Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Okay, this will be blurry: Sometime in New York City, early Nineties maybe, somewhere in a club where the line outside was almost exclusively black . . . and there was me.
Because -- and this is where it gets really unfocused -- Parliament/Funkadelic were going to play and somehow I had a ticket.
I remember thinking that with decent shoes I'm pretty close to 6 feet but on the night I was considerably shorter than the Afros all around me and the men/women/other in stack heels.
I'm pretty sure that whatever I wore I was dressed down.
This was a black crowd out to party in Spandex tights and day-glo eye-liner, gold lame tops and two-inch finger nails painted Very Bright Indeed.
I can't remember what the women were wearing.
But what happened -- I think -- was the Mothership landed. I do remember the bass player wore a baby's nappy and wrap-around shades and not much else, mainman George Clinton had multi-coloured dreads and threads, the funk got on, the psychedelic drugs took effect and the crowd sang along to every single word.
And they also played chunks of this classic psychedelic-funk album.
Now I could be wrong about much of that -- What would I know? I was there -- but that's only to say that the reissue of this bizarre funakdelic/psychotropic album from '71 should be in any sensible music collection.
It was one of those rare moments -- Hendrix, Electric Flag and a few others excepted -- when black music embraced the white psychedelia/Zappa possibilities without dropping the funk ethos and really let fly.
Clinton was sometimes known as the black-funk FrankZ. But guitarist Eddie Hazel (who died in '92) was a pivotal figure providing the pre-Bad Brains/Zappadelic solos. He is the unacknowledged genius of funk and his playing here stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Jimi.
Maggot Brain -- here with extra tracks -- is a classic album.
And I think once I might have heard some of it played sometime in New York City . . .