Sunday, November 30, 2014

the last book I ever read (Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You? excerpt eleven)

from Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You? by George Clinton with Ben Greenman:

An airport hangar is a strange place to rehearse, even if you do have a spaceship. It was absolutely cavernous, to the point where Bootsy could be down at one end with his band and we could be at the other with the spaceship, and we could both be playing and we wouldn’t interfere with each other. Down on our end, we had basically built the stage out to look as it would on tour. The P-Funk stage equipment had come from Aerosmith, who had retired it in 1976. We had a kind of indirect history with them: Bernie had played with Joey Kramer in Chubby and the Turnpikes, and we ended up having the same manager for a minute. I saw them as a funk band, strangely enough—they played loose and with rhythm, which you can hear in a later song like “Rag Doll.” The only other rock band capable of that was Led Zeppelin, and only onstage: when they went into the studio they started tinkering with effects and complexity. And the ship—well, it was all I had hoped for and more. It looked like some kind of unholy cross between and American car from the late fifties and early sixties, a piece of equipment from a children’s playground, and a giant insect. It was awesome. I went into a black box, sort of like a magician’s cabinet, at the base of the ship, came up via an elevator, and then, as smoke and lights went crazy, appeared at the top of the steps. It made for quite an entrance. Soul music had never seen anything like it—for matter, neither had rock and roll. It was like a Broadway show in the most elaborate sense, or what Las Vegas would become decades later.

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