Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Bootsy's Rubber Band: "Psychoticbumpschool"

Further to the recent P-Funk post, I thought I'd post a video of one of the many classic tracks that are associated with the massive conglomerate that was the George Clinton empire, otherwise known as the "Parliafunkamadelicment Thang".

The reason I call P-Funk an "empire" or, more specifically, a "conglomerate", is because the actual structure of the band became very convoluted due to a number of legal problems and contractual issues that plagued the band. For example, in the 1960s, the band that George Clinton started as the Parliaments, became just Parliament by 1969. They made one flop album called "Osmium" for the Invictus label, before George wanted to leave and join another label. Invictus prohibited them doing so, so they changed the name of the band to Funkadelic and started making records for Westbound.

The legal wrangling ended in 1974 and George reclaimed the name, so he started making records with the same Funkadelic personnel, under the name of Parliament for Casablanca records, with a softer, more radio friendly sound than the harder-rocking psychedelic sound of Funkadelic. The same band recorded under both names with rotating memberships and with a different sound on both albums. As a touring entity, the band were billed as Parliament-Funkadelic and colloquially known as P-Funk.

By the mid 1970s, the band's membership swelled to as many was 20 players, with some members (including guitar whiz Eddie Hazel and even George himself) so deep into drug addiction that a rotating cast of members was needed in order to have a functioning performing unit. By now, many of the members of the band were renegades of the band of the great funk master himself, James Brown.

Amongst all the madness, George bankrolled a number of solo albums for various members of the band and released on Warner Brothers. Eddie Hazel released "Games, Dames and Other Thangs" in 1977, Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns made "A Blow for Me, A Toot for You" in 1977, keyboardist Bernie Worrell made solo records in the late 1970s and bassist Bootsy Collins made a start in 1976, and probably had the most successful solo career out of all the P-Funk offshoots.

The track supplied below is a killer live version of a track that was rather tame in its studio incarnation. "Psychoticbumpschool" featured on the first Bootsy's Rubber band LP "Stretchin' Out In A Rubber Band" from 1976. This live version was recorded in Houston, Texas in 1976 and sees the band stretching out the jam to a full 10 minutes of booty-shaking fun. This has the classic P-Funk groove but it is revved up and driven to the point of maximum intensity.

For the train-spotters, this is the same recording that features as the final track on "Back In The Day: The Best of Bootsy Collins" but the album version is edited down to only 6 minutes.


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