’50s. He formed The Par­lia­ments in 1955, re­hears­ing in the back room of a bar­ber­shop.

The P a r l i a me n t s re­leased t wo s i ngles dur­ing the next 10 years. They f in­ally had a hit with the 1967 sin­gle “( I Wanna) Tes­tif y” f or Revilot Records, but the la­bel ran into trou­ble and Clin­ton re­fused to record new ma­te­rial. He de­cided to record the same band un­der a new name: Funkadelic, founded in 1968.

While Funkadelic was psy­che­delic rock, The Par­lia­ments played funk, blend­ing in­flu­ences from James Brown and Sly Stone with freaky cos­tumes and themes in­spired by the ’ 60s acid cul­ture and sci­ence fic­tion.

By 1970, Clin­ton had re­gained the rights to The Par­lia­ments name. He then signed the en­tire Funkadelic lineup to In­vic­tus Records as Par­lia­ment. That group scored a Top 30 hit in 1971. Clin­ton dis­con­tin­ued the Par­lia­ment name for awhile, but in the ’70s recorded both as Par­lia­ment and Funkadelic.

Since then, dozens of mu­si­cians have played with the col­lec­tive that is Par­lia­ment Funkadelic. Sev­eral have split off to solo ca­reers; oth­ers re­grouped into smaller bands.

Clin­ton and 15 other mem­bers of Par­lia­ment Funkadelic were in­ducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Par­lia­ment Funkadelic No. 56 on its list of the “100 Great­est Artists of All Time.” In 2002, Spin ranked Par­lia­ment Funkadelic No. 6 on its list of the “50 Great­est Bands of All Time.”

He said the band is as tight as it has been in years.


Ge­orge Clin­ton on­stage with Par­lia­ment Funkadelic. The funk band plays The Sig­nal on Satur­day night.

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