Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cosmology of Funk - P Funk Mothership


The P Funk Mothership, otherwise known as The Holy Mothership is the arcane space vehicle of Dr. Funkenstein aka George Clinton and his agents of Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication. An integral part of the P Funk mythology, the Mothership existed both conceptually as a fictional vehicle of funk deliverance, and as a physical prop central to P Funk concerts. Powered by unknown means, presumably The Funk and simple stagecraft, the Mothership appeared over the Planet Earth many times during the second half of the Twentieth century, and was even seen to physically land at a number of live music venues in the United States during the 1970s in order to disgorge its Funk to the people.

Landings Of The Holy Mothership

During their heyday in the mid to late 1970s, following the success of their platinum-selling album, 1975's Mothership Connection, George Clinton and his band Parliament Funkadelic - the Funk Mob - engaged on a series of high profile, no-expenses-spared stadium tours around the United States, culminating in the famous P Funk Earth Tour. At these gigs, the much referenced Mothership was seen to land on stage amongst the band and before a baying and expectant crowd. The Mothership was summoned down by the vocal tones of P Funk singers/guitarists Glenn Goins and later Garry Shider, and was represented in the form of a full-scale model complete with light and sound effects as well as pyrotechnics. At this point in the show George Clinton would emerge from the Mothership in the form of Dr. Funkenstein, the "cool ghoul with the funk transplant", in order to better administer funk to the audience.

Where Is She Now?

For many years, the landing of the Mothership was only alluded to at live concerts, due to the prohibitive cost of maintaining the elaborate stage-show. In fact, the Mothership itself had been discarded. In 1996, following the release of T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership), George Clinton launched the "Mothership Reconnection Tour" with Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, and the latest incarnation of P Funk, the "P Funk All Stars". The Mothership Reconnection Tour, which began in New York's Central Park, required a reconstruction of the 1970s Mothership, and the concerts included the landing of the Mothership, albeit on a smaller scale.

For a few years after the Mothership Reconnection Tour, the Mothership would land peridically at the P Funk All Stars concerts, particularly those at larger venues. One of the last appearances of the Mothership was at Woodstock 1999. Since 1999, the landing of the Mothership has been strictly metaphoric; the exact location of the Mothership is unknown.

Die Vertreter des P-FUNK George Clinton und Bootsy Collins feierten ihre Live-Auftritte mit einer Alles in den Schatten stellenden Kostümierung der Dritten Art.

Tauscht heute abend die Badeschläppchen und Bermudashorts gegen Eure Kleiderschrank-Reminiszenzen an eine Epoche des phatten styles ein!
Behängt Euch mit glitzerndem Trash!
Huldigt den Beats des COSMOLOGY OF (P-) FUNK!
Oder einfach: Get off your ass and dance!

Mothership Entrance: 3 Euro
Location: FRANZ, AACHEN (a VERY nice venue!)

FRANZ - Bühne Saal Café
direkt am Marschiertor Franzstraße 74 - 52064 Aachen Telefon: +49 (241) 47588220 aoder +49 (241) 47584230 Tickethotline: +49 (2405) 94102 Terminanfragen bitte unter +49 (241) 20427 oder +49 (171) 4265009 Öffnungszeiten täglich ab 18:00 Uhr dienstags Ruhetag
Aachener Big Band Getreu dem Motto der amerikanischen Jazzclubs "Monday is Bigbandnight" ist die Aachen Big Band jeden ersten Montag im Monat im Restaurant "FRANZ" zu hören. "Big Band is where jazz songs want to go when they grow up."

But now it's FUNKY TIME...

Funk upon a time, in the days of the Funkapuss
the concept of specially designed Afro-nauts
capable of funkatizing galaxies was first laid
on Man Child but was later repossessed and
placed among the secrets of the pyramids until
a more positive attitude towards this most sacred
phenomenon, Clone Funk, could be acquired.
There in these terrestrial projects it would wait
along with its co-inhabitants, the Kings and Pharaohs
like sleeping beauties for the kiss that would release them
to multiply
multiply in the image of the Chosen One
Dr. Funkenstein.

And funk
is its own reward.
May I frighten you?


It's been 5000 years.
If we'd stayed tuned into The One, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.

Most everyone on this planet is lacking Funkentelechy, that force by which the Funk gets stronger, thanks to the Great Electric Spank - the high-tech pimping of human instincts by the power brokers/jokers that be. Stricken with the Placebo Syndrome, unlucky Earthlings everywhere have been fed fake funk instead of the pure, uncut funk, otherwise known as P-Funk. This jivation through logic has doomed the fate of the human race.
The mastermind behind the Great Electric Spank is that putrified purveyor of the Placebo Syndrome, the arch-enemy of all that is good and Funky in the Universe, Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk. Making his first appearance on 1977's FUNKENTELECHY VS. THE PLACEBO SYNDROME, Sir Nose operates on the Pinocchio Theory of Bootsy's Rubber Band - "If you fake the Funk, your nose will grow." Too cool to dance, he wants to put your mind to sleep and extend the reach of his home territory, the Zone of Zero Funkativity.
Super-funky Bootsy Collins. Yes, he's very old. Yes, he's done a lot of partying in his life. Yes, he still has more funk in his left big toe then most of the rest of the world has in its whole body. Yes, he will make an appearance at the Majestic Theater tomorrow with George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars.
Stuck on this Unfunky UFO, our only hope is the one and only
Dr. Funkenstein.

Mad glad scientist,
master technician of Clone Funk,
supreme ruler of outer space Funk,
he is the tribal leader of the descendants of the Thumpasorus Peoples - the original hardcore Funkateers.

Revealing himself to earthlings on THE CLONES OF DR. FUNKENSTEIN (1976), the man is hard at work creating Clones known as the Children of Productions to blow the cobwebs out of mankind's collective mind and help us all achieve P-Funk. He is here to fix all of man's ills, because the bigger the headache, the bigger the pill; and he's the big pill.

And - hark! - he has seen our plight and he has sent help. Starchild, alias The Longhaired Sucker or Sir Lollypop Man, is revealed on 1975's CHOCOLATE CITY to be a sort of Cosmic John the Bop-tist, the official representative of Funkentelechy. THE MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION (1975) tells us that, as the agent of the good doctor, Starchild descends to earth in the Mothership when the planet is in need of a good splanking - that is, when an extra-terrestrial being is needed to free minds and behinds from constipated notions with the omnipowerful Funk. An anti-spank, if you will. Equipped with the Bop Gun, an amazing Dr. Funkenstein invention that is capable of splanking the funkless with one blast, Starchild kicks some serious Nose ass and helps spread the Funkentelechy.

Although Sir Nose tries again and again to make people stop thinking and stop dancing, he is always foiled by Starchild and Dr. Funkenstein's genius. In their first meeting, Starchild zaps him with the Bop Gun, funkatizing him in the luminescent sheen of its rays, and Nose dances in the rhythm of the Flashlight. Old Smell-O-Vision returns underwater on 1978's MOTOR BOOTY AFFAIR, assisted by his bumpnoxious undersea avatar, Rumpofsteelskin. Mr. Wiggles the Worm, the subaquatic, ultrasonic, semibionic Clone of Dr. Funkenstein, triumphantly makes him dance the Aquaboogie. The Nose tries once more on GLORYHALLASTOOPID (1979), attacking the forces of Funk on their own territory - outer space. He goes after the Black Hole, Starchild's home and the prime zone of Funkativity. His attack on the celestial body which suckulates the unfunky deep into its chocolate-y centre is foiled by the Big Bang Theory: Funk set the universe in motion, and there ain't nothing that can stop it.

Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk finally sees the wrong of his ways on 1980's TROMBIPULATION and traces his ancestors back to the Cro-Nasal Sapiens - the original keepers of the Funk - and begins to understand his Funky heritage. His son, Sir Nose Jr., promises to be Funky forevermore, but you can never trust a Nose.

That's why Uncle Jam's Army was created and that's why UNCLE JAM WANTS YOU (1979) - to gather the collective energies of the Funkateers into a mobilized force to snuff out the evil anti-Funk wherever it may lay. It doesn't take special equipment or training to become a Funkateer - just remember, funkentelechy is the actualization of funk rather than its potential. Everyone has the Funk in them but you've got to realize it and reach for it. Follow the Law of Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication: give the people what they want when they want - and they wants it all the time.

Photo image taken from the artwork for the 1975 Parliament album MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION. Uploaded to provide an information resource and guide to the Mothership and P Funk cosmology.

P-Funk (also spelled P Funk or P. Funk) is a shorthand term for the repertoire and performers associated with George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic collective and the distinctive style of funk music they performed. The P-Funk groups had their heyday in the 1970s and continue to attract new fans thanks both to the legacy of samples they bequeathed to hip hop and the live shows that the bands continue to perform.

Musical elements that characterize the P-Funk style include:

* spacey synthesizer melodies and washes provided by keyboardist Bernie Worrell and others
* prominent, squelching electric bass lines provided by Bootsy Collins or performed in his style
* jazzy, insouciant horn section arrangements performed by The Horny Horns
* raucous group vocals on songs' choruses alternating with sung or spoken vocals on the verses
* a mixture of funk and rock guitar styles, the latter being more prominent on Funkadelic's recordings
* steady, relatively unobtrusive drumming with few or no drum solos
* lyrics devoted to exposition of the P-Funk mythology, sex and drug-related humor, and sociopolitical satire, often in the context of a concept album
* sophisticated use of multitrack recording technology and studio effects by producer George Clinton

Key P-Funk bands and musicians include:

* Parliament
* Funkadelic
* Bootsy Collins / Bootsy's Rubber Band
* George Clinton
* Bernie Worrell
* Eddie Hazel
* Garry Shider
* Walter Morrison
* The Brides of Funkenstein
* Maceo Parker
* Parlet
* Fred Wesley
* Michael "Clip" Payne
* Zapp

Clinton, P-Funk founding fathers roll through third decade of funk
By Chris Kula
For the Daily

"We need the funk! Gotta have the funk!"

With those lyrics from his 1976 song "Give Up the Funk," George Clinton summed up the feelings of the American public: We are a nation that craves the funk. And over time, few individuals have meant more to this most righteous form of music than the founder of Parliament-Funkadelic himself, George Clinton.

Fans will once again get the chance to hear and see funk in motion when George Clinton hits the Majestic Theater stage tomorrow with the P-Funk All Stars. But the origin of funk can be traced to a holy trinity of innovators. James Brown was the first performer to explore the combination of soul and R&B that would eventually evolve into the trademark funk sound of his most successful years. Sly Stone - and his Family of the same name - expanded upon Brown's model, mixing into the funk recip

Super-funky Bootsy Collins. Yes, he's very old. Yes, he's done a lot of partying in his life. Yes, he still has more funk in his left big toe then most of the rest of the world has in its whole body. Yes, he will make an appearance at the Majestic Theater tomorrow with George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars.
e elements of pop and rock 'n' roll; Stone's music crossed over into mainstream audiences, reaching previously unintroduced listeners to the funk. Clinton followed suit by taking the funk to places it had never been before - and has yet to be since.

Clinton began his ascent to musical fame in the early '60s with a singing group called The Parliaments (later shortened to simply Parliament). The group was backed by a tight rhythm section dubbed Funkadelic. Clinton saw the potential for a wide musical diversity between the two groups, and they began cutting records under both names. Parliament albums were R&B-based with a strong focus upon keyboard- and vocal-driven songs, while Funkadelic projects, being heavily guitar-oriented, bordered more along the lines of rock music - funk and roll, if you will. Eventually, the two bands began sounding more and more similar, until eventually they became, for all intents and purposes, a singular entity that's commonly referred to as Parliament-Funkadelic or, simply, P-Funk.

Clinton was the brainchild behind this assemblage. He worked hard to gather the funkiest musicians around him to craft his ideal sound. While Sly Stone injected his music with pertinent social rhetoric, Clinton infused P-Funk songs with spacey humor. Rather than focus directly on black markets, he embraced the white, hippie counter-culture of the times. In fact, by playing at the volume levels of rock and sharing the same care-free attitude toward mind-expanding drugs, P-Funk became wildly popular among members of this group. Clinton created a musical experience that was, both in terms of music and spirit, like nothing else of this world.

But Clinton's vision stretched far beyond the music. He saw P-Funk as his own version of the sound then being produced by Motown: a large, self-contained stable of artists releasing similar-sounding records with which to corner the funk market. Successful offshoot groups such as Bootsy's Rubber Band, the Brides of Funkenstein, the Horny Horns and numerous others had roots within the P-Funk tradition.

In fact, many of the Parliament-Funkadelic musicians employed by Clinton would go on to fame of their own; among the notable names are: Bootsy Collins, who essentially defined funk bass; keyboardist Bernie Worrell, the man who revolutionized funk arrangements; and saxophonist Maceo Parker, also a former James Brown sideman who became a major player in the evolution of funk (and a performer at the most recent Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Fest).

The various incarnations of the P-Funk mob had their best successes in the mid-'70s with the popularity of such songs as "Flashlight," "Mothership Connection" and "P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)." By the early '80s, though, hip-hop was on the rise and the public's interest in funk waned. P-Funk disbanded, the various members going their separate ways and Clinton embarking upon a prolific solo career.

P-Funk's influence, however, is strongly evident, even today. In the world of rap, P-Funk is widely considered the most heavily sampled artist; recognizable melodies and beats from the P-Funk catalogue can be heard in the music of everyone from Doctor Dre and Digital Underground to Kriss Kross and the legendary MC Hammer.

The newest incarnation of the P-Funk legacy, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, was formed in the mid-'80s by Clinton himself and various members of past P-Funk groups. They continue the classic tradition of heavy funk and wild stage theatrics across the nation (it is not unusual to see up to twenty band members roaming on and around the stage during an All Star show).

Even in the exceedingly fast-paced decade of the '90s, the American people need the funk. And, amazingly, George Clinton, thirty-odd years after his beginning in music, is still ready to tear the roof off the sucker and give it up to all those in need of the funk.

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