George Clinton is responsible for some of the most powerful monster dance grooves ever recorded–and when it comes to unadulterated hard funk R & B, his influence looms immense: second only to that of James Brown. The complete story is too complex to get into here; let’s just note that it was Clinton (along with Sly Stone) who first merged funky soul with psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll in the late 60s, and it was Clinton (along with Stevie Wonder) who first taught the cold, hard synthesizer to sing with messy human warmth in the late 70s. For more than 30 years he has produced and presided over veritable armies of musicians and singers (Parliament, Funkadelic, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Zapp, the Brides of Funkenstein, the Horny Horns, etc) infusing them all with his unique vision of “P-Funk”–funk not just as a dance beat but as a life-sustaining communal sacrament (some reports have it that on the current tour, Clinton and his P-Funk All-Stars have been playing shows of some three hours in length). Considering the obvious debt owed him by today’s legions of hiphoppers and club mixers, it’s clear that if not for Clinton, the texture of today’s pop music would be incalculably different. Saturday, 7:30 PM, Cabaret Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Diem Jones.