CLINTON EYES THE FUTURE
JULY 16, 2009
By ROBERT BIESELIN,
WHO: George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday.
WHERE: bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt St., Englewood; 201-227-1030 or bergenpac.org.
HOW MUCH: $29 to $89.
George Clinton will be the first to admit that his past is a bit hazy a rearview ripe with expansive blind spots formed from some psychedelic merge of pulsing spaceship lights and wafting pot smoke.
The stuff he does remember, though, is as classic as the funked-out albums that soundtracked it: the time he descended from the "Mothership" in a Holiday Inn bedsheet/a diaper/naked the early days in Newark and Plainfield singing doo-wop/working in a barber shop/getting into gang fights the moment he realized funk was the new Motown/hip-hop was the new funk/ taking acid by the handful had rendered it ineffective.
Given what he remembers, it's scary to consider what he's forgotten.
And given both, as well as his musical prophecy, we thought it'd be interesting to see what the wild-haired icon behind Parliament-Funkadelic thinks not of the lost past, but of the future his and everyone else's.
We caught up with the incomparable Dr. Funkenstein prior to his 68th birthday bash at bergenPAC to see if his predictions could possibly be as colorful as his hazy recollections.
Q. What's the next evolution of music?
I've been around long enough to see that things go around and around just with a little twist on it. See, that music that parents or older musicians hear and don't like that new music, to me, is going to be the next big music.
That's what I've always gravitated to taking the Motown to the funk to the hip-hop. I've been lucky enough to not be too far from it when it all lands. I hit there and try to look for the ridiculous.
Q. Will marijuana ever be legal in the U.S.?
Give it three or four more years. I'm thinking they're gonna have to acknowledge it because some [legal drugs] are worse than pot. And the rest is just political if it's good for [medicinal purposes], you gotta realize it's good all around.
Q. Is global warming going to become as serious as some predict?
Yeah, it's becoming too obvious that something is happening.
But me? I'm so far out that I think they are manipulating weather already this ain't natural.
Q. Will there ever be a World War III?
Nah, I'm sure we can work out something economically and politically. There will be skirmishes here and there and they'll sacrifice a country here and there but as for another all-out free-for-all, I don't think they'll let that happen again.
But you never know. One of the small countries that ain't had the chance to catch up, they ain't gonna stand being treated bad anymore if they get a chance to get the Bomb. So we have to be careful about them. You can't stop someone by treating them bad that's gonna make them do something.
Q. How will the world end?
I don't think it'll end, it'll be interrupted, you know like whatever [happened] with the flood. It's always gonna have some paradigm of change that we won't be able to relate to. Maybe it'll be like a "Road Warrior" type of thing or be caused by some biological [event] or some meteorite or asteroid but I'm thinking that other entities are gonna get involved, like [aliens], or maybe they're already involved.
Q. Will God be involved? Do you believe in God?
Oh yeah. I believe in God that entity, whatever you call it, is around. I think everyone means the same entity no matter what their concept of it is.
It's a constant thing like love, because [love's] the only thing that's always around. Everything else is relative and nothing else is certain. What goes up doesn't have to come down anymore and nothing else is definite the rest, beside love, could be virtual
Q. How will you be remembered?
I don't [care] how I'm remembered. I don't even care if they bury me. Just leave me up onstage, because when I'm onstage I don't know where I'm at anyway I can just disappear up there.
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