KTRU - Rice Radio - George Clinton (Archie Ivy) Interview (1977)

https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/97256

For context, this is before Live: P-Funk Earth Tour or Funkentelechy vs. The Placebo Syndrome albums were released. The interview starts at the two minute mark.

This is an interesting interview, as the interviewers are not professionals, and, as a result, cause the interview to have quite a few “interesting” moments. One of them manages to tick him off a bit (see the section on Sly), and the other keeps asks formulaic questions (with George delivering responses with similar wit to his response to “What is funk George?”).

Things worth noting:

  • The funk mob having a “film department”
  • Details for the plot of the Motor-Booty Affair Movie
  • Some details about the Dr. Funkenstein’s P-Funk Earth Tour Movie
  • A detailed description of the plot of Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome
  • Plans for retiring the Mothership for use in a Broadway play

I haven’t researched these movies or the play yet, so I’m not opening threads for these (maybe later, if no one beats me to it, and there’s something more to say).

Outside Connections:

@OooBooBeeDoop’s memory banks have not forgotten this tidbit of information. However, the Dr. said in the interview that U.N. footage was going to be used in the Earth Tour movie.

///

George is still saying he’s working on a lot of the same stuff kinds of stuff mentioned here: musical/play, animation, four albums (not including Medicaid Fraud Dogg). Nothing changes, huh? Here’s his statement from a Reddit AMA from November 2018:

Yes. I’m doing a PFunk Allstars Album, a George Clinton solo album, another Parliament album and another Funkadelic album. Medicaid Fraud Dogg is the newest. I’m also working on musical documentary, animation and a play. The show tonight, Tales from the Tour Bus, is funny as shit. You’re going to see some super hero funky stuff pretty soon too. We just did a video for “My Mama Told Me.” You’ll be seeing that really soon.

Transcript

(Some edits or small omissions for clarity. Added bolding and indentation for creating sections for readability.)

(Audio Engineer? = Eric Sisson; I believe they are incorrectly attributed in the description as the voice of Billy Singletary.)
Main Host: Bruce Kessler (BK)
Guest(?) Host: Billy Singletary (BS)

[02:01] BK: What’s the problem?
[02:03] GC: Well, we had to work 'til like seven in the morning in the studio.

[02:07] BK: Oh, you’re getting a new album together?
[02:09] GC: Yeah, well, we’d be getting four new albums, I guess.
[02:13] BS: Four new albums? Is this the Maggot Overlord?
[02:15] GC: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we’re recording it. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we’re performing everywhere.

[02:21] BK: Yeah, you’ve got, you’ve got two of us on the phone. Now, you’ve got myself [Bruce Kessler], and Billy Singletary.
[02:27] BS: Two against one.
[02:28] GC: Oh, okay.
[02:30] BK: So what, you’ve got four albums?

[02:31] GC: So we went through an airplane thing, you know. And at the airport, we were bringing tapes from Los Angeles, right, and they zapped it with that x-ray shit. So we had a whole song, a whole track for Bootsy’s new album erased.
[02:47] BK: Great.
[02:48] GC: Yeah, they had to go back and do it all over again, so we’re past-deadline already.
[02:53] BK: Well, maybe you can get an extension when you consider what [the] circumstances were.
[02:58] GC: Oh, they don’t play that. [They said],“Get us some product on the market”.

[03:01] BK: So where are you right now?
[03:02] GC: Right now I’m in Detroit.
[03:04] BK: Detroit?
[03:05] GC: Yeah.

[03:06] BK: So what, you’ve got a show there tonight, and then Houston tomorrow?
[03:08] GC: No, we’ve got a show in San Antonio tonight.
[03:10] BK: Oh.
[03:11] GC: That’s what I’m sayin’. I’m pushed and everything.

[03:15] BK: Well listen, what happened with the show you were scheduled to do, about a month ago, here in Houston? You’d been booked to do a big outdoor show, but it never happened.

[03:25] GC: Right, it was a lot of different things came up. What it basically boils down to is nobody could afford it. And from the standpoint of promoters, they couldn’t afford to take a loss like that. So, where as the show itself was gonna come off- like they’d already sold seventeen-thousand tickets or somethin’ like that?

[03:48] BK: Yes, something like that.

[03:49] GC: But that wouldn’t have been enough for the promoter to make his nut, you know, to break even. So what he did was, you know, not knowing if he was going to get enough people in order to make it work, he just went ahead and canceled it.

[04:04] BK: Wonderful promotor.

[04:05] GC: See people don’t- people look at the group for cancellations, but it’s very rarely a group cancel. You know, it’s usually promoters.

[04:13] BK: Yeah, a lot of personal greed gets involved in it.

[04:15] GC: Right. That’s what- it’s a business, you know. You know, you can’t knock him. He was at a point where he said, "Well, if I stop now, I can lose three-thousand dollars. So if I go ahead to Saturday, and it only, you know, if only another five-, six-thousand people show up, I’ll lose thirty-five thousand dollars”. You know, I mean, if that had been me, I’d probably would have done the same thing.

[04:37] BK: Well, how’s the current tour going? What- how’s it different from the one […] that you played at the Summit last year?

[04:45] GC: Well, we’ve got a few more tricks, ya know? It’s got better [gog gog?]. Last year when we played at the Summit, we’d been only doing it for like, three weeks. Yeah, and we made a lot of changes and adaptations to make it go smoother. We have a few more tricks in the show. Basically, it’s the same thing. The music is different, but the actual structure and design of the show in terms of the set becoming Dr. Funkenstein, landing of the Holy Mothership, all of those things, it’s still- that’s our thing. You know, it was a strange thing because, uh, if anybody’d asked us this time last year, I would have said it’d been impossible for us to tour on this show more than once in a city. But people have been begging us to come back.

[05:34] BK: Do you see yourself as- er, the band, as being sort of the band being the black equivalent of a combination of Alice Cooper and KISS?

[05:42] BS: Wow. You came first didn’t you?

[05:45] GC: Yeah, yeah that’s, that’s true, but- actually, Alice Cooper and I- we started out on about the same thing. I mean, I can’t really say we influenced him, but that’s what it was down to. We used to hang around Detroit, Toronto, Ann Arbor together- way back in the sixties, you know. And that’s when we were all into this shock rock thing. Our Funkadelic thing goes way back, to 1968. To whereas, the makeup, and the costumes, and everything, the work KISS just came out with, and theirs was a little slicker and fancier because they had money, whereas we were using whatever makeup we could get. You know, and we were wearing hotel sheets as costumes and stuff, so, we didn’t have the money. So, it’s that concept, you know. We’ve had it a long time. But in terms of being mass-awareness enough, they’ve heard of KISS first, and they’ve heard of Alice Cooper first. But, it’s from the same school, you know. I couldn’t say that, it’s really comparative, because with our thing, the bottom line is music.

[06:50] BS: Well, look- how would you compare the P-Funk/Parliament concept with the old Funkadelic/“Guitar-Rock-And-Roll” concept. I myself am a Funkadelic fan, and I would like to see more of that, you know.

[07:07] GC: From a stage standpoint, it hasn’t changed much. I mean this- you know like- if you talkin’ about Funkadelic thing, Funkadelic has never been to the point where they can have what they really needed in terms of equipment, until we sold enough Parliament records.

[07:20] BS: Right. Yeah. You did that for commercial reasons. Yeah.

[07:21] GC: Right now we’ve got the second-largest wall, I don’t know if you’re into equipment and everything, but like, there’s only one band in the country that has anything- anywhere equivalent to ours, you know, not counting Deep Purple or [Led] Zeppelin and stuff from England, ‘cause they’ve always have had those wild, big powerful [systems?]. Other than that, Aerosmith is the only American group that has sound, equipment capabilities anywhere near ours. And I see a lot of people wouldn’t even- they don’t even think about incorporating that with a black group, you know, because they’re into that singing-alike, look-alike, everything you-do-alike type thing. Them five man groups with the pink suits and shit. But, uh- nah, it’s a guitar band, you see, like, the whole gimmick thing of Parliament is just to get people into the hall. And then right off the bat we start hittin’ them with Rock-n’-Roll.

[08:16] BS: Well that’s good. I wanted to see more Funkadelic, you know, future albums and future concerts. I would really like to see that.

[08:25] GC: Well, you know that’s almost an impossibility. With us, like Funkadelic to us is God’s gift to keep our sanity, because, had we been forced to do the Parliament thing all along, we probably would not be so surreal.

[08:39] BS: Well you really have a large cult, Funkadelic cult, and this new Parliament fan club. They, a lot of people, don’t even release the connection.

[08:48] GC: True.

[08:50] BS: And that’s weird.

[08:53] GC: Definitely true. 'Cause the music is two different things. We give- we gear it for two different audiences.

[08:56] BS: They could read the albums.

[08:57] GC: Parliament for a younger, dance-oriented audience. And Funkadelic is for, you know, all the rest of us Maggots out here in the world.

[09:03] BS: Right.

[09:04] GC: Maggot Brain[s].

[09:08] BS: Well listen, getting off on another subject, I wanted to ask you about Eddie Hazel. Where has he been for the past couple of years?

[09:17] GC: Well, he was in jail one of those years.

[09:19] BS: Yeah. Is that right?

[09:20] GC: Yeah. He attacked an air marshal on a plane.

[09:24] BS: Oh, wow.

[09:25] GC: 'Cause, he smoked some angel-dust in the bathtub.

[09:30] BS: Huh. Went berserk, huh?

[09:31] GC: Yeah.

[09:32] BS: Check it [out?].

[09:33] GC: Yeah. Whip- whips man, that’s what we called them. They’re like- you know, I think his punishment was a little more grave than what actually happened, you know. But I guess it’s sort of bold anytime you do anything that might affect an airplane cabin. Do you know what I mean? Kind of a panicked side. They don’t fuck around- excuse me, they don’t mess around with that type of stuff. Anyhow, he just put out a new album. Have you heard it?

[09:56] BS: Yeah. I got it. Right.

[09:58] GC: Yeah, and he’s touring. He’s gonna be touring with Bootsy now.

[10:01] BS: Is that right?

[10:02] GC: Yeah.

[10:02] BS:** So [Eddie] won’t be on the show tomorrow tonight?**

[10:04] GC: Oh no.

[10:06] BK: Who will be in the band tonight?

[10:07] GC: Everybody else.

[10:07] BK: Everybody else.

[10:11] BS: The P-Funk mob.

[10:12] GC: See, Bootsy’s in his own thing. “Bootsy’s Rubber Band”. It’s gonna be separate from ours.

[10:17] BS: I guess Eddie Hazel too, right? I guess Eddie Hazel’s thing is now separate also.

[10:22] GC: Right. Right. And then, like, we’ve got- we had some singers with us, like Fuzzy Haskins. His thing has made it too now. Calvin’s [thing is going to be?] set. And then we’ve got them all comin’ out. They’ve been touring with me for eighteen or twenty years, you know. And we’ll be into that aspect of it, you know. They’re ready to do what they feel, you know, they all write everything. And it got to a point where they felt secure enough, for what they had accomplished, that they wanted to branch out and do their own thing. It felt like it gives me a chance to expose, like, some of the other groups. I said we were recording for four groups, but like, you’ll see four girls with us on the stage, well actually five, 'cause one, our trumpet player, is a girl, one of our trumpet players. But, we have two girls out of my group “Parlet”, and then two girls out of our group, “Brides of Funkenstein”. [UNINTELLIGIBLE]

[11:21] BS: So do all these groups, and spin-offs, and all this, do they hamper the group in anyway? Or do they keep them closer together; the hard-core Funkadelic?

[11:32] GC: It gets kinda hard because of the way people do you, you know, like, we went through it with Bootsy though because, like, the different record companies and different labels and stuff, they will pit you against each other. You know what I mean? And try to work at you from an ego. What they don’t understand is what we are about is bigger than that. You know? We’re like Motown, or Affiliate International. And what you see with P-Funk and Bootsy is a tip of a[n] iceberg. You know? 'Cause we’ve been around the country, and we’ve got the funkiest mothers all over, you know? That’s what the Mothership is about. We’ve['d] picked them up, and you will be hearing from them. And, in terms of- it doesn’t cause any [due?] conflicts, anything like that, because we realize that, like, hey, if Bootsy’s out there, he’s on top, then we’re Bootsy, man. If Funkadelic is on top, then we’re all behind Funkadelic. And it’s a family affair. You know, the real name of this whole organization is the Parliafunkadelicment Thang.

[12:37] BS: So tell us, about these movies. The couple of movies you have coming out.

[12:42] GC: Alright, well one of the movies is strictly in the script stage. And it’s called the Motor-Booty Affair.

[12:48] BS: The Motor-Booty Affair?

[12:50] GC: Yeah, right. Which is a trip. You know, because, like, okay the Star Wars bar scene? You know a lot of people are into the Star Wars thing, right. But see, we were into this same idea like a year and a half ago. Well, of course, I guess you’re familiar with Mothership Connection. Yeah, and that’s where we picked up on the science-fiction thing. And that’s where we started working on the Motor-Booty Affair, and along with the Dr. Funkenstein. As the final step in telling- getting everybody that mass-identity with Dr. Funkenstein. We had a scene just like that.

'Cause we started out in a barbershop. 'Cause, like, when I was in Newark, this is back in the early sixties, you know, there was no way to make money you dealt dope, or you was a construction worker, and I wasn’t into that. I couldn’t play basketball, or football, or anything. So I wanted to be a singer, right? But in order for me to make money and survive, I opened this barbershop. We used to do what was called “process”.

[13:50] BS: Yeah. I remember that.

[13:51] GC: [Where?] [cats would?] lay their hair down. And, like, shit- we used to average $200/$350 a week, a piece. Better than we did making [music?] for a long time.

[14:02] GC: But, um, we had a scene that was like in Compton. Incorporating that basic concept, but it took place on another planet, in a barbershop. Probably [with] different type characters. Just like the Star Wars bar scene. I had to watched Star Wars and [freaked out behind it?]. The Motor-Booty Affair is gonna be a black, science-fiction, musical comedy, with a big budget.

[14:28] BS: Very big budget, huh?

[14:29] GC: That probably won’t even go into production until [the] middle of next year.

[14:32] BK: Are you doing all the writing for the script?

[14:35] GC: Not by myself. I mean, like, I have staff and people. We have our own film department now, we’ve just opened up. That is, I- actually my publicist, who’s been with me for like four years, was really a film-major in school. So, like, he helps me out a lot on scripting, and stuff like that. But, you know, idea come from everybody. My wife had a say. You know, will take it all. That’s the way funk is. You know, everybody’s got a little in 'em. All they have to do is let it come through.

But the first film, that will be coming out I’m hoping around Christmas, we’re in the final post-production stages now, is gonna be called Dr. Funkenstein’s P-Funk Earth Tour. And it’s like, just different footage of, like, concerts we’ve had. Different things we’ve done, like landed the spaceship in Times Square. And then we played “Tear The Roof Off The Sucker” on the U.N. steps, you know. We’ve got an animated sequence, about five minutes of animation in it. It’s not gonna be a typical concert movie. But then- that’s what it’s like. Almost like a documentary type thang. But it’s a lot of fun to it.

[15:54] BK: Is there a- it seemed to me with all the events going on, on stage, that, during one of your performances, that it could often be difficult to keep track of what’s actually going on. There’s so many different people to watch, and it’s sort of choreographed to, you know, at a certain point, the mothership will land on the stage, at which time, so-and-so is to do this and that. Is this sort of practice-makes-perfect? Or is there an awful lot of rehearsal that goes into it, into coordinating everything.

[16:25] GC: It does take a lot of rehearsal, because, you see, the bottom line is music. All our cues are in the music, see. So, you know, the rehearsing is no different than it would be if we didn’t have all the gimmicks. Because all the cues come within the music. It’s like any other thing. You know, if you were supposed to go to a change at a particular point, you’d know it, you know. Instead of, now, doing something musically it’s something that’s visual for the audience.

[16:52] BS: Well, you always seem to take the lead role, and kind of conduct the band through verbal words like you said in the song, so-

[16:59] GC: Yeah, well, you see, that’s- that’s- that’s my gig. That IS my gig. I don’t play an instrument, but, I’m the referee really. You know, they’re up there on stage, and it’s like a battle, you know. ‘Cause everybody wants to play all his shit every night. And I’m up there saying “thin out”, you know, “fatten up”, “hold back”. And I’m always- they think I’m a mad man up there, waving my hand, but I’m really just a [?] conductor. I don’t think, like, in terms of a distraction, you know, the show versus music. That’s why we’ve got so much equipment. You know, it’s a compliment, I’d say. It’s a distraction if your band is no good, you know. But if you’ve got good music, then, uh, it’s like a complement. You know, people say, they use this copout line. They say, “Well, if you’d really play, you don’t need all those gimmicks, or stuff”. You know, that’s bullshit. You in a $20-a-seat hall, you need somethin’ for the people in the back to see what’s happenin’.

[18:06] BK: Well, the last couple of albums that you’ve done, and well, including the live album, have been very concept-oriented, for your next studio album, do you have any idea of any concept you want to pursue? Or-

[18:20] GC: I do, but I don’t know if you’re ready, because it’s a very complicated concept. It’s called Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome.

[18:29] BK: “Placebo”. Okay.

[18:31] GC: And that’s like, it’s like, okay, you know the whole story of the first two albums. The first album was, we heard about Dr. Funkenstein, that he’s been here, and he’s gonna come back if we bring it down, we bring enough energy, in the building, you know, we can get him to land, and we can witness the Second Coming of Dr Funkenstein. The second album he introduced his clones, like, all the band memberes are his clones. Well, this album he’s come back to Earth, and he’s seen what is here, and he calls it the Placebo Syndrome, where everybody’s givin’ into to all these false gratifications of, you know, color TV, big car, whatever, you know, money, wealth, power. It’s false gratification, you know. They’re nothing but placebos, that are keeping us thinking we’re content, when actually, we’re not taking care of the things we should take care of. So he decides that, in order for it to work, he has to reignite the Funkentelechy that’s deep off in their memory banks. What Funkentelechy is- well “entelechy” itself is a Greek derivative word, which is- talks about that vital lifeforce, that, you know, if you’d poured all of the chemicals, ingredients that it took to make a body, you know, if you did the whole Frankenstein thing, you’d still have to give someone “entelechy” to make it work. And that’s the thing they say God has, that man can’t do. Well, Funkenstein can do it. He’s got the power over entelechy, and Funkentelechy is the rhythm to which all living things vibrate. So he invents a bop gun, to go against this character, Sir Nose DeVoidOfFunk, the guy who is spreading this Placebo Syndrome around. And when you get shot with the Bop Gun, you can’t help but dance.

[20:30] BS: “Bop Gun”.

[20:31] GC: So it’s a pretty outside concept. We’ve got, like, a comic book in the magazine to really help explain the story. It’s complicated.

[20:42] BK: Is that a problem when you come up with some of these ideas? That you’d like to make something, sort of complicated, but not too complicated, so that people will [not] have trouble understanding what you are trying to say?

[20:53] GC: Well you see, the bottom line is that- it doesn’t matter if you understand it or not, ‘cause what it is tryin’ to say, is about the feeling that funk makes you feel. And you don’t have to understand shit to get that feelin’. And that’s- as a matter-of-fact, the more you try to understand it, try to piece it together, the harder it is for you to get that feelin’. So you see that really the concepts are really for OUR reference point. You know, they’re for critics, you know all those [guys?]. But the kids? They don’t give a shit, you know? You should tell them I said "Hey. You know, don’t try t-” because you can tell by the way their faces, you know. I go out there and say “Hey. Don’t try and figure out shit on [stage?], because, you know, these n*****s is crazy. Just free your mind, and let your ass follow”. And it did [?] so I [?]. 'Cause we’ll tell 'em that we ain’t gonna hurt 'em. We just look crazy. We’re not gonna hurt you.

[21:49] BK: What inspires you to come up with these ideas?

[21:53] GC: Columbian. [?].

[21:55] BS: Yeah, good angel dust.

[21:57] GC: Nah. We don’t smoke that stuff.

[21:58] BS: Not anymore?

[22:00] GC: We never did.

[22:01] BS: Never did?

[22:02] GC: Well, you know, some of the guys. But, like, I myself, I did it once. Had to hold onto a wall, and I said if I ever came down, I’ll never do it again.

[22:11] BS: Yeah, that’s not good for you at all.

[22:13] GC: Now that’s chemical warfare. They’re tryin’ to kill us off with that shit.

[22:16] BS: You couldn’t come up with any ideas.

[22:18] GC: Alright, well, that’s what happened to my boy Sly. He smoked that stuff all the time.

[22:23] BS: Well, that’s that West-Coast s-

[22:25] GC: [?] the things he does musically, kinda coo coo sometimes.

[Is Sly coming back?]

[22:30] GC: You know, we really want to help him come back. ‘Cause, you know, without him none of this shit none of us we’re doin’, could have been possible. [?]. James Brown, Sly. I mean, they did some really important things musically. So I think the last time we were through Houston, we had Sly on our tour.

[22:47] BK: Yeah, you did.

[22:47] GC: We were trying to break him, but, you know, he’s past the point where, like- his company didn’t even get behind him anymore.

[22:55] BS: Yeah, the fans are kinda down on him too.

[22:57] GC: Well, no, 'cause, like, it’s a-matter-of-fact, like the Houston show. They loved him.

[23:01] BS: Really?

[23:02] GC: Yeah.

[23:03] BS: Well, maybe it’s the people that I was takin’ to.

[23:05] GC: Yeah, well maybe it was- I mean, I’m just going by the response [we got?].

[23:07] BS: Yeah. Yeah.

[23:10] GC: It’s like- the people, they hear all those bad things, and don’t give him a chance, you know. And [it’s?] somethin’-

[23:15] BS: Well it’s not that. It’s just that- a lot of the concerts, man, [Sly]‘s really fallen’, you know? He really let a lot of people down. A lot [time?] in Houston [?].

[23:25] GC: Well, you see, that’s- what I’m sayin’ is that- that’s bullshit, you know. Where are people comin’ from the standpoint of that they got let down? You know?

[23:32] BS: Yeah.

[23:33] GC: I mean you should- that’s what I’m sayin’ too, like, people hear that, so they come with the idea that Sly is gonna let me down. Once you start that, mentally, you start lookin’ for the holes, you know.

[23:44] BS: And you sike yourself out.

[23:45] GC: Nobody puts on no perfect show every night. Ain’t never happened; I ain’t never done it. People come up and say that was the greatest show ever, and all that kind of thing. We know where we make the mistakes, you know. We’re just [?] to [?] our mistakes.

[24:02] BK: So. You’ve got a show in San Anton’ tonight?

[24:05] GC: Right.

[24:06] BK: Houston tomorrow?

[24:07[ GC: Right. Dallas.

[24:08] BK: So, how do you keep yourself going with this hectic schedule? And, having- doing studio work in the meantime, and working on films?

[24:14] GC: [?] doses of P-Funk. Funk is its own reward, where it will make you care about it. Yeah, we’re on a seven day schedule, now, through December, to right around Christmas.

[24:27] BK: Was this the longest tour you’re on right now? Or the biggest one you’ve done so far?

[24:31] GC: Well, technically, our first one was bigger. We did 75 days. I think this one we’re only doing, like, 40.

[24:38] BK: Does the equipment that you’re carrying around with you, and the entire staging, is that sort of a hindrance when it comes to booking tours? That you’ve got play dates?

[24:47] GC: Well, yeah. We can’t play everywhere with it. But, it’s to the point where it gives us an excuse to play in the larger halls all the time.

[24:58] BK: What happens in about a year from now, or two years from now, when you’ll have another album out. Where does all the stage equipment go when you have to work on a new show?

[25:08] GC: Wanna buy a used spaceship?

[25:10] BK: Well, I can give you a little bit for it.

[25:13] GC: Shit, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it. Nah. What’s gonna happen a year from now, when it comes time to retire all of this shit, I’m gonna send it- we’re gonna design a Broadway play. And we’re gonna put it on Broadway. And, you know the Mothership Connection- it’ll be like the [weird], with the music and everything. And it will be, it will be the whole concept. You know, because it will be for the white audiences. They’re the ones really concerned about the concept. The black audiences are concerned about the dance beat on the back beat. The white audiences wanna see what it all means, and how it’s important. So we’re gonna give it to 'em on Broadway. Theatrical thing. And then that way, the spaceship can be retired to a nice thing.

[25:55] BS: So, you’d like to take the entire notion of P-Funk, sort of, transcend the limits of music, or the concert stage, and take it ta, the screen, the stage.

[26:04] GC: Yeah. [?] we’re gonna get it all through the system. That’s the only way we’re gonna combat the Placebo Syndrome. You know, all this subliminal seduction that’s goin’ on. You know, they work on our pleasure principle on everything. They sell you a Mack truck with sex. You don’t even know it’s happening. You know, we sayin’ P-Funk is that naturalness, that thing that will put you in tune, so that you just don’t [vote?] for all the bullshit.

[OMITTED CLOSING FORMALITIES]

3 Likes

Mind boggling. Man where do u find this stuff? It’s a fascinating listen alright. Let’s try to unravel it a bit.
First off, it is not George they are talking to. This apparently was going on quite a bit during this era. In fact, Casablanca put out this promotional vinyl disc with an interview of “George Clinton of Parliament”. I think this is where the whole “which one is GC” concept took wings.
Who they are talking to is Archie Ivy.

This becomes even more intriguing to me because a couple of years ago, Funknstuff asked Archie what he remembered about these rumored P-Funk movies. His answers, he had no recollection of any movies being discussed, or planned at all. WTF?!?!
Here he goes into detail about it.
This is apparently a promotional appearance to support the Second Coming gig at Houston that we have a spell-binding video of from Fall 1977. George has made statements down thru the years that lead me to believe there was drama with the promoters as the band was playing to many empty seats on the road. Says he should have had a hit out at the time in retrospect. Show was strong though. I maintain that the video we have of that gig is the overall best performance we have of any of the mothership gigs. They open with Dr Funkenstein, that horn section is blowing like the wind and don’t forgot that blistering version of Red Hot Momma where Hampton goes for broke. The Flashlight album was about to be released as these shows were being done. Archie’s musings on the state of the band are really interesting to hear now. He goes into a little bit about the departure of the original Parliaments too.
Thanks for posting this man and keep digging up this archaeological funk.

3 Likes

Archie Ivy? :exploding_head:

I feel silly thinking it was George. To be fair, when I first heard his voice, I had to double check if I was listening to the right thing. I guess I adjusted to it after listening to it for hours to transcribe it.

Now it’s so obvious. That stuff about being in Detroit, but doing a show in Texas the same night. And all the times he is starting to say something, catches himself, and adjusts (“That is, I- actually my publicist”).

Anyways, I won’t change the post just because I know it’s Archie now, although I will add it as a note to the thread title. (Also, it sounds like I need to check out that live show.)

@OooBooBeeDoop I assume it’s somewhat a figure-of-speech, but I find this stuff using

  • unique keywords (“Throbbasonic”, “Desert Flower”, “C Conspiracy”, etc.),
  • thematic/lyrical/instrumental connections between various P-Funk projects/side-projects,
  • my desire to reconstruct “intended” orderings or “lost” albums for a tight/enjoyable album experience,
  • good note keeping for research/stray-thoughts and
  • luck.

Regarding luck, it was embarrassingly easy to find this recording and that “Throbbasonic Attack” clip. If you search ““George Clinton radio interview”” it’s on the first page of Google. And searching ““Throbbasonic Attack”” brings up 5 results, one of them happening to be gold.

I’m sure the leads will dry up (but I still have a few things I intend to post, that are not mentioned on here). Hopefully by then another album cycle will be in effect and a chance for people to poke George (in an AMA perhaps?) about releasing stuff like C Conspiracy, Upsouth, Throbbasonic Attack, The Rat’s Nest Band (lost?) tapes, etc. (Especially C Conspiracy & Throbbasonic Attack. I haven’t yet seen anyone directly ask about them.)

Also, I think this is the animation he’s referring to (from the live show in Houston, 1978). It’s about 6 minutes.

I don’t know where the actual idea came from to keep trotting Archie out as George for interviews but it apparently became the thang to do once the Mothership took off.

What is mind boggling is today Archie has no recollection of the movies at all. Somebody has got to be sitting on all kinds of recorded video. Or either it is sitting in a closet somewhere.I have always gotten the impression GC does not care if we ever see it or not, and that goes for anything that has never been put out.
I wish someone would get to the bottom of this kind of stuff. Maybe the management is non existent I don’t know. Or it is not priority at all. But someone knows something. Hell, Funknstuff posed the same question to Tom Vickers and he claimed to know nothing about any of it as well.
I dunno, we as hard core fans care a lot more about seeing this stuff than they do about releasing it somehow. And then you factor in all the political/business side of it, who owns its, who financed it etc.it’s convoluted at best.

Like I noted in the OP, he talks about a new “film department”. I mean, isn’t having one of those expensive? Imagine the cost of all the staff and equipment required to do something like that. And on top of it all, doing a hand animation! Perhaps the studio talk is just them trying to look professional. But if there were this staff, I would have thought one of them would have told someone something about it. It may be worth looking for some documentation/trademark to see if such a thing existed.

And yeah, releasing any of these deep cuts today probably wouldn’t make the sales needed to do it in the first place. Heck, that’s the main reason for my hypothesis about why they release bloated albums nowadays, as releasing an album more frequently wouldn’t generate enough attention in the mainstream.

Regarding Archie, I looked before but couldn’t find a recording on streaming sites or peer-to-peer of that 1976 “Special Radio Interview”. Perhaps it’s just devoid of content, like that 1977 US Army Reserve interview posted in another thread here. (BTW I’d like to hear the 1974 Army Reserve interview but can’t find that either.)

I’m pretty sure I’ve got both those Army Reserve interviews on a cassette somewhere. One of them features Calvin, or did u already state that?
I’ve got the vinyl Casablanca piece though. It rolls on for upwards of 40 or so minutes. They play some key tracks off of Mothership and Clones and Archie goes into detail about what the concept is about.

Oh yeah, it slipped my mind the one has Calvin. But anyways, anything special or interesting on either of them, or are they more valuable as collectables? In particular, I was wondering if they hinted at Throbbasonic Attack, since it is claimed that it pre-dated One Nation. Since George (and I guess Archie too) under-estimate release dates, it is a good way to learn about unreleased projects/albums by hearing what they have to say while making the stuff.

Nothing really ground breaking on the Army Reserve stuff. But still good to hear. George has never typically said much about the peak Mothership commercial years down thru they years so it is nice to hear where his head is at actually before their greatest commercial year (1978).
And Calvin speaks from the heart about the love and comraderie shared between The Funks and how tight they were. Only to depart in disgust a couple years later.

1 Like

Great stuff! George talked in his book about a documentary that could be that Dr. Funkenstein’s P-Funk Earth Tour that Archie was describing. How Nene Montes filmed a lot both onstage and backstage. Here’s the relevant part of the book (page 176):

We had been told that movie studios were looking at us for a film like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, a documentary that would combine onstage footage and backstage looks. Originally, it was going to be directed by Robert Downey, but he dropped out and a new group came around that included a guy named Sy Libinoff and another one named Nene Montes. Nene had a slick seventies look, casually fashionable and counterculture, like a kind of Serpico figure. The first thing he did when he came into the room that day we met him was pull down a bottom eyelid and say, “I’m an outlaw.” The second thing he did was get rid of Sy, who committed the cardinal sin of confusing me and Bernie. That was embarrassing for someone who wanted to make a movie about us, and Nene took notice of it and disposed of him. Maybe they never had Sy attached anyway. Maybe it was a Hollywood ploy. Who knows? The point was that we suddenly had this guy, this outlaw, attached to the band.

Nene was constantly filming footage, but very quickly he established himself as more than a cameraman. One day in 1977, we were scheduled to play at the L.A. Coliseum…

He goes on talking more about Nene. I suppose Nene got some info on where those tapes are. Damn, Nene should get his own topic here… The chapter is fittingly called “When the Syndrome Is Around, Don’t Let Your Guard Down”. :grin:

That LA Coliseum gig he mentions was in June 1977. Apparently Fuzzy’s last show with the P.

For completeness (if somebody didn’t know about it), here’s the discogs link to that “Special Radio Interview” promo.

You can hide/collapse text by using “Hide Details” in the composer.

hidedetails

2 Likes

As far as I know Nene Montes is no longer in this earthly plane. However, now I do recall reading that in the memoirs. It seems once Montes got in the mix, things started to get highly strange. He’s a pretty interesting character alright.