Taken from New Haven Register (June 08, 2016)
Arts & Ideas Festival puts it in gear with funkster George Clinton on the Green Saturday
by Mark Zaretsky, New Haven Register
William Thoren photo
NEW HAVEN: Greater New Haven funksters have gotten used to at least one annual visit from George Clinton and various permutations of his ever-changing Parliament-Funkadelic collective.
It's usually around Thanksgiving or in early December at Toad's Place - and it's always an off-the-charts good time.
He truly is the Godfather of Funk.
But if you take all that energy and put it on an even bigger stage, multiply the crowd several times over and lay some serious, deep funk grooves all across the New Haven Green - we're talking metaphorically here - now that's likely to be an unimaginably good time!
Be there this Saturday night at 7 p.m. when the International Festival of Arts & Ideas brings George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic to the Green - or hear about it all summer from your friends who went.
Local R&B and funkmasters Ricky Alan Draughn and the Slammin' Band (with Willie Moore on bass guitar) will open the show at 6 p.m.
Clinton has been making good funk, soul and rock music with various shades of his Parliament-Funkadelic collective under various names since the 1960s.
Known for high-intensity, sometimes outlandish live performances as well as awesome musicianship and their own 'P-Funk' style of music, Parliament and Funkadelic once toured separately, even though they drew from the same group of musicians.
From the start, they took old-school soul music and forged it into funk by adding influences from late-1960s rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Sly Stone.
Why all the different names? A lot of it had to do with legal battles, according to Clinton's official bio. When he was stymied from releasing records or touring under one name, he often just came up with a new one.
It all grew out of The Parliaments, a doowop group inspired by Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers that Clinton formed as a teenager, while also working straightening hair at a barber salon in Plainfield, New Jersey.
The Parliaments had a hit with the 1967 single '(I Wanna) Testify' for Detroit-based Revilot Records, but the label ran into trouble and Clinton refused to record any new material.
Instead, he decided to record with the same band under a new name: Funkadelic. The Parliaments eventually grew into and found success under the names Parliament and Funkadelic in the 1970s.
By 1970, Clinton had regained the rights to The Parliaments name, and then signed the entire Funkadelic lineup to Invictus Records as Parliament.
For a period in the 1960s, Clinton was a staff songwriter for Motown. Inspired by Motown's 'assembly line of sound', Clinton eventually put together a collective of more than 50 musicians and recorded during the '70s both as Parliament and Funkadelic, as well as the P-Funk All-Stars.
While Funkadelic purveyed band-format psychedelic rock, Parliament served up a funk free-for-all, blending influences from James Brown and Sly Stone with freaky costumes and themes inspired by '60s acid culture and science fiction.
But these days, of course, it's all one show.
Clinton also began a solo career in 1981 and has been frequently cited as one of the foremost innovators of funk music, along with artists such as James Brown, Rick James and Sly Stone.
Parliament-Funkadelic collectively has included dozens of musicians over the years, including Eddie Hazel, Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins, among many others. Together, it produced no fewer than 13 top-10 R&B hits between 1967 and 1983, including six No. 1 hits.
Sixteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, the largest band ever inducted.