Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?"

Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?"

A Memoir

Book - 2014
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The long-awaited memoir from one of the greatest bandleaders, hit makers, and most influential pop artists of our time—known for over forty R&B hit singles—George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic. George Clinton began his musical career in New Jersey, where his obsession with doo-wop and R&B led to a barbershop quartet—literally, as Clinton and his friends also styled hair in the local shop—the way kids often got their musical start in the ’50s. But how many kids like that ended up playing to tens of thousands of rabid fans alongside a diaper-clad guitarist? How many of them commissioned a spaceship and landed it onstage during concerts? How many put their stamp on four decades of pop music, from the mind-expanding sixties to the hip-hop-dominated nineties and beyond? One of them. That’s how many. How George Clinton got from barbershop quartet to funk music megastar is a story for the ages. As a high school student he traveled to New York City, where he absorbed all the trends in pop music, from traditional rhythm and blues to Motown, the Beatles, the Stones, and psychedelic rock, not to mention the formative funk of James Brown and Sly Stone. By the dawn of the seventies, he had emerged as the leader of a wildly creative musical movement composed mainly of two bands—Parliament and Funkadelic. And by the bicentennial, Clinton and his P-Funk empire were dominating the soul charts as well as the pop charts. He was an artistic visionary, visual icon, merry prankster, absurdist philosopher, and savvy businessmen, all rolled into one. He was like no one else in pop music, before or since. Written with wit, humor, and candor, this memoir provides tremendous insight into America’s music industry as forever changed by Clinton’s massive talent. This is a story of a beloved global icon who dedicated himself to spreading the gospel of funk music.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, ©2014
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781476751078
Branch Call Number: Biography B Cli
Additional Contributors: Greenman, Ben


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Jul 05, 2016

The biggest understatement in this memoir by funk lord George Clinton: "Drugs may have had something to do with it." We've come to expect the litany of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in our music biographies/autobiographies, this is something else. In the 1970s, nobody was funkier, weirder, druggier, and more out there than George Clinton, who lead Parliament and Funkadelic, bands who created some of the best acid-fried, loose booty funk ever made. The book, as even a casual fan can guess, has a lot of drugs, a lot funk, and some insanity. Clinton, who wrote the book with Ben Greenman, who also did Questlove's memoir, is a lively and colorful, if somewhat shallow, narrator. There is perhaps too much about his various financial problems, but this is a sadly common part of the music business. The upside is that Clinton became a kind of father figure to a whole generation of younger artists, especially hip-hop musicians, and the book ends with him recording with Kendrick Lamar. I'd suggest starting with "Maggot Brain" and "Mothership Connection" as you read and go from there. "I went to my room to celebrate--and by celebrate, I mean smoke the rock."


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