Taken from Westword (Mar 09, 2018)
George Clinton and Parliamentâ€™s Comeback Is a Family Affair
by Carol Mckinley
George Clinton. Photocredit: Randy Hannan
In 1977, when Parliament Funkadelicâ€™s â€śGive Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)" was filling arenas in every American town, I hitchhiked from Boulder to McNichols Arena on a snowy Halloween to see George Clinton and P-Funk in their platform shoes, wide-feathered hats and diapers.
Forty years later, Clinton, at 76, is still tearing the roof off. And I had to ask him about what he calls his third comeback.
â€śItâ€™s been a family affair,â€ť Clinton tells Westword. Today, the Prime Minister of Funk performs with his backup-singing grandchildren.
â€śI do have one son who is a computer nerd who plays heavy metal guitar. Another is a rapper, like Lil Wayne.â€ť His kids have names like â€śGodâ€™s Weapon,â€ť "PopUlar" and "Nakid 87."
Clinton's daughter, Chrissy Walter, who handles his promotions, remembers a normal dad who taught her to dress however she wants and who â€śtook us frogging and fishing.â€ť
Even Clinton rhythm guitar player Garret Schider is the son of Garry â€śStar Childâ€ť â€śDiapermanâ€ť Schider, who was the bandâ€™s musical director until he died of brain and lung cancer in 2010.
Clinton says his family inspired his latest renaissance, which begat Parliamentâ€™s first new studio album in over thirty years. Medicaid Fraud Dog includes the hit song â€śIâ€™m Gonna Make U Sick Oâ€™ Me (ft. Scarface)," which has the rolling beat and guttural lyrics of the â€™70s P-Funk sound. But this number is not about a smothering romance, as its title might imply.
The song is a sermon against the pharmaceutical industry, which Clinton compares to a pusher.
â€śBack in the day, we were all a mess on drugs, but they were from the street," he recalls. "With prescription drugs, itâ€™s legal now, and itâ€™s all about money.â€ť
Speaking of legal drugs, will Dr. Funkenstein be glad to visit Colorado, where, unlike in his native Florida, recreational pot shops line the streets?
â€śOh, hell, yeah!â€ť he croaks. â€śBut I still look over my shoulder for the police. After all those years, even when I get it legal, it makes me nervous.â€ť