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George Clinton's trip to the mountaintop

The big payback, why crack is wack, and the future of the Funk


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It is that, but I'd rather not be the one to push it to that length. I'd rather do it the way I feel it. I feel it positively like that for me. But see, I hate to push something for somebody to believe in, 'cause I don't care what it is, it will go through a change somewhere, with somebody plotting to change it and make it bad. 'Cause that's what happened, rock 'n' roll was like that. When you get to — I call it the mountaintop — when you get to that point, you get all kinds of undercover agent-provocateurs pushing in there, next thing you know it's called Jesus Freaks. Then you got all kinda folks selling drugs; before that it was just share, share.

Then you got to start watching out for the brown acid, know what I'm saying? People freaking out and the stories start coming around. Then you get a [Charles] Manson and everything was all of a sudden Jesus Freaks. You can tell when something's being thrown into the game. And I'd hate for Funk to get to that point where folks start doing that.

Do you feel like you've been unsung, or typical of the acts that have been on the TV show "Unsung?"

No, I don't feel like I've been unsung, and I don't feel typical, either. We agreed to do the show 'cause we're trying to get a word out on behalf of the band members and all the writers of the group. We have a lot of stuff out, a lot of stuff that's been sampled. Of course, millions of dollars have been made, but band members have not been getting the money for it. There's something called royalty-free usage of our material. That's how they're using it. Universal made deals with the publisher, which is Bridgeport Music.

We have a long history of not getting paid from Bridgeport Music. Just recently Gary Shider passed away, and his whole family had to sign away rights to this guy [Armen Boladian] just to get money so they could save Shider's house just before he died. I mean this guy's been doing this stuff for some time.

So we did this "Unsung" because we figured this was a way that we could at least tell some of the story. Everybody knows the history, a lot of the paperwork is bullshit and the paper trail leads nowhere. But the fact that somebody went through all of that effort to [falsify] all of these papers is enough to let people know that all of this money's out there.

So tell me about this album that you're working on?

We're putting together a box set. And we also have all the stuff that we've been working on since we've been working on this case. It's gonna be kinda late, but we're gonna have some of this stuff available for download. Some of it's going to be available for Christmas. But it's going to be all the stuff that we've been working on over the years that didn't come out. A lotta new stuff that we're recording right now. A lotta stuff me and Sly are doing right now. And a couple of albums that's hot as hell, and we're catching hell, like I say, from them record companies that are trying to block it.

Tell me about the stuff that you're doing with Sly right now?

Oh, that's some baaad shit. Really good stuff. I do something on it, he'll do something on it. And we were doing a lot of stuff for hip-hoppers, we're doing hooks and thangs to throw something on it. The one person that we're really trying to hook up with is Mystikal. We wrote some hooks for him, and some songs with us and him. But Sly is coming with some insane ass songs.

Do you still remember the first time you got introduced to Sly?


What was that like?

There's a book out about it. Matter fact, I think I did the forward to the book [I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly and the Family Stone]. The first thing I say is David Kapralik, who used to be our and Sly's manager, took me to see him at the Electric Circus in New York. You get that, you'll see what it was like.

I think I did read that. Those were some wild times.


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