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Finding The Funk

Finding the Funk is a road trip in search of the past, present and future of Funk music. The journey includes interviews with legends and their descendants including Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins, Mike D, D'Angelo, and more.

aired 02/04/2014 · 1:0207

- FELLA STOPPED ON THE CORNER

OF 7TH AVENUEAND 125TH STREET,

AND HE ASKED A FELLA, SAID--

BLACK FELLA WAS STANDING THERE--

HE SAID, UH,

"I NEED TO GO DOWNTOWN,AND I WANT TO GO TO BROOKLYN."

HE SAYS, "HOW DO I GO?"

"I DON'T KNOW."

HE SAID, "WELL, WHAT'S NORTH?WHICH WAY'S NORTH?"

HE SAID, "I DON'T THINKI KNOW."

HE SAID, "WHICH WAY'S SOUTH?"

[speaking indistinctly]

TRYING TO EAT FROM DAY TO DAYAND TRYING TO FIND A WAY,

HE SAID, "I DON'T KNOW."

HE SAID, "WHICH WAY'S WEST?"

HE SAID, "MAN I DON'T KNOW."

HE SAID, "WHAT DO YOU KNOW?"

HE SAID, "I'M NOT LOST."

[chuckles]

THAT WAS NEAT.

- WHAT IS FUNK MUSIC?

MUSICALLY, IT'S THE BRIDGEBETWEEN '60s SOUL

AND '80s HIP-HOP.

IT IS AN ESSENTIALAND UNDERAPPRECIATED

MUSICAL MOVEMENT.

FUNK WAS BORN IN THE MIDDLEOF AMERICA,

AND SPREAD EAST AND WESTLIKE A FEVER.

FUNK IS DISCIPLINED.

FUNK IS FREAKY.

FUNK IS SPACE SUITSAND EGYPTIAN ICONOGRAPHY.

IT IS HUGE AFROSAND CRAZY COLORS.

IT IS AFRO-FUTURISTIC,

AND IT'S ALWAYS FUN.

AT ITS CORE,FUNK IS THE EXPRESSION

OF AN IDIOSYNCRATIC CREATIVEAND VISIONARY COMMUNITY

OF MUSIC MAKERS.

MY NAME ISAMIR "QUESTLOVE" THOMPSON,

DRUMMER AND LEADEROF THE ROOTS,

AND WE'RE GONNA GO ON A JOURNEY

BACK INTO TIMETHROUGHOUT HISTORY,

THROUGH YOUR FUNKY EMOTIONS,

AS WE GO FINDING THE FUNK.

[funk drum beat]

[cheers and applause]

- FUNK, FOR ME, IS...OUR LIFE.

FUNK, FOR ME,IS THE WORD THAT WAS SPOKE,

AND THIS IS WHAT FUNK IS.

- I'D PROBABLY SAYIT'S RHYTHM AND BLUES WITH A...

WITH PEOPLE THAT COULDN'T CUSS,

BUT THEY WANTED--IT SOUNDEDLIKE THEY WANTED TO CUSS.

- IT'S BLACK ROCK AND ROLL.

IT'S--WHEN GEORGE SAID,

"WE HAVE RETURNEDTO RECLAIM THE PYRAMIDS,"

THAT'S WHAT THATREPRESENTS TO ME.

- BUT IF YOU HAVETO TRY TO TELL SOMEBODY,

YOU HAVE TO START USING WORDSLIKE "SYNCOPATION"

AND STUFF LIKE--OR, "MAKES YOU DANCE,"

AND IT DOESN'T DO IT JUSTICE.

- WE KNOW IT COMES FROMTHE KONGO, "LU-FUKI,"

WHICH MEANS "BAD BODY ODOR."

SO WHAT I LOVE ABOUT SOMEOF THESE BLACK MUSICAL TERMS,

LIKE, "JAZZ"--THEY'RE ALL THESE CURSE WORDS,

OR THESE OBSCENITIES THAT AREDERIVED FROM OTHER LANGUAGES,

APPLIED TO BLACK CULTURE.

AND WHAT WE DO--YOU KNOW,FUNK IS LIKE SONIC CHITLINS.

WE WORK OUT ALL THE NASTINESSAND THE GREASE,

AND WE TAKE IT AND PROCESS ITAND MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF IT--

SOMETHING BAD, "BODY ODOR,"INTO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL.

SO YOU SAW AFRICA WRITTEN LARGEIN FUNK MUSIC

AS A SOUND COLLAGEOF THE BEST OF BLACK IDENTITY.

- THE ROOT OF ALL OF THE MUSICCOMES OUT OF NEW ORLEANS,

BUT BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVETHE SERIOUS SOUNDS FROM JAZZ

AND EARLY ROCK AND ROLLCOMING OUT OF NEW ORLEANS,

AND THE TRADITION OF DANCEIN NEW ORLEANS.

THERE'S NOWHERE ELSE TO GOBUT THE FUNK.

ESPECIALLY WITH THE SECOND LINES

AND THE RHYTHMS OF NEW ORLEANS.

YOU MIX THAT WITH THE JAZZ SOUNDAND RHYTHM AND BLUES,

AND YOU HAVE THE FUNK.

[brassy funk music]

- BEING IN THOSE MARCHING BANDSFROM NEW ORLEANS

WHERE WE GREW UP,

FUNK IS SUCH AN INTEGRAL PARTOF THE DRUM SECTION,

WE HAVE TO CONSTANTLY...

CLACK, BLAP--

BE ON THAT BEAT WITH THAT FUNK,YOU KNOW,

CLACK, BOOM, CLACK, BOOM.

THAT'S WHERE, REALLY,IT STARTED, YOU KNOW, THAT--

[taps rhythm]

JUST THAT FUNK RHYTHM.

- MY BACKGROUND IS IN JAZZ--

OR I SHOULD SAY,MY FRONT GROUND.

I FIRST HEARD THE WORD FUNK

WHEN I WAS LISTENINGTO HORACE SILVER RECORDS.

HORACE SILVER WAS USINGTHE WORD FUNKY,

LIKE, FILTHY MCNASTY,SOME OF HIS SONGS.

AND ALSO CANNONBALL ADDERLEYWOULD TALK ABOUT FUNK.

AND THESE GUYS WOULD TALKABOUT THAT ON THEIR RECORDS

WHEN THEY DID LIVE RECORDINGS.

SO IT WASN'T JAMES BROWN THATI GOT EXPOSED TO THE WORD FROM,

IT WAS, LIKE, ACTUALLY JAZZ.

- JAMES BROWN,SOUL BROTHER NUMBER ONE,

WAS A FAN OF FUNKY JAZZ

AND WOULD HAVE HIS BAND OPENHIS SHOWS WITH INSTRUMENTALS

THAT WOULD INSPIREA REVOLUTION.

CLASSIC JAMES BROWN, OF COURSE,IS THE FUNKY PERIOD.

THE SOULFUL PERIOD BETWEEN

1966 AND 1974.

SO BETWEEN THAT PERIOD,

YOU HAVE KIND OF THE EVOLUTIONOF SOUL...

[laid back soul beat]

AND THEN IT SORT OF MORPHS INTO

THE BEGINNING OF FUNK,WHICH IS LIKE, YOU KNOW...

[plodding funk beat]

- ON STAGE, HE WOULD PERFORMELONGATED VERSIONS OF THEM,

AND THE VAMPS WEREA DEVICE TO SET UP--

REALLY TO GIVE HIM A FORUM

TO DO CHOREOGRAPHYWITH THE FAMOUS FLAMES.

SO IT WAS REALLY JUST A DEVICETO PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY

TO DO DANCE ROUTINES.

IT WASN'T REALLYA MUSICAL THING.

BUT EVENTUALLY THAT BECAME--

THAT KIND OF--THE SCRIPT FLIPPED,

AND ALL OF A SUDDEN IT WAS LIKE,

"HEY, IF WE DO THISWITH THIS VAMP,

WE DO THAT, WE BUILD IT UP,WE BREAK IT DOWN,"

AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU'VE GOTA NEW GENRE OF MUSIC.

- BROWN'S BAND WAS FULLOF RAZOR-SHARP PLAYERS

WHO'D GO ON TO HAVE AN ENDURINGIMPACT ON POP CULTURE,

ESPECIALLY CLYDE STUBBLEFIELD,

AKA, "THE FUNKY DRUMMER."

- COMING FROM HIP-HOP,BEING AN MC,

WHEN WE STARTEDDIGGING THROUGH RECORDS,

THE FIRST THING, REALLY,WE WERE LOOKING FOR

WAS WHAT YOU WOULD CALLA RAW OR NAKED BEAT.

YOU KNOW, SO I THINK THAT--

THAT WAS, LIKE,THE INTERESTING THING.

WHETHER IT WASCLYDE STUBBLEFIELD,

YOU HAD THESEINCREDIBLE PLAYERS,

BUT WHO EVER WOULD'VE GUESSED,YOU KNOW, FUNKY DRUMMER...

[upbeat funk beat]

JUST--WHO EVER WOULD GUESSJUST THIS LITTLE RIFF

WOULD THEN KIND OF BECOMEA SOUNDTRACK IN--

LET'S SEE, WHEN WOULD THATHAVE BEEN?

THAT WOULD'VE BEEN 19--1989, YOU KNOW?

THAT, "ANOTHER SUMMER,SOUND OF THE FUNKY DRUMMER."

YOU KNOW, IT'S--

I DON'T THINK WHEN CLYDESTUBBLEFIELD PLAYED THAT

IN 1970--I'M GONNA GUESS,WHAT, '71, '70,

MAYBE EVEN '69,

WHO WOULD'VE GUESSED20 YEARS LATER THAT WOULD BE--

HE'D BE THE BACKING BANDFOR CHUCK D.?

- A LABOR DISPUTE BETWEENBROWN AND HIS BAND

LED HIM TO RECRUIT A YOUNG CREW

WHO HAD BEEN GIGGING INCINCINNATI WITH KING RECORDS.

LED BY THE COLLINS BROTHERS--

CATFISH ON GUITARAND BOOTSY ON BASS,

THEY BECOME LEGENDS THEMSELVES.

- FIRST OF ALL,HE TREATED ME LIKE A SON.

HE ALWAYS WAS, YOU KNOW,

"YOU GOT TO DO THIS,YOU GOT TO DO THAT, YOU GOT TO,"

YOU KNOW, WHICH FOR MEAT THE TIME WAS REALLY GOOD,

BECAUSE I'M A KNUCKLEHEADFROM OUT IN THE STREET, SO--

YOU KNOW, THAT DIDN'T GROW UPWITH A FATHER IN THE HOME.

SO I NEEDED ALL OF THAT,

AND I KIND OF KNEWTHAT I NEEDED IT,

AND IF ANYBODYWAS GONNA GIVE IT TO ME,

IT HAD TO BE JAMES BROWN,

'CAUSE I WASN'T GOING FOR ITFROM NOBODY ELSE.

SO JAMES BROWN, YOU KNOW,HE WAS PERFECT.

HE WAS THE PERFECTFATHER FIGURE.

- ♪ UH, GET IT

♪ COME ON

♪ DO IT

♪ COME ON

[funk bass solo]

[cheers and applause]

♪ HIT IT

♪ HIT IT

BOOTSY COLLINS WAS A STARWHEN HE CAME,

AND I NEVER TOOK THATAWAY FROM HIM.

HE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE ONE,BUT WE TAUGHT HIM THAT.

BOOTSY COLLINS,HE'S LIKE A SON.

- I REMEMBER JAMES TELLING MEABOUT THE ONE,

AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS JUST--

YOU KNOW, AT FIRST I THOUGHT,YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE,

"WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME THIS?

"YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I JUSTWANT TO PLAY."

YOU KNOW, AIN'T, YOU KNOW,NOBODY GOT NO TIME FOR THE ONE."

[imitating James Brown]"NOW, SON, LET ME TELL YOU,

"YOU GOT TO GIVE ME THE ONE,YOU GIVE ME THE ONE,

"AND YOU CAN PLAY ALL OF THATOTHER STUFF,

JUST GIVE ME THAT ONE."

[imitating drum beat]

"ONE"...

THEN, "ONE"...

[imitating drum beat]

"ONE."

I SAID, "ALL RIGHT,YOU MEAN LIKE THIS.

YOU MEAN LIKE THIS."

[imitating bass line]

[imitating James Brown] "YEAH,SON, THAT'S IT, THAT'S IT.

I'M GLAD I THOUGHT OF IT.THAT'S IT, THAT, YEAH."

BUT THAT'S--THAT'S WHEREBROTHER JAMES WAS AT.

I MEAN, YOU KNOW,AND HE TAUGHT ME THAT,

AND WHEN HE TAUGHT ME THAT,

IT WAS LIKE, I USED THATIN EVERYTHING I DID.

- THE HIPPIE SPIRIT OF THE AGEWAS TRANSFORMING THE VALUES

OF BLACK FOLKS,JUST AS IT WAS WHITE AMERICA.

IN FORWARD-THINKING PLACESLIKE THE BAY AREA,

WHERE THE FREAK FLAGWAS FLYING HIGH

ON THE WINGS OFPSYCHEDELIC DRUGS AND FREE LOVE,

A BAND WOULD EMERGETHAT TOOK BROWN'S FUNK

AND DRESSED IT UPIN GARISH NEW OUTFITS.

FUNK COULD BE DISCIPLINED,BUT ALSO HOT FUN.

- I'D PROBABLY SAYIT'S RHYTHM AND BLUES WITH A...

WITH PEOPLE THAT COULDN'T CUSS,

BUT THEY WANTED--IT SOUNDEDLIKE THEY WANTED TO CUSS.

IT WAS LIKE THEYWAS AT THAT EDGE OF IT.

- SO YOU SAID--YOU SAID ITSOUNDED LIKE RHYTHM AND BLUES,

BUT THEY WANTED TO CUSS?

- YEAH, BUT, YOU KNOW, THAT--THEY WAS KIND OF LIKE...

[imitates bass notes]

YOU KNOW, THEY WANTED TO--'CAUSE I KNOW I DID.

- YOU WANTED TO CUSS?

- NO, I DIDN'T WANT TO,BUT THE WORDS WERE--

I FELT LIKE--YEAH.

YEAH, I DIDN'T WANT TO GO TO--GET IN TROUBLE,

BUT SOMETIMES I DIDTHOUGH ANYWAY.

YEAH, I'VE BEENIN TROUBLE BEFORE.

- APPARENTLY.

- YOU CANNOT BELIEVEHOW BAD-ASS THIS BAND IT,

AND IT--YOU KNOW,BUT THEY'RE LIKE THIS BAND

WHERE YOU LOOK AT 'EMAND YOU JUST THINK

THEY'RE NOT EVENIN A BAND TOGETHER.

IT'S LIKE--BUT TOGETHER,THEY ARE THE MOST BAD-ASS,

JUST, FUNKY, ROCKING-EST,

KILLIN' IT BANDYOU COULD EVER SEE.

- SLY WAS A HIPPIEWEST COAST BAND

THAT HAD FUNK UNDERCURRENTS,THAT THEY PLAYED--

THEIR--ALL THEIR STUFFWAS FUNKY,

IT WAS FUNK-ORIENTED,

BUT THEY ALSO PLAYEDPOP VERY WELL.

BUT THEY HAD LARRY GRAHAM

AND THEY HAD SLY

AND THEY HAD HIS BROTHER,

AND ONLY THOSE PEOPLEPLAYED LIKE THAT.

- SLY'S BAND, THE FAMILY STONE;

THEY WERE A MULTI-RACIAL BAND.

MEN AND WOMEN WERE IN THE BAND.

THEY DIDN'T HAVE TRAD--THEY HAD TRADITIONAL HARMONIES,

BUT THEY ALSO HAD DIFFERENTVOICES COMING IN AND OUT.

ALMOST EVERY FUNK BANDWAS AFFECTED BY SLY IN THAT WAY.

SLY'S DRESS--

THE FACT THAT THE WAY HE DRESSEDBEGAN--RIPPLED OUT TO EVERYONE.

EVERYONE KIND OF LOOKEDLIKE SLY.

SLY WAS THE PIMP SUPERSTAR DADDYOF THE TIME,

AND EVERYONE KIND OF WANTEDTO EMULATE HIM, AND THEY DID.

- SLY IS ANOTHER ONE THATTHAT CAN THINK IT.

HE CAN WRITE IT OUT.

SO HE WAS ABLE TO DOTHE HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME,

A REAL CLEVER POP SONG.

BUT HE COULD ALSO TURN IT OVERAND DO SIMPLE SONGS

AND THINK YOU--AND BE FUNKY AS JAMES

OR US OR ANYBODY ELSE,

AND STILL HAVETHE SLICK-ASS PUNS,

OR, YOU KNOW, ONE-LINERS.

- ♪ THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME

♪ BE MYSELF AGAIN

♪ DANCE TO THE MUSIC

- HOLY [bleep].

- CAN YOU HOLD THAT UPFOR US?

- NOW--OKAY, YEAH--

NOW THIS IS, TO ME...

- ♪ EVERYDAY PEOPLE

- THIS IS THE ULTIMATEFUNK UNIT EVER.

NUMBER ONE, HANDS DOWN.

IF I WERE--

YOU KNOW, IF WE HADA CHART SYSTEM,

MY NUMBER ONE FUNK UNITOF ALL TIME, THIS IS THEM.

WITH GREG ERRICOAND LARRY GRAHAM.

THIS--THIS UNIT WAS JUSTRIDICULOUS.

- THIS IS DEFINITELYTHE RECORD OF ALL TIME, AND--

YEAH, THIS WAS THE ONE,AND LET'S SEE--

YEAH, STAND, DON'T CALL ME [bleep], WHITEY,

I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER, SOMEBODY'S WATCHING YOU,

SING A SIMPLE SONG, EVERYDAY PEOPLE,

SEX MACHINE, YOU CAN MAKE IT IF YOU TRY.

THAT ALONE--THIS RECORD ALONE--

HE DIDN'T HAVE TO DOANYTHING ELSE EVER,

AND THIS RECORD WOULD'VESTOOD UP TO EVERYONE ELSE

WHO'S EVER MADE MUSIC,SO--GENIUS RECORD.

- WHAT WAS, LIKE, YOUR GOALWHEN YOU STARTED?

- MAKE PEOPLE JUST GET ALONG,

KIND OF BASICALLY.

AND I THOUGHT MAYBE--I THOUGHT MAYBE IF I HAD, LIKE,

LIKE THE WHITE PEOPLEAND BLACK PEOPLE

AND GIRLS AND GUYSALL ON THE STAGE,

AND WE'RE PLAYINGAND WE'RE HAVING A GOOD TIME,

THE AUDIENCE WOULD JUST HAVETO GET IN THAT.

THERE'S JUST NO WAYTO GET AROUND IT.

THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT.

AND I THOUGHT I WAS RIGHT.

YEAH.I'M LOOKING FOR ALBINOS NOW.

I MEAN, THAT'S THE ONLYREALLY LEGITIMATE

MINORITY GROUP GOING ON.

- THOUGH HE WASN'TAN ALBINO BASSIST,

LARRY GRAHAM MADE A UNIQUE PLACEFOR HIMSELF IN HUMAN HISTORY

JUST BY USING HIS THUMB.

- LARRY GRAHAMWAS SLY'S BASS PLAYER

WHEN SLY FIRST HIT IT,YOU KNOW,

AND, YOU KNOW, THE FIRSTBASS LINES THAT LARRY PLAYED--

'CAUSE HE WAS TRYING TO KEEPEVERYBODY DANCING,

SO HE PLAYED BASS LINESTHAT WENT LIKE...

[driving bass guitar]

LIKE--I CALL 'EM, LIKE,PUMPING BASS LINES, JUST...

BUT LATER ON, MAN, LIKE,A COUPLE OF YEARS LATER,

HE STARTED, YOU KNOW,

PLAYING THESE OTHER KINDOF BASS LINES.

LARRY--HE WAS A GUITAR PLAYER,

SO HE REALLY DIDN'TPAY ATTENTION TO, LIKE,

TRADITIONAL BASS TECHNIQUE.

AND HE HAD A GOSPEL TRIOWITH HIS MOM--

HIS MOM PLAYED THE ORGAN, RIGHT,

AND HE'S PLAYING GUITAR,

AND MOM WAS PLAYING THE BASSWITH HER FOOT PEDALS.

PEDALS BROKE,SO HE BOUGHT A BASS,

JUST TEMPORARILY UNTILTHE PEDALS GOT FIXED,

YOU KNOW,SO HE'S PLAYING THE BASS,

THEN THE DRUMMER DIDN'T SHOW UP,SO INSTEAD OF PLAYING, LIKE...

[timid bass guitar]

HE HAD TO, LIKE, REPLACETHE PERCUSSION OF THE DRUMS,

SO HE STARTED GOING...

[punchy bass guitar]

THUMPING FOR THE BASS DRUM,AND PLUCKING FOR THE SNARE DRUM.

WHEN WE HEARD ITIN THE HOOD,

ALL THE BASS PLAYERS WERE LIKE,"OKAY, WHAT IS THAT?"

'CAUSE WE HEARD...

[slap bass guitar]

WE DIDN'T KNOW IF IT WAS A BASSOR A GUITAR OR A CLAVINET, OR--

WHAT IS THAT?YOU KNOW, THEY PLUCKING AND--

THEN WE HEARD...

AND WE HEARD THAT LOW "E,"WENT, "OH, WAIT.

OH, THAT'S A BASS--THAT'S A BASS, YO."

SO I WAS A TALENT SHOW

AND I SAW A BASS PLAYERPLAYING LIKE THAT,

AND I WAS LIKE...

AND MY BOY SAID, "HEY, MAN,CAN YOU PLAY LIKE THAT?"

I SAID, "YEAH,I CAN PLAY LIKE THAT."

AND I RAN HOME, I WAS LIKE,"OKAY, LET'S SEE..."

[tapping]

I DIDN'T LEAVE THE HOUSE, MAN,UNTIL AT LEAST I HAD, LIKE,

A REASONABLE FACSIMILE.

HE HAD A SONG CALLED HAIRTHAT WENT...

[slap bass guitar]

AND IT WAS, LIKE, A BUSYBASS LINE, RIGHT, BUT IT WENT...

WHOO!WE WERE LIKE, "WHAT?"

AND THEN HE SANG, AND HIS VOICEAS FUNKY AS HIS BASS LINE.

LARRY GRAHAM BLEW A LOTOF BASS PLAYER'S MINDS.

- AFTER MASSIVE POP SUCCESS,

SLY MADE A FAITHFULTURN AWAY FROM OPTIMISM

TOWARDS A DARK, MURKIER SIDETHAT, LIKE BROWN,

STRIPPED FUNK DOWNTO ITS ESSENCE.

- THIS IS THE--FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW--

THIS IS THE RECORD COVER OFSLY AND THE FAMILY STONE,

THERE'S A RIOT GOING ON,

WHICH WAS AN INCREDIBLYINFLUENTIAL RECORD.

I MEAN, HE HAD ALBUMSPRECEDING THIS, LIKE STAND,

THAT HAD, YOU KNOW, DANCE TO THE MUSIC,

THAT HAD BIGGER HITS, MAYBE,IN TERMS OF SINGLES,

BUT THIS IS REALLY WHEREI THINK YOU SAW

AN ARTIST THAT MAYBEYOU THOUGHT OF AS, LIKE,

A FUNK ARTIST, OR AN ARTIST--A SINGLES-ORIENTED FUNK ARTIST

THAT MADE ONE OF THE MOSTAMAZING ALBUMS

AND MOST IMPORTANT ALBUMSOF ALL TIME.

- WHAT LED YOU TO MAKE THATPARTICULAR KIND OF RECORD?

- 'CAUSE THERE WERE A LOTOF RIOTS GOING ON.

THAT'S PROBABLY IT.

THERE WERE A LOTOF RIOTS GOING ON.

ALL KINDS OF RIOTS, TOO.

THERE WERE...

RACIAL RIOTS,

AND THEN THERE WEREECONOMICAL RIOTS,

AND THEN--JUST RIOTS.

RIOT RIOTS.

THERE WERE WRONG RIOTS.

- YOU MADE THE RECORD A LOT--UNLIKE EARLIER,

YOU MADE IT ALMOST BY YOURSELF,PRETTY MUCH.

- YEAH, I HAD TO,

'CAUSE AT THE TIME,

PEOPLE HAD OTHER THINGS TO DOA LOT OF TIMES,

AND I'D JUST BE STUCK--I'D LIVE IN THE STUDIO.

SO WHEN, YOU KNOW,THEIR PART COME UP,

I'D HAVE TO FIGURE OUT--I'D JUST DO IT MYSELF.

BUT I PUT THEIR NAMES ON IT.

- [laughs]

WHY'D YOU PUT THEIR NAMES ON IT?

- WELL, BECAUSE I NEVER--I NEVER--

LIKE, IF YOU EVER GO TO A MOVIEAND YOU FIND OUT THE GUY'S

THE DIRECTOR AND THE PRODUCERAND THE STAR AND THE--

YOU KNOW, THE--I DON'T LIKE THAT.

I DON'T--IT'S GREEDY.

SO I JUST PUT EVERYBODY'S NAMEON IT ANYWAYS.

- SLY REINVENTED THE SOUNDOF MUSIC ON FAMILY AFFAIR

BY HIS INNOVATIVE USEOF EARLY DRUM MACHINES.

- SOUNDED RIGHT TO ME,

AND THEN I'D BREAK ONE,

SO I'D HAVE TO HAVE ABOUTFOUR DIFFERENT SESSIONS.

AND THEN YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSEDTO PUSH THE BUTTON BUT ONE--

ONE BUTTON AT A TIME,

AND I WOULD HAVE ABOUT THREEOR FOUR, AND I'D BREAK--

I'D BREAK RHYTHM MACHINESEVERY TIME I GO TO SESSIONS.

- [laughs]

- YOU KNOW, JUST TO GET 'EMRIGHT, THOUGH,

GET THE RIGHT SOUND.

- SO THAT PARTICULAR--YOU BROKE, LIKE,

THREE OR FOUR DRUM MACHINESMAKING THAT RECORD?

- OH, YEAH, AT LEAST.

- TALK ABOUT--I MEAN, PEOPLEHAVE ALWAYS SPECULATED ABOUT

WHAT THE LYRIC IS ABOUT.

IS THAT ABOUT MAN HIMSELF?IS IT ABOUT A PARTICULAR FAMILY?

- IT'S KIND OF A--

THE--I CAN'T BE THAT--

AND THEN IT'S JUST AN IDEA

THAT I THOUGHT EVERYBODYCOULD RELATE TO.

THAT'S--THAT'S KIND OFBASICALLY IT.

WELL, THERE WERE TWO GIRLSIN THE HOUSE,

AND THEY WERE--

THEY WERE ACTORS.

YOU KNOW, THEY WOULD ARGUEAND THEN THEY WOULD NOT ARGUE,

AND SO I LEFT AND I WENTUPSTAIRS TO THE STUDIO.

THAT'S PROBABLY A LOTTO DO WITH IT.

- OKAY, SO THERE WAS TWOARGUING--

- THERE WAS TWO--THERE--THEY WERE SISTERS.

- AH.

- ONE TURNED INTO MY WIFE.

- OKAY.

- AND THEN SHE WAS--

YOU KNOW WHAT I DIDAT MY HONEYMOON?

THE VERY NIGHT,WENT TO THE STUDIO.

- ON YOUR HONEYMOON NIGHT?

- YEAH.

- SHE PROBABLY WASN'T TOO HAPPYABOUT THAT.

- NO, IT DIDN'T SEEM LIKE IT.

- [laughs]

WHILE INCREDIBLE CREATIVITYWAS COMING FROM SAN FRANCISCO,

AN UNHERALDED NEW HOME FOR FUNK

WAS GROWINGIN AMERICA'S HEARTLAND.

[smooth funk bass guitar]

IN THE '80s,

A STUDIO BAND CALLEDLIPPS INC.,

FROM MINNEAPOLIS,HAD A HIT CALLED FUNKYTOWN.

IT WAS A CUTE RECORD,BUT IT WASN'T ACCURATE.

MINNEAPOLIS WOULD MAKEITS OWN CONTRIBUTION,

BUT THE TRUE FUNKY TOWN WAS INANOTHER PART OF THE MIDWEST.

DAYTON, OHIO, IS JUST DOWNTHE ROAD FROM CINCINNATI,

WHERE KING RECORDS WAS LOCATED,

JAMES BROWN RECORDED,

AND BOOTSY COLLINSLEARNED HIS TRADE.

BUT FROM THE LATE '70sINTO THE EARLY '80s,

A CITY WITH A POPULATIONOF 300,000

WAS TRULY FUNKY TOWN,PRODUCING...

AS WELL AS INNOVATIVE MUSICIANS

LIKE JUNIE MORRISONAND STEVE ARRINGTON,

WHICH RAISES THE QUESTION,WHY DAYTON, OHIO?

[complex funk beat, humming]

- I ASSOCIATE FUNKAND THE FUNK BAND

AS EMBLEMATIC OF A PERIODIN WHICH

RELATIVELY HIGH-WAGEWORKING CLASS JOBS--

JUST BEFORE THE RAVAGESOF DEINDUSTRIALIZATION

DEPLETE SO MANY OF THESE TOWNS.

THE FUNK BAND IS REALLYTHE PRODUCT OF THAT,

BECAUSE MOST OF THE PARENTSOF THESE BAND MEMBERS

WORKED AT DELCO,THEY WORKED AT FACTORIES,

AND THEY HAD ENOUGHDISPOSABLE INCOME

TO PURCHASE INSTRUMENTS,

TO AFFORD LESSONS--

PRIVATE LESSONS, SOMETIMES,FOR THEIR CHILDREN.

- THE WHOLE SCENE DEVELOPEDIN, LIKE, THE BASEMENT.

IT WASN'T--IT WAS A VERY,YOU KNOW, CENTRALIZED SCENE,

WHERE THE FAMILIES,BETWEEN THE CAR COMPANIES

AND NCR AND INLAND STEEL,WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE,

WERE MAKING NICE CHANGE.

THEY ALL LIVED IN HOUSES--

WEREN'T REALLY APARTMENTBUILDINGS,

SO THEY ALL HADTRICKED-OUT BASEMENTS.

AND THEY BASICALLY, TO KEEPTHEIR KIDS OFF THE STREET,

WOULD BUY 'EM WHATEVER THEY'DWANT, AND YOU WOULD JUST GO

FROM BASEMENT TO BASEMENTAND JUST JAM.

- THE BREAKTHROUGH FOR DAYTON

WAS A BAND KNOWNFOR ITS DRIVING RIFFS

AND EROTIC LP COVERS.

- WHEN I FIRST HEARD SKIN TIGHT,

UM, I REMEMBER THE GIRL THATI PICKED UP THE NIGHT THAT--

THAT I HEARDTHE SONG SKIN TIGHT,

AND SHE WAS WEARINGSKIN-TIGHT JEANS.

AND THE LYRICS GO,"YOU'RE A BAD, BAD MISSUS

"IN THOSE SKIN-TIGHT BRITCHES,RUNNING FOLKS INTO DITCHES,

THEY ABOUT TO BUSTTHEIR STITCHES."

DAMN.

- ♪RUNNIN' FOLKS INTO DITCHES ♪

♪ BABY, ABOUT TO BUSTTHE STITCHES, YEAH ♪

♪ SKIN TIGHT,SKIN TIGHT ♪

♪ OW, SKIN TIGHT, SKIN TIGHT

♪ HEY, SKIN TIGHT

- WE GENERALLY WROTE ABOUTTHINGS THAT WERE HAPPENING

ON THE ROAD,AND AT THAT PERIOD OF TIME,

PEOPLE WERE STREAKING.

IN FACT,ON THE SKIN TIGHT ALBUM,

WE HAVE A SONG CALLED STREAKIN' CHEEK TO CHEEK.

AND THAT'S BECAUSE PEOPLEIN THESE COLLEGE CAMPUSES

WHERE WE WERE PLAYINGA LOT OF THE TIME

WERE RUNNING ACROSS THESECOLLEGE CAMPUSES BUTT-NAKED,

AND THE STREAKING THING WAS OUT.

SO SKIN TIGHTWAS THE WHOLE IDEA

BASED AROUND THAT CONCEPT OFWHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE WORLD.

OUR CONCEPT WAS, THE BAND,

IF WE COULD PUT ON OUR ALBUMA BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMAN,

WE WOULD HAVE EVERY MAN ALIVELOOKING AT IT,

AND IF THEY WOULD LOOK AT ITAND THEY WOULD BUY IT,

THEN POSSIBLY THEY WOULDPUT IT ON AND LISTEN TO IT.

THE HONEY CONCEPT WASJUST UNBELIEVABLE.

WHEN WE WALKED INTOTHE STUDIO

AND SAW THIS GIRLLAYING ON THIS PLEXIGLASS

AND THEN POURING HONEYOVER HER,

IT WAS LIKE, "WHAT ARE Y'ALLGETTING READY TO DO?"

IT'S LIKE,YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE--

ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOSTANTICIPATED THINGS

WITH US DOING AN ALBUMIS TO FINISH IT

TO SEE HOW THE ALBUM COVERWAS GONNA LOOK.

IT WAS LIKE, "OKAY, LET'S FINISHTHIS ALBUM COVER CALLED HONEY

AND SEE WHERE WE'RE GOINGFROM HERE."

BUT, UM--

- THE GIRL WAS REALLYCOVERED IN HONEY?

- REALLY COVERED IN HONEY,

AND AFTER A COUPLE HOURSOF SHOOTING,

YOU KNOW, SHOTS AND LIKEWISE,YOU KNOW,

YOU PROBABLY HEARD THE STORY--

SHE GOT STUCKTO THE PLEXIGLASS.

- SHE REALLY GOT STUCK TOTHE PLEXIGLASS?

- SHE REALLY GOT STUCKTO THE PLEXIGLASS,

AND WE HAD TO POURWARM WATER OVER HER

AND THEN PRY HER OFFTHAT PLEXIGLASS.

- [laughs]

- I TELL YOU--- THAT'S NOT AN URBAN LEGEND?

- IT'S NOT AN URBAN LEGEND.THAT'S THE TRUTH.

- STEVE ARRINGTON, A MEMBER OFSLAVE, AND LATER, HALL OF FAME,

WOULD BE A FUNK LEADER

AS BOTH DRUMMER AND VOCALIST.

- I THINK, MELODICALLY,

WE TOOK THINGS IN A NEW PLACE

AS WE DREW FROMTHE FUNK OF GEORGE

AND THE GUITAR NASTINESS OF--OF SLY.

WE SORT OF BLENDED IT AND ADDEDSOME MELODIC PERSPECTIVE

OF MAYBE A STEVIE,AND MORE JAZZ PERSPECTIVES.

I NEVER WAS KNOWNAS A SINGER IN DAYTON,

ONLY A DRUMMER,

AND THEN WE WENT INTO THE STUDIOFOR JUST A TOUCH OF LOVE ALBUM.

WE HAD DID THE TRACK,

AND THE GUY WHO WAS GONNASING ON IT

WASN'T IN THE STUDIOFOR A WHILE.

AND SO WE ALL TOOK A TURNAT THE MIC,

AND I WAS LIKE...[humming]

AND THEY WAS LIKE,"MAN WE FEELING THAT.

IT'S KIND OF STRANGE."

WE MADE A SERIOUS STAMPON THE WORLD

OF INNOVATION IN A SMALL TOWNTO SAY--

TO BE INNOVATIVEAND UNIQUE.

IT'S POWERFUL,

WITH JUST SOME GUYS WHO STARTEDIN THE GARAGE,

DOING TALENT SHOWS.

IT JUST COMES FROM CATS, MAN,WHO JUST DIDN'T GIVE A FLIP,

AND JUST SAY,"WE GONNA DO IT OUR WAY."

IF IT GOES...[imitating bass guitar]

AND YOU HEAR THE FRET NOISE--SO YOU HEAR THE FRET NOISE.

OR IF SUGARFOOT'S,"OH, CHILD, OH, GIRL,"

SO WHAT?IT IS WHAT IT IS.

YOU KNOW, AND I'M GOING...♪ A-I-A-I-A-I

YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY JUSTDID THEIR OWN THING.

[funky guitar music]

- ♪IT WAS A THRILLUP ON THE HILL ♪

♪ EVERYBODY WAS FEELING REAL

♪ EVERYBODY HAD THE LOOK

- IN THE EARLY '60s,

A BARBER WHO SPECIALIZEDIN PROCESSING HAIR

WAS ALSO TRYING TO MAKE ITAS A SONGWRITER.

HE WROTE SONGS FOR MOTOWNIN DETROIT DURING THE WEEK,

AND DID HAIR IN NEW JERSEYON THE WEEKENDS.

HIS NAME WAS GEORGE CLINTON.

- I WAS GOING DOWN MONDAYS,AND WORKED TO FRIDAY,

STARTING IN ABOUT '63.

- YOU'D COME BACK TO NEW JERSEYON THE WEEKEND?

- ON WEEKENDS AND WORKAT THE BARBER SHOP.

- [laughs]

YOU WROTE SONGS MONDAY TO FRIDAYAND DID HAIR ON--

- YEAH, AND COME BACKAND DO HAIR.

AND THEN WE--

WE GOT A HIT RECORD, (I WANNA) TESTIFY.

TESTIFY CAME OUTRIGHT AT THE SAME TIME

FLOWER CHILD--FLOWER POWER CAME OUT,

SO WE GOT--OUR THINGGOT TURNED COMPLETELY OUT.

YOU KNOW, WE WENT TO BOSTONAND, YOU KNOW,

WE WAS AT CAMBRIDGE.

WE WAS OVER AT HARVARDWITH THE KIDS.

THEY BE GETTIN'--GETTIN' $64 TO TEST ACID.

WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE HELLTHEY WAS DOING.

WE WAS UP THERE--WE WAS TRYINGTO GET WITH THE GIRLS.

- SO YOU STARTED DROPPING ACID.

- AND SO NEXT THING WE KNOW,WE WAS OUT THERE,

AND ALL THESE LITTLE KIDS WERERUNNING AND LAUGHING AT US,

BUT WE WAS HAVING FUNWITH THE YOUNG KIDS.

AND NEXT THING YOU KNOW,WE WAS OLD-ASS HIPPIES.

- THE OLD SCHOOLPROCESS SPECIALIST GOT AN AFRO,

BUT HIS HAIRSTYLEWAS AS MUCH PUNK AS FUNK.

- I COULDN'T STAY STILL.

I'D CUT HOLES IN MY AFROS.

I HAD MOONS AND STARSAND [bleep]

AND EVERYTHING DESIGNEDIN MY--INTO 'EM.

AND, YOU KNOW, BEFORE--

LONG BEFORE PEOPLE STARTEDCUTTING THOSE DESIGNS IN THERE.

I WAS DOING THAT [bleep]WAY BACK THEN.

YOU KNOW, THEY WERE STILLWEARING SUITS,

AND I WAS WEARING DIAPERSAND SHEETS,

OR NOTHIN'.

THE MUSIC WAS CHANGING SLOWLY,

SLOWLY--RECORDS STARTEDCHANGING SLOWLY.

AND IT WENT ON THAT WAY UNTILBOOTSY CAME INTO THE GROUP.

- GOING UP TO THE HOUSE,FIRST OF ALL,

IS KIND OF LIKE, YOU KNOW--

YOU GET THIS...

[makes haunting noise]

YOU KNOW, THE ADDAMS FAMILYKIND OF THING?

[humming theme from The Addams Family]

SO, YOU KNOW, I GETTHAT KIND OF VIBE FIRST,

AND I'M LIKE, OKAY, I'M COOL.

SO I GO UP TO THE DOOR,YOU KNOW,

AND SHE--SHE SAY,"WELL, COME ON IN," YOU KNOW.

I GO IN, YOU KNOW, AND THE WHOLEPLACE IS, LIKE, DARK,

YOU KNOW, AND, YOU KNOW,GOT THE BLACK LIGHTS GOING ON,

YOU KNOW, AND I'M LOOKINGAROUND, YOU KNOW,

NO FURNITURE, YOU KNOW,I'M SAYING,

"DAG, THIS IS AWFULLY WEIRD."

YOU KNOW, EVEN FOR ME,IT'S WEIRD, YOU KNOW,

AND THEN I LOOK OVERIN THE CORNER

AND I SEE THIS SHEET,YOU KNOW,

SITTING OVER IN THE CORNERWITH SOME--

SOME YELLOW CHICKEN FEET ON.

YOU KNOW, AND SHE SAID, "YEAH,THAT'S GEORGE OVER THERE."

I'M LIKE, "YEAH, I FIGURED."I FIGURED THAT HAD TO BE GEORGE.

SO I GO OVER, YOU KNOW,

AND HE SAID, "SIT DOWN,"YOU KNOW,

AND I SIT DOWN BESIDE HIM,YOU KNOW.

WE START TALKINGIMMEDIATELY, YOU KNOW,

AND SO, YOU KNOW, I WAS TELLINGHIM ABOUT THE BAND,

AND HE SAID, "YEAH, YOU KNOW,I KNOW ALL ABOUT,

YOU KNOW, J.B.'S."HE SAID, "YEAH, Y'ALL--"

AND HE WAS TELLING MEHOW BAD WE WERE,

AND THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER,

AND THAT HE WANTED TO HOOK UP--WE NEED TO HOOK UP.

- HIM WAS A NEW SOUND,YOU KNOW.

THEN YOU GOT MACEO AND FRED,

SO PARLIAMENT ALL OF A SUDDENHAD WHAT WE CALL P-FUNK NOW.

- THIS FUNK-DEFINING DUO

WOULD WRITE MANY OFTHE ERA'S DEFINING JAMS

IN A BOAT OFF OF MIAMI INTHE INFAMOUS BERMUDA TRIANGLE.

- BOOTSY, HE AND I WENTALL THE WAY TO BIMINI,

YOU KNOW,THAT'S THE MOTOR BOOTY ALBUM,

TALKIN' ABOUT #1 BIMINI ROAD,

WELL, I TOOK 'EM THROUGH THERE,

AND YOU GO ALL AROUNDTHE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

AND ALL THOSE WEIRD PLACES.

- WHEN WE FIRST STARTEDGOING FISHING,

I THOUGHT WE WAS JUSTGOING FISHING FOR FISH,

WHICH, WE CAUGHT A LOT OF FISH,YOU KNOW,

BUT I STARTED REALIZINGTHAT WE WERE FISHING

FROM THE UNIVERSE.

WE HAD THE STUDIO GOING20-SOMETHING HOURS A DAY,

YOU KNOW, AND IT WAS LIKE,

I MADE SURE--THAT'S WHEN I HADTO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT,

"OKAY, ARE YOU GONNA STAY UPAND ACT A FOOL ALL NIGHT,

"OR ARE YOU GONNA ACT A FOOLUNTIL 4:00,

"GET MAYBE TWO OR THREEHOURS OF SLEEP,

AND THEN BEAT EVERYBODYOVER TO THE STUDIO?"

- I'VE SLEPT A FEW NIGHTSIN THE STUDIO, YEAH.

WE--LIKE I SAID, IT WAS--

IT WAS A PARTY FOR SEVEN DAYS,AND WE WOULDN'T--

WE'D--SAY, LIKE, NEEDY--THE SONG NEEDY--

TOOK US A WEEK TO RECORD,

SO WE STAYED IN THE STUDIOFOR THOSE SEVEN DAYS.

NO ONE WOULD LEAVE--MAYBE TO GOGET SOMETHING TO EAT,

BUT EVERYBODY WOULD TAKE SHIFTS,YOU KNOW, "NEXT, NEXT."

AND, YEAH, YOU'D BE STEPPINGOVER PEOPLE.

PEOPLE DIDN'T TAKE BATHS.NOBODY WASHED UP.

AND TALKING ABOUT FUNK,

YEAH, IT WAS PRETTY FUNKYUP IN THERE.

- A BATH?

YOU'D BE LIKE, "YEAH, COME ONAND SOAK IN THAT--THAT DOO-DOO."

LIKE I USED TO TELL 'EM,

YOU KNOW, THE BASS--HAVE THE BASS SO LOUD

THAT I WANT TO BE ABLETO RUB MY HAND ACROSS THE RECORD

AND FEEL IT,YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

I WANT--I WANT THE FUNKSO STRONG UP IN HERE

WHEN YOU PICK UP THE RECORDYOU SAY,

"OH, THEY WERE FUNKY INTHE STUDIO WHEN THEY MADE THAT."

- WE'D ALL BE IN THE STUDIO,

AND SOMEONE LIKE MYSELFAND LYNN

MAY BE IN THE CORNER SINGING,

♪ I GOT TO STRANGLEMY THING ♪

RIGHT, AND THEN GEORGEWOULD SAY,

"OH, I HEAR THAT--SAY IT AGAIN,"AND WE WOULD SAY,

♪ WHEN I PULL MY STRING

RIGHT, AND THEN HE'D SAY,"GO PUT IT DOWN."

IT WOULD HAPPENJUST LIKE THAT.

OR SOMEONE OVER ON THE SIDELIKE BOOGIE

MIGHT BE JUST HITTINGA MELODY...

[humming funk melody]

JUST THAT SIMPLE, AND THENHE WOULD SAY, "PUT IT DOWN."

SO HE WAS THE FUNK REFEREE,LIKE THE MA--

LIKE A MAGNET IN THE MIDDLEOF THIS,

AND ALL THESE ENERGIESAND MUSIC AND EVERYTHING

WOULD BE FLOWING TO HIM,

LIKE HE WOULD BE KIND OFHOOKING UP TO YOU, RIGHT.

AND ONE AT A TIME, WE WOULD ALLGO AND PUT THOSE PARTS TOGETHER,

AND GEORGE WOULD JUST--

ALL THOSE PARTSTHAT ARE FLOWING,

THE CREATIVE ENERGIESTHAT ARE IN THAT ROOM--

I DON'T KNOW HOW HE MANAGEDTO REMEMBER IT ALL AT ONE TIME

AND THEN RETAIN IT.

- AND WHAT'S REALLY DEEP IS,

HE DIDN'T KNOW WHERETHE ONE WAS AT.

YOU KNOW, AND THAT WAS--THAT WAS FUNNY TOO.

AND SO, YOU KNOW,

I KIND OF HAD TO SHOW HIMWHERE THE ONE WAS.

I GOT--I TOLD HIM,

"I GOT THIS FROM JAMES BROWN,"YOU KNOW,

AND HE WAS SO DEEP, YOU KNOW,IT WAS LIKE, "GIVE IT HERE."

YOU KNOW, HE DIDN'T CAREWHERE IT CAME FROM.

IT WAS LIKE, "GIVE UP THE FUNK."

- BOOTSY HAD BEENTO JAMES BROWN SCHOOL,

SO HE KNEW WHAT IT MEANTO BE,

ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR,

ONE, TWO, THREE,

ONE--HE KNEW THE ESSENCE OF THAT.

BUT ONCE I REALIZED THAT ONEWAS WHAT IT IS ON JAMES' RECORD,

WE JUST TRIED TO--

WE GOT STUPID WITH IT.

♪ WE WANT THE FUNK ♪

♪ GIVE UP THE FUNK

♪ OH, WE ♪

YOU KNOW, WE EXAGGERATED ITAND CLOWNED IT FROM THEN ON.

AND BOOTSY HAD THAT--HIM AND HIS BROTHER--

THEY HAD THAT SAME ESSENCETHAT THEY HAD ON JAMES'--

THAT LOCK.

YOU CAN--YOU CAN--YOU CANGO TO WORK BY THAT TIME,

AND YOU DON'T NEEDNO METRONOME WITH CATFISH.

- WELL, ALL RIGHT.

WE MIGHT AS WELL CARRY ON.

WE GOT PARLIAMENT-FUNKADELIC.

LET'S GIVE 'EM A NICEROUND OF APPLAUSE!

[upbeat funk music]

ALL RIGHT.AND ALL I GOT TO SAY IS...

♪ GLORY BE

♪ THE FUNK'S ON ME ♪

- WELL, THE WHOLE MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION THEORY

WAS BASICALLY THAT BLACK PEOPLEWERE THE FIRST ALIENS,

AND IT TIED INTO GEORGE'S WHOLEALIEN CULTURE--

THEORIES AND MINDSETTHAT HE WAS WAY INTO.

SO HE BASICALLY TOOKTHE WHOLE EASTER ISLAND

AND ALL THESE VARIOUS THINGSTHAT--

STONEHENGE, LIKE, WHO--THE PYRAMIDS--

WHO KNOWS WHO BUILTTHESE THINGS, OKAY?

AND HE TIED IT INTO,"I KNOW WHO BUILT 'EM;

"BLACK PEOPLE WHO WERETHE ORIGINAL ALIENS

AND CAME FROM OUTER SPACE,AND, BA-BA-BA."

SO HE CREATED THIS WHOLE THING.

- IN MY CASE, YOU ASK ME WHATMADE ME GO THAT DEEP INTO IT

WITH DIGITAL UNDERGROUND;

I DIDN'T THINK ABOUT IT.

I JUST AM A PRODUCT OF IT.

I'M A CLONE OF DR. FUNKENSTEIN.

THAT'S IN ME,YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

THAT'S IN ME JUST AS MUCH AS"CHECK, ONE, TWO, ONE, TWO," IS.

SO I CAN'T HELP IT.THAT'S JUST HOW I THINK.

"ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE,

FREE YOUR MIND,YOUR ASS WILL FOLLOW."

I WAS BRANDED BY THAT.

- OF ALL THE GREAT RECORDSTHAT P-FUNK HAD CREATED,

NONE OF THEM HAD A BIGGER IMPACTON THE NEXT GENERATION

THAN FLASH LIGHT.

- FLASH LIGHT--

WHEN THAT WOULD COME ON,THAT WAS A GAME CHANGER.

YOU KNOW, THE SECONDTHAT WOULD COME ON.

- TELL ME, WHAT WAS IT ABOUT FLASH LIGHT THAT WAS UNIQUE?

- FLASH LIGHT IS JUST LIKE--

AND TO THIS DAY, I STILL DON'TKNOW WHAT I'M HEARING.

LIKE, IT'S--I'M A MUSICIAN.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M HEAR--

I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S VOCALS.I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S SYNTH.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S BASS BEINGPLAYED THROUGH A MU-TRON.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENINGON THAT TRACK.

AND THAT SAYS A LOT,YOU KNOW.

IT'S--THERE'S--THERE'S A MAGIC--THERE'S SOME--

THERE'S SOME MAGIC [bleep]ON THERE THAT'S INCREDIBLE.

- ♪ FLASH LIGHT

- COME ON, Y'ALL,GET IT UP ON THAT GROOVE.

GIVE ME SOME GUITAROVER HERE.

- ♪FLASH LIGHT ♪

- I WANT Y'ALL TO GET OFFYOUR ASS NOW.

GET UP OUT IT, SAY--

- ♪ FLASH LIGHT

- WHAT YOU SAY?

- ♪ FLASH LIGHT

- BOOTSY HAD THIS TRACK,BUT HE DIDN'T WANT IT.

AND HE GAVE IT--HE SAID,"GEORGE, YOU TAKE IT."

AND SO--THAT'S WHAT GEORGE SAYS.

- [laughs]

- SO...

YOU LISTEN TO IT, AND EVERYTHINGELSE IS ME ON THAT RECORD

EXCEPT FOR THE VOCALS.

- YOU DID ALL THE INSTRUMENTS?

- YES, EXCEPT FOR THE GUITARAND DRUMS,

A SAXOPHONE SOLO,AND VOCALS.

I REMEMBER DOING THE BASS LINE,

THERE'S TWO OTHERMOOG SYNTH--

SO THAT'S THREE MOOGS,AND THE STRINGS--

PLAYING HARP--STRING ENSEMBLE SYNTH.

SO THE STRINGS,THREE SYNTHESIZERS,

AND THE REST IS VOCALS.

- WHEN YOU PUT IT ON LOUD ANDYOU'RE IN THE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE

AND SOMEONE'S HAD--A 16-YEAR-OLD,

AND THE--YOUR ASS JUST STARTSTO MOVE.

- WHEN FLASH LIGHT WAS OUT,

THERE WAS PARTIES WHERE FLASH LIGHT WOULD GET PLAYED

EVERY OTHER RECORDOR EVERY THREE RECORDS

ALL NIGHT.

THAT WAS A HOT RECORD.

I'VE ONLY EXPERIENCED, LIKE,THREE OR FOUR RECORDS

IN MY LIFETIMETHAT WAS THAT HOT.

- THE SUCCESS OF THE P-FUNK MOB

WAS PART OF A WAVE OF FUNK BANDSTHAT WOULD HAVE MAJOR HITS,

BE MUSICALLY ADVENTUROUS,

AND HAVE DYNAMIC STAGE SHOWS:

KOOL AND THE GANG,OUT OF NEW JERSEY,

B.T. EXPRESS

AND BRASS CONSTRUCTIONOUT OF BROOKLYN,

THE BAR-KAYS OUT OF MEMPHIS,

BROTHERS JOHNSON AND WAROUT OF LOS ANGELES,

THEN TONS OF BANDSSTARTED IN ONE CITY

AND MOVED TO OTHERS.

MAZE FEATURING FRANKIE BEVERLY

MOVED FROM PHILADELPHIATO THE BAY AREA,

CAMEO RELOCATED FROMNEW YORK TO ATLANTA.

TWO OF THE BIGGEST BANDSOF THE ERA

MADE LOS ANGELES THEIR BASEOF OPERATIONS:

THE COMMODORESCOMING FROM TUSKEGEE,

AND EARTH, WIND AND FIREFROM CHICAGO.

EARTH, WIND AND FIREBROUGHT FUNK

AS CLOSE TO ELEGANCEAS IT COULD COME.

- ♪ YOU'RE A SHINING STAR ♪

♪ NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE

♪ SHINING BRIGHT TO SEE

♪ WHAT YOU CAN TRULY BE

♪ YOU'RE A SHINING STAR ♪

♪ NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE

♪ SHINING BRIGHT TO SEE

♪ WHAT YOU CAN TRULY BE

♪ SHINING STAR FOR YOU TO SEE

♪ WHAT YOUR LIFE CAN TRULY BE

- I TALK ABOUT THISALL THE TIME, LIKE,

YOU KNOW, YOU GOT--YOU KIND OFHAVE, LIKE, YOUR GUYS

WHO ARE--YOU'RE EITHER A ROLLINGSTONES GUY OR A BEATLES GUY,

AND EVEN THOUGH YOU LOVETHE ROLLING STONES,

YOU KNOW, YOU KIND OF LEANTOWARD THE BEATLES.

SO IT'S KIND OF THE SAME THINGWITH EARTH, WIND AND FIRE

AND PARLIAMENT-FUNKADELIC.

EITHER YOU'RE AN EARTH, WIND ANDFIRE GUY, OR YOU'RE FUNKADELIC.

AND I LOVE EARTH, WIND AND FIRE.

I LOVE EARTH, WIND AND FIRE,BUT I'M DEFINITELY A FUNKADELIC.

BUT EARTH, WIND AND FIRE, TO ME,

THE--JUST THE WHOLE--

THE AFRO-CUBAN THINGAND, YOU KNOW,

THE AFROCENTRIC, AND JUST TO ME,THE MYSTICISM.

I USED TO SIT AND, LIKE, STAREAT ALL 'N ALL,

FOR, LIKE--FOR HOURS,

JUST LOOKING AT THE PYRAMIDSAND ALL THAT STUFF.

AND MY FASCINATION WITH ITTO THIS DAY CAN BE STEMMED BACK

TO LOOKING AT THOSE ALBUM COVERSBACK IN THE DAY.

- EARTH, WIND AND FIREWAS BILL COSBY.

P-FUNK WAS RICHARD PRYOR.

BOTH COMEDIC GENIUSES.

BUT THAT WAS--THAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE.

EARTH, WIND--AND THEY WERE BOTHTALKING ABOUT COSMOLOGY,

BUT IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

- THERE WAS A WHOLE THINGWITH EARTH, WIND AND FIRE.

THEY WERE FOCUSED ON EGYPT.

THERE WAS A KIND OF EGYPTOLOGYAND PYRAMID POWER,

THE PAST AND THE FUTUREBEING COLLAPSED.

YOU KNOW, THAT--THAT WASA BIG--A BIG PART OF IT.

- IT'S ABOUT THE BELIEF THATWE OWE OUR DEBT TO OTHER PEOPLE

AND THAT THE WORLDHAS TO BE BROUGHT TOGETHER

IN A MULTI-RACIAL FASHION.

THE IRONY IS, OUT OF FUNK MUSIC

EMERGES A KIND OF SYNTHETIC,COLLAGIST APPROACH

WHERE THINGS ARE BROUGHTTOGETHER.

THINK ABOUT EARTH, WIND AND FIRE IT'S ALL ABOUT LOVE.

WE INTO ASTROLOGY AND MYSTICISMAND WORLD RELIGION, YA DIG?

SO THAT WAS ACTUALLY PROPHETIC,

AND THAT WAS PRETTY RADICALAND CUTTING-EDGE,

BECAUSE YOU'RE SPEAKING TO THESE

DEEPLY CHRISTIANIZEDBLACK PEOPLE

WHOSE MODERNIST WORLD VIEWSARE BEING CHALLENGED

BY THIS AFRO-FUTURISM,

WHICH IS PROJECTINGOUR BLACKNESS INTO SPACE.

- A LEADER IN CHANGINGTHE LOOK OF FUNK

WAS A VOCAL TRIO FROMMY HOMETOWN OF PHILADELPHIA

WHO WENT FROM THE BLUE BELLESTO LABELLE.

- WE HAD STARTED WEARING

SPACE-INFLUENCED CLOTHINGBY LARRY LEGASPI,

AND FOR THAT PARTICULAR NIGHT,

WE WANTED TO--

I GUESS IT'S CALLED"EARLY BRANDING."

WE DID THIS SHOW ATTHE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE

CALLED--AND WE SAID,"WEAR SOMETHING SILVER,"

AND WE HAD NUNS IN SILVER.

PEOPLE PAINTEDTHEIR HORSES SILVER,

HAD SILVER DRAWN CARRIAGES.

SALVADOR DALI CAME.

I MEAN, IT WAS REALLYA BIG NIGHT.

- ONE OF THE KEY FIGURESIN FUNK STYLE

IS A GAY FILIPINO MANNAMED LARRY LEGASPI.

WHO WAS A STYLIST FOR--

INITIALLY HE DEVELOPEDLABELLE'S LOOK,

THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL-LOOKINGSCI-FI WOMEN SINGERS,

THAT WAS THEN ADOPTED, AND HE--

IT WENT ON WHEN GEORGE CLINTON'SOUTFITS, AND P-FUNK'S OUTFITS

GOT MORE ELABORATE--LEGASPI DID THAT.

HE ALSO WENT ON--HE WORKED ALSO WITH KISS,

ON THE ROCK SIDE.

BUT THIS ID--IT'S INTERESTING,THE THINK ABOUT FUNK,

THAT IT EMBRACED FREAKINESS,THE OUTSIDERNESS.

SO YOU HAVE A, YOU KNOW,A GAY FILIPINO MAN

WHO'S UNHERALDED IN A SENSE,BUT WHO IS A CENTRAL PART

OF CREATING THE LOOK OF FUNKIN THE '70s.

[upbeat funk guitar]

- THE SAMPLING OF FUNK BEATSBY HIP-HOP ARTISTS

CREATED A NEW DYNAMICACROSS MUSICAL GENERATIONS.

- BUT SOONER OR LATER,SOMEBODY COMES ALONG...

[beat boxing]

AND TAKES IT BACK TO--

BACK TO SQUARE ONEWITH THE SIMPLICITY.

IT ALWAYS GONNA DO THAT.

AND WHEN IT COMES,PEOPLE ARE GONNA SAY,

"THAT--WHAT'S THAT--

AND THAT--WHAT IS THAT?WHAT IS THAT?"

IT'S THE NEW [bleep].

JAMES BROWN, P-FUNK,

THEN ALL THE SONGSTHAT HAD THAT RAW,

UNPROCESSED.

'CAUSE YOU HAVEA LOT OF ROOM LEFT

SO YOU CAN PROCESS IT YOURSELF.

- FUNKADELIC HAVE A SONG CALLED GOOD OLD FUNKY MUSIC

THAT, YOU KNOW, HAD, LIKE, A...

[laid back funk beat]

SO IT WAS JUST A SIMPLE--

JUST A SIMPLE,STRIPPED-DOWN BEAT,

BUT THE WAY THEY RECORDED IT,THEY JUST--

IT SOUNDED MONSTER TO US.

YOU KNOW, WE HEARD THAT,AND IT WAS LIKE,

YOU KNOW, "OH, MY GOD."

WE COULD NOT BELIEVEOUR HEADPHONES.

WE COULDN'T BELIEVETHE SPEAKERS.

IT LITERALLY COULDSHAKE THE ROOM.

AND THEN I THINK, YOU KNOW,

THEN HIP-HOP ARTISTSLIKE OURSELVES

HAD THE IDEA OF, LIKE,GETTING A HOLD OF THOSE THINGS

AND THEN, OKAY,TURNING THE BASS WAY UP

OR ADD--OR DOUBLING UPA KICK DRUM,

OR CHOPPING IT UP TO MAKE IT

EVEN MOVE,

OR MAKE IT EVEN CRUNCHEVEN HARDER.

- AS ART, FUNKY DRUMMER ISTHE MOST IMPORTANT HIP-HOP BREAK

IN HIP-HOP'S STRATOSPHERE.

BUT I FEEL AS THOUGH THE--THE ACTUAL HEART OF HIP-HOP

LIES WITHIN IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT

BY A GROUP CALLEDTHE HONEY DRIPPERS.

[laid back hip-hop beat]

BEAT BOXERS BEAT BOX IT...

[beat boxing]

IT'S VERY EASY.ANYBODY CAN DO THAT.

I MEAN, IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT IS--

I MEAN, THAT IS BLACK MUSIC'S...

WE WILL ROCK YOU.

LIKE, JUST THAT--THAT INSTANTANEOUS,

"I KNOW THAT DRUM BREAK."

- PART OF THE FUNK, ESPECIALLYBACK THEN WHEN I FIRST CAME OUT,

IT WAS REALLY ABOUT...

ITS CONNECTION THROUGH HIP-HOP,YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

SO KIND OF LIKE,IN THAT LINEAGE,

IS HOW WE WERE REACHING IT.

AND SO BY THE TIMEI DID VOODOO,

WHEREAS IT'S--WE'RE KIND OF, LIKE,

NOT LEANING AS HEAVYONTO THE HEAD NOD THING,

WEED-SMOKING, HEAD NOD,HIP-HOP THING,

BUT IT WAS GETTINGMORE ELEMENTAL.

- I CREDIT SAMPLING ANYWAY.

I KNOW THERE'S GONNA BEA GREAT DEAL OF CONTROVERSY,

BUT I'M GONNA CREDIT SAMPLING,

'CAUSE, YOU KNOW,SAMPLING TOOK THAT ESSENCE,

TOOK THAT RAWNESS OF THE FUNK

AND THEN PUT THATBACK ON THE RADIO,

WHERE IT HAD BEEN MISSING.

- I WOULD DEFINITELYCREDIT THIS TO HIP-HOP,

AND, UH...

YOU KNOW, THE WEST COAST--

THE G-FUNK TYPE THING,

BECAUSE THOSE CATS RELIGIOUSLYARE [bleep] WITH THE FUNK.

THEY'RE NOT [bleep] AROUND.

EVERY TIME I GO TO CALI, THAT'SALL I HEAR IN THE STREETS.

AND SNOOP AND DREAND ALL THOSE GROUPS OUT THERE,

I MEAN, THAT'S ALL THEY DO--THEY SAMPLE ROGER.

THEY SAMPLING CAMEO.

SAMPLE ALL THE OLDP-FUNK STUFF.

- EVERYTHING WAS UP FOR GRABS.

JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH,J.B.'S, WHATEVER.

YOU KNOW, IT WAS KIND OF LIKETHEN, AFTER 1989,

YOU COULD NEVER SAMPLE ANOTHERJAMES BROWN RECORD AGAIN,

BECAUSE YOU'D HEARD IT SO--

YOU'VE HEARD SO MANY THINGSTHAT WERE JUST

MINED AND USEDFOR SO MANY HIP-HOP TRACKS

AT A CERTAIN POINT, YOU KNOW?

SO, YOU KNOW, YOU HAD TO GET INON THE GROUND FLOOR.

- THE SAMPLING OF FUNK BEATSBY HIP-HOP ARTISTS

CREATED A NEW DYNAMICACROSS MUSICAL GENERATIONS.

- I WAS IN ANDRE HARRELL'SOFFICE,

AND PUFFY CAME IN AND SAID,

"TUMES, MAN, I DIDN'T KNOWYOU WERE HERE."

HE SAID, "LOOK, I HAVE THISARTIST I WANT YOU TO--

YOU KNOW, I WANT YOU TO MEET,"

HE SAID, "'CAUSE I WANT TO DOA SAMPLE OF JUICY FRUIT."

SO HE CAME IN,AND IT WAS BIGGIE.

SO WE MET--REALLY, MAN,

REALLY NICE YOUNG MAN.

I MEAN, I REALLY DUG BIGGIE,MAN,

AND THEN HE THANKED MEFOR CLEARING--

GIVING CLEARANCE,'CAUSE THEY WERE HAVING TROUBLE

GETTING RECORDS CLEARED.

AND THAT WAS THE BRIDGEINTO THE NEXT GENERATION.

- THEY WOULD JUST BUY THE GEARAND START FIGURING--

FIGURING IT OUT.

THEY STARTED FIGURING OUTHOW TO MAKE MUSIC.

THEY WOULD START SAMPLING.

THEY'D SAY, "WELL,I'LL TAKE GOOD TIMES,

"SINCE THAT ALREADY WORKS,AND I'LL TAKE THAT,

"PUT IT IN MY LITTLE SAMPLERAND MAKE A LITTLE GROOVE

OUT OF GOOD TIMES,"AND I WAS LIKE--

AND ALL OF A SUDDEN MY WHOLEPERSPECTIVE ON IT CHANGED,

BECAUSE I REALIZED THAT THEY--

THEY WISH THAT THEY COULD'VEHAD THE KNOWLEDGE.

- PEOPLE WHO MAKE RECORDS,

LIKE, DJs WHO MAKE RECORDS,

THEY HAVE TO BUY VINYL,BUY RECORDS,

AND FIND LITTLE SNIPPETSTHAT THEY LIKE, AND EDIT.

I DON'T HAVE TO BUY NOTHIN'.

YOU KNOW, I BOUGHT THIS IN 1977,YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

AND I-I CAN DO IT.BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

HEY, THEY STOPPED TEACHINGPEOPLE HOW TO PLAY INSTRUMENTS.

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? PEOPLEAREN'T GONNA STOP BEING CREATIVE

JUST 'CAUSE YOU TAKE AWAYTHEIR TOOLS.

- EVERYTHING IN THE '80sBECAME--

YOU KNOW, WITH TECHNOLOGY,YOU KNOW,

EVERYONE WANTED TO HAVETHIS VERY EXPANSIVE SOUND,

THIS BIG, LUSH,TONS OF REVERBS, EVERYTHING,

BIG SNARE DRUM SOUND,

EVERYTHING, YOU KNOW,PERFECT FOR THE RADIO.

IT WAS ALL ABOUT GETTINGON THE RADIO.

FUNK MUSIC INVOLVES JAMMING,

AND IT, REALLY, YOU KNOW,

INVOLVES, LIKE,BEING IN A REHEARSAL STUDIO

WITH A BUNCH OF GUYS,A GUITAR PLAYER,

BASS PLAYER, DRUMMER,

YOU KNOW, BRASS SECTION,WHATEVER.

THAT BECOME--YOU KNOW, THERE'S NOT--

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH--THAT JUST ISN'T AROUND.

YOU KNOW, IT'S ALSO EXPENSIVETO DO THAT, YOU KNOW,

REHEARSING AND GETTING

A REAL DRUMMER IN THEREWITH A BASS PLAYER.

IT'S EASY JUST TO PROGRAM IT,YOU KNOW.

SO THAT'S ONE--THAT'S KIND OF KILLED IT OFF.

- I REALLY THINK THATTHE TECHNOLOGY,

IN A WAY, KILLED THE FUNK BAND,

WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT I--YOU KNOW, I REALLY BELIEVE

THAT ONCE A LOT OF THOSE BANDSSTARTED USING DRUM MACHINES

AND REPLACING THE DRUMMERS,

I THINK THEY LOST--A LOT OF THEM LOST THEIR WAY.

I MEAN, SOME OF THEM,LIKE CAMEO,

THEY MADE A SOUND OUT OF IT.

BUT SOME OF THE OTHERSDIDN'T MAKE A SOUND.

WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DOWITH PLANET ROCK,

IT WAS GO IN A DIFFERENTDIRECTION,

WHICH WAS SOMETHING WE WANTEDTO TAKE THE EUROPEAN THING

OF KRAFTWERKAND BRING IT TO THE BRONX.

SO BASICALLY, IT WOULDN'THAVE WORKED WITH A DRUMMER,

'CAUSE THAT WASN'TWHAT THE SOUND WAS.

WE WANTED SOMETHINGVERY PRECISE, VERY CLEAN.

THEY WEREN'T REALLY INTERESTEDIN ANYTHING BUT THE FUNKY BEAT,

THE BREAK,

AND THAT'S WHY,WHEN WE WENT TO DO KRAFTWERK,

WHEN WE WENT TO DO PLANET ROCKAND WE USED THE KRAFTWERK BEAT,

IT WAS VERY SPECIFICTHAT THEY WANTED THAT BEAT

REPEATED OVER AND OVER,

AND A DRUMMER REALLY COULDN'TGET THAT, I DON'T THINK.

YOU KNOW, THAT--THAT--IT'S VERY DIFFICULT.

- YOU KNOW, ALL THE DRUMMERS,THEY WERE CALLING ME,

"OH, MY GOD, AREN'T YOU SCARED?WE'RE NOT GONNA HAVE A GIG."

I'M LIKE, "NO, WE JUSTINCORPORATE THE DRUM MACHINE,

"AND WE PLAY--FIND THAT SPACE,

"AND THEN FIND WHERE WE CANINCORPORATE TECHNOLOGY

WITH WHAT WE DO--LIVE WITH,YOU KNOW, DRUM MACHINES."

YOU KNOW, YOU GOTTO FIGURE IT OUT.

SO I THINK IT GOTTO A POINT WHERE

SOME PEOPLE COULDN'T AFFORDTO BRING OUT THESE BANDS,

AND AFTER A WHILE, IF THEYWEREN'T SELLING RECORDS,

IT GOT TO A POINT WHEREYOU HAD TO, YOU KNOW,

PUT FIVE ACTS ON ONE SHOWIN ORDER TO SELL THE TICKETS.

SO, YOU KNOW,THE ECONOMY CHANGED.

A LOT HAD TO DO WITH IT,YOU KNOW?

- ♪ DA-DA-DA, DA-DA-DA-DA

♪ DA-DA-DA, DA-DA-DA-DA,BIP, BIP ♪

♪ DA-DA-DA,DA-DA-DA-DA, BIP, BIP ♪

♪ DA-DA-DA, DA-DA-DA-DA

COME ON, TURN IT AROUND!

♪ DA, DA-DA-DA

♪ DA,DA-DA-DA♪

♪ DA, DA-DA

♪ BA

THANK YOU!

- HE EMERGEDOUT OF THE FROZEN NORTH

FROM A PLACE THAT SEEMEDTOO FRIGID FOR FUNK,

BUT PRINCE WOULD NOT ONLYHAVE MASSIVE HITS,

BUT FOUNDED A MOVEMENTOUT OF MINNEAPOLIS.

BETWEEN HIS PROTEGESLIKE THE TIME AND SHEILA E,

DISCIPLES LIKE PRODUCERSJIMMY JAM AND TERRY LEWIS,

AND IMITATORS FROM OTHER CITIES,

LIKE DETROIT'SREADY FOR THE WORLD,

PRINCE'S SOUND DOMINATEDTHE '80s,

AND CONTINUES TO REIGN.

- SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE,

GEORGE CLINTONPARLIAMENT-FUNKADELIC,

ALL THEY WERE DOINGWAS TAKING BLACK MUSIC

AND ADDING ALL THESE "HIPPIE"ELEMENTS TO IT,

OR, AT THAT TIME,PSYCHEDELIC.

SO PRINCE AND THE TIME--THEY WERE KIND OF--

THEY WERE DOING THE SAME THING,

EXCEPT THE ELEMENTSTHAT THEY WERE BRINGING IN

WERE NEW WAVE, NEW ROMANTIC,

THAT WHOLE THING THAT WASGOING ON IN EUROPE AND ALL THAT,

ADAM ANT TYPE [bleep],

AND THEY WERE BRINGING THATINTO, YOU KNOW,

RHYTHM AND BLUES AND FUNK,OR WHAT HAVE YOU.

SO IT WAS KIND OFTHE SAME THING.

- REAL CLEVER SONGWRITING.

I MEAN, HE CAN COPYAND NEVER USE THE SAME CHORDS.

HE GOT A REAL GOOD--

HE CAN DO PURPLE RAIN,IF YOU WENT AND DID...

♪ PURPLE RAIN, PURPLE RAIN

IT'S COUNTRY-WESTERN AS HELL,

BUT YOU DON'TRELATE IT TO THAT,

BECAUSE HE PUT A NICEJIMI HENDRIX

PRETTY TONE OVER ITON THE GUITAR,

WHICH IS REALLY SLICK.

- WELL, THE THING IS,IS HE CREATED HIS OWN SOUND,

YOU KNOW, JUST LIKE JAMESAND SLY AND EVERYONE ELSE

CREATED THEIR OWN SOUND.

THAT SOUND WAS, IF HE--

IF ALL HE KNEW WAS TO PLAY--

'CAUSE HE PRODUCED AND WROTEAND PLAYED EVERYTHING HIMSELF--

WELL, SUPPOSEDLY HE DOESN'TPLAY HORNS,

SO IF HE PLAYED KEYBOARDS,HE'S GONNA HAVE HORN SOUNDS.

HE DID EVERYTHING HIMSELF,

SO THAT'S WHY THE SOUNDSOUNDED LIKE THAT.

HE DIDN'T KILL THE HORNS.

HE WANTED TO PLAYEVERYTHING HIMSELF,

SO OBVIOUSLY, "WELL,I'M GONNA GET A HORN PATCH,

AND THIS IS WHAT I WOULD PLAYIF I HAD HORNS."

AND THEN WHEN HE COULD AFFORDTO HAVE HORN PLAYERS,

THEN HE BROUGHT IN HORN PLAYERSAND PLAYED--

I MEAN, HE'S A GREAT--MAKING UP HORN LINES--

INCREDIBLE.FUNKY.

HE EXPERIMENTED.HE USED DIFFERENT SOUNDS.

SOME RECORDS, HE DIDN'T USEANY BASS AT ALL.

THAT WAS UNHEARD OF.

SO HE'S LIKE,"THERE'S NO LIMIT."

- PRINCE'S FUNK IS ALL ABOUT,YOU KNOW,

DEEP SNARES, AND IF HE DOES--

DOES USE A CRACK SNARE,HE TURNS THE SNARE OFF.

SO HIS THING--HIS THING'S MORE ABOUT...

[clanky, driving beat]

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?LIKE, IT'S MORE--

IT'S A DRIVING FUNK.

- I ALWAYS PUT IT THIS WAY:

WHAT I RECOGNIZED WHENI WAS FIRST AROUND PRINCE

AND WOULD COME TO REHEARSALSAND SOUND CHECKS AND SO ON,

WAS THAT WHENEVER HE WANTEDTO JAM AND JUST HAVE FUN,

INEVITABLY HE WOULD CALLA JAMES BROWN TUNE.

HE MIGHT PLAY BODY HEATFOR AN HOUR AND A HALF,

OR IT'S TOO FUNKY IN HERE.

THOSE WERE TWO OF HIS FAVORITESTHAT HE WOULD JUST JAM ON,

AND HE'D--HE'D PLAY GUITARFOR TEN MINUTES,

THEN HE'D SIT DOWN,HE'D GO OVER TO BOBBIE Z

AND GET HIM UPAND HE'D PLAY THE DRUMS.

AND THIS JAM WOULDJUST GO ON FOREVER

TO THE POINT WHERE THE CREWAND EVERYBODY WAS, LIKE,

LOOKING AT THEIR WATCHES, LIKE,"ALL RIGHT, ALREADY, LET'S GO.

WE WANT TO GO HOME, EAT DINNER."

AND WE'D JUST--REHEARSAL WOULDGO ON AND ON AND ON,

AND HE WAS HAVING A BLAST.

MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME WEREVERY MUCH HIS FUNK ALTER EGO.

YOU KNOW, CERTAINLY PRINCETRADEMARKED A BRAND OF FUNK

THAT WAS FRESH--SONICALLY FRESH.

- THE ONLY THING THAT IS ONTHE ONE IN 777-9311

IS THE HANDCLAP.

EVERYTHING ELSEIS ALL OVER THE ONE.

LIKE, IT'S ALMOST AS IFTHE SILENCE OF THE ONE

IS THE FUNK,

AND THE FACT THATTHAT SONG

WAS A TOP TEN HIT

AND DIGESTIBLE--

EASILY DIGESTIBLE--

IT'S BAFFLING TO ME.

- FOR MANY YOUNGERBLACK MUSICIANS,

PRINCE WAS THE BRIDGEBETWEEN FUNK'S TRADITIONS

AND THE NEWTECHNOLOGY SAVVY SOUND.

INDIE FUNKSTER DAM FUNKSTUDIED RECORDS LIKE 1999

TO CREATE WHAT HE CALLS"MODERN FUNK."

- THAT'S WHAT I'M TRYINGTO TAKE, MODERN FUNK--

I'LL CALL IT MODERN FUNK,BECAUSE WE CONTINUING IT.

I WANT TO TRY TO BRINGBEAUTIFUL MUSIC

ALONG WITH THE STREET BEATON THE BOTTOM.

THE PROGRESSION OF FUNKWAS DYING.

WE HAD A LOT OF TRIBUTE BANDS.

I'M NOT MADAT THE TRIBUTE BANDS.

THEY'RE VERY TALENTED,YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING,

BUT I'M NOT A RETRO ARTIST.

I'M NOT UP THERE GOING BACKTO 1969.

- DAM'S LOVE OF FUNK LED HIMTO CREATE A LONG-RUNNING PARTY

CALLED FUNKMOSPHERE.

IT SERVES L.A.'S VIBRANTUNDERGROUND SCENE.

STEVE ARRINGTONWAS SO INSPIRED BY DAM

THAT HE COLLABORATED WITH HIM

ON HIS FIRST NEW TRACKSIN OVER 20 YEARS.

[cheers and applause]

[mellow funk music]

D'ANGELO, TO ME,

IS ONE OF THE MOST...

AWE-INSPIRING TORCHBEARERSOF FUNK THAT I'VE EVER KNOWN.

WE'RE BROTHERS IN FUNK.

AND I'LL SAY THATMAKING THE VOODOO RECORD

WAS, LIKE, ONE OF THE MOSTENLIGHTENING,

EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCESI'VE EVER HAD.

I MEAN, THAT CHANGED THE WAY

THAT I THOUGHT ABOUT RECORDING.

THAT CHANGED THE WAY THATI THOUGHT ABOUT ENGINEERING.

I MEAN, YOU LISTEN TO MY WORKPRE- VOODOO AND POST- VOODOO,

AND YOU CAN SEE THE DIFFERENCE.

I MEAN, VOODOO WAS COLLEGE.

- WHEN D. SITS DOWN AT A PIANO,IT'S NOBODY BUT D.

AND, YEAH,THERE'S JAMES BROWN IN IT.

THERE'S PRINCE IN IT.

THERE'S SLY IN IT.THERE'S GEORGE IN IT.

BECAUSE HOW CAN THERE NOT BE

IF YOU'VE LISTENEDTO THIS MUSIC GROWING UP?

THERE'S CERTAINLY A HIP-HOPINFLUENCE PERSPECTIVE

TO HIS MUSICTHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE, AND...

THAT'S THE THING THAT I THINKSTANDS ALONE WITH D'ANGELO

AS OPPOSED TO EVERYBODY ELSE.

THERE'S CERTAINLY OTHERSWHO HAVE TOUCHED ON IT,

BUT I DON'T THINK ANYBODY ELSEHAS SO COMFORTABLY MERGED

THE CLASSIC ELEMENTSOF R&B AND FUNK

WITH THE HIP-HOP INFLUENCETHE WAY D. HAS,

AND THAT'S WHY IT'S FRESHAND CONTEMPORARY.

- ♪SAID I LEFT MY MOJO ♪

♪ LEFT MY MOJOIN MY FAVORITE SUIT ♪

♪ YES, I DID, YEAH

♪ SHE LEFT A STAIN

♪ LEFT A DIRTY STAININ MY HEART ♪

♪ I CAN'T REFUTE ♪

♪ NO, I CAN'T,NO, I CAN'T ♪

♪ SHE WORKED A ROOT, OH, OH

Y'ALL SING WITH ME.

♪ IN THE NAME OF LOVE

SING!

[cheers and applause]

♪ END OF TIME

♪ OH, OH

- IT IS SOME 60 YEARS AFTERJAMES BROWN MADE "ON THE ONE"

A MUSICAL COMMANDMENT,

YET FUNK STILL CONTINUESTO MOVE FEET AND BOOTIES.

WHAT IS ITS LEGACY?

- WELL, I THINK FUNKIS EVERYWHERE

AND NOWHERE AT THE SAME TIME.

IT'S UBIQUITOUS IN THAT

IT STILL PROVIDES THE RECIPE

FOR THE MUSICAL ORIENTATION.

THAT IS, WE HAVE NOT QUITEGONE OUTSIDE

OF THE FORMULA THAT JAMES BROWN

AND SLY STONE HAVE GIVENAROUND SYNCOPATION,

AROUND THE ONE.

THOSE THINGS ARE SO DEEPLYENTRENCHED,

NOT ONLY IN BLACK MUSIC,BUT IN AMERICAN POP MUSIC,

THAT YOU CAN'T GET RID OF IT.

- THE PILLARS OF THATDANCE MUSIC IS FUNK,

WHETHER IT'S VIA SAMPLINGAND TAKING SOMETHING OLD,

OR IT'S JUST INSPIREDAND FUELED BY THAT CONCEPT

OF SOMETHING GRITTY,SOMETHING DIRTY,

SOMETHING THAT'S MAKING THE--

JUST, THE AUDIENCE MOVEAND REACTIVE IN A CERTAIN WAY

THAT'S KIND OF ALMOSTBEYOND A MIND

OR INTELLECTUAL REACTIONTO RECORDS, YOU KNOW.

IT'S JUST THAT WHOLE--

THAT, THE SPIRITOF PUTTING A RECORD ON

AND JUST HAVING A REACTIONOF BODIES MOVE.

THAT--THAT'S GONNA JUSTGO ON AND ON.

- FUNK WILL BETHE GUEST OF HONOR,

BUT IT ALWAYS WILL BRINGSOMEBODY WITH IT.

SO WHAT NAME SHOULD I PUT DOWNTO GET INTO THE CLUB?

FUNK--WELL, FUNK PLUS THREE GUESTS.

IT'S ALWAYS GONNA BE FUNKWITH SOME OTHER FORM RIDING OUT,

AND I THINK WHATEVERFORM THAT IS

MAY SUCCEED IT,BUT IT WILL NEVER ECLIPSE IT,

'CAUSE THE FUNKIS THE FUNDAMENTAL STRUCTURE

OF OUR EXISTENCE WHENWE FIGHT AGAINST NASTINESS

AND WHEN WE CELEBRATEECSTASY AT OUR HEIGHTS.

- MAN'S NATURAL STATE IS FUNK.

IF YOU DON'T WASH,DON'T BRUSH YOUR TEETH,

OR SPLASH ON COLOGNE,YOU WILL BE FUNKY.

SO WHEN WE SAY "FUNK,"

WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUTSIMPLE MUSIC,

BUT THE UNFETTERED ESSENCEOF MEN AND WOMEN.

SO FUNK NEVER DIES.

IT IS ETERNAL.

IT JUST SMELLS A LITTLEDIFFERENT FROM TIME TO TIME.