music pictures by Pat Blashill

George Clinton has also been known as Dr. Funkenstein, the Godfather of Funk, and the Lollipop Man. On the other hand, Afrika Bambaataa just calls him Uncle George.

While it may be true that James Brown and his band invented funk music, Parliament-Funkadelic took funk into outer space. And George Clinton invented P-Funk. At first, Clinton ran a doo-wop group called the Parliaments, and Funkadelic was a stone soul spin-off. But by 1975, it was all P-funky: by gene-splicing distorted electric guitars and rubber band basslines, LSD and Black Power, science-fiction and gospel, Clinton almost single-handedly invented Afro-futurism. By 1982, everyone from Afrika Bambaataa to Austin's funk-punk Godfathers the Big Boys, was borrowing from the book of George. I took these pictures in 1989--at the time, Clinton was bizarrely extolling the virtues of new wave hair band, Kajagoogoo. A few years later, I interviewed him for Details magazine. He had just released his sixth solo album; it was entitled Hey Man, Smell My Finger. He is 72 years old now, and still as funky as a joint rolled in toilet paper.

“I learned how to make a record with any two minutes of noise I’ve got.”
George Clinton