Day 16

July 22nd 1941
George Clinton’s Birthday

Free your mind and your ass will follow,
the king­dom of heav­en is within.”
– George Clinton

George Clin­ton: Essen­tial as a stim­u­lus to cur­rent and future psy­che­del­ic artists and for for­ward-think­ing poets and thinkers. George Clin­ton: Essen­tial because the music that he made between 1970 and 1978 remains some of the most spec­tac­u­lar rock’n’roll ever achieved on record and is still nec­es­sary not only to black peo­ple but to a white psy­che­del­ic audi­ence. Clin­ton dared demand of black lis­ten­ers that they open their minds while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly danc­ing more than they had ever danced. He laid claim to everybody’s black ass. He laid claim to ass. He was ever-pre­scrip­tive in his endorse­ment of the med­ical prop­er­ties of funk. He likened it to an eter­nal bot­tle of milk: “Funk gets stronger by the hour. Funk can sit and sit and nev­er go sour.”

Where­as New York’s The Last Poets were intel­lec­tu­als who threw down the gaunt­let to Black Amer­i­ca with titles like ‘Nig­gers are Scared of Rev­o­lu­tion’, Clin­ton was inclu­sive: his was a mul­ti-age group that brought every­body in. The four singers were already in their 30s, where­as Funkadelic’s teen rhythm sec­tion and 17-year-old gui­tarist Eddie Hazel appealed to the Hen­drix ele­ment. The sump­tu­ous­ly out­landish record sleeves – the sleeve notes, the hand-writ­ten lyrics, the overt demands of his metic­u­lous­ly laid-out ideas – were all prog-rock in their exe­cu­tion, allow­ing fans to share that hip­pie dream of reach­ing deep­er into their cul­ture than ever before.

When these first Funkadel­ic releas­es arrived, Clinton’s daz­zling and demand­ing soup of funk, gui­tar-heavy hard rock and sen­sa­tion­al­ly vision­ary lyri­cal con­tent upped the ante like no black artist before or since. He did all of this while man­ag­ing this errant posse of loco lunatics, bring­ing forth month after month, year after year, LPs, sin­gles and tours for which he rarely had the funds. He did all of this with­out fear of the reper­cus­sions or impli­ca­tions to his brain and cre­at­ed for his audi­ence an entire world­view, nay, an inner world, so cohe­sive and care­ful­ly writ­ten that the main sequence of Funkadel­ic LPs could even be argued to have reli­gious sig­nif­i­cance. He was still pay­ing for the Funkadel­ic tours of the late ’70s over twen­ty years lat­er. Clin­ton was unequiv­o­cal­ly saint-like – a fuck­ing vision­ary. What a hero.

Let us focus now on ‘Time Has Come Today’ by the Cham­bers Broth­ers, the so-called ‘inte­grat­ed’ band – they show­cased a white drum­mer – whose explo­sive hit was fea­tured on their Colum­bia Records LP THE TIME HAS COME. Already vet­er­ans of the 1965 New­port Folk Fes­ti­val, the four broth­ers had sung togeth­er in chapel until 1952, when old­est broth­er George received his draft orders. Regroup­ing as a soul quin­tet, the broth­ers were ‘psy­che­deli­cized’ (as they termed it) in this clas­sic song. Check out the 11-minute ver­sion released the fol­low­ing year for its sheer breath-tak­ing sound FX and eeri­ly accu­rate re-enact­ment of an LSD trip.

Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Thu Thursday
Day 1: Friday Jul 7th
Day 2: Saturday Jul 8th
Day 3: Sunday Jul 9th
Day 4: Monday Jul 10th
Day 5: Tuesday Jul 11th
Day 6: Wednesday Jul 12th
Day 7: Thursday Jul 13th
Day 8: Friday Jul 14th
Day 9: Saturday Jul 15th
Day 10: Sunday Jul 16th
Day 11: Monday Jul 17th
Day 12: Tuesday Jul 18th
Day 13: Wednesday Jul 19th
Day 14: Thursday Jul 20th
Day 15: Friday Jul 21st
Day 16: Saturday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Sunday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Monday Jul 24th
Day 19: Tuesday Jul 25th
Day 20: Wednesday Jul 26th
Day 21: Thursday Jul 27th
Day 22: Friday Jul 28th
Day 23: Saturday Jul 29th
Day 24: Sunday Jul 30th
Day 25: Monday Jul 31st
Day 27: Wednesday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Thursday Aug 3rd