Friday, September 04, 2009

George Clinton, & Parliament Funkadelic at Portland's Crystal Ballroom

Been busy and the resting from the busy, but I'm back now!

No flash photography allowed. We were at least 100 feet from the stage, in low light. I tried some on auto, some on manual--I lost track of which ones are which, although I know this first one is a manual shot. Wearing bifocals makes it so hard for me to take manual photos, especially in such low light conditions and from this distance.

My friend from work Sarah knew just what to do to get us good seats--there are only a few rows on the balcony, so she took off up the stairs. Here's our view from our seats on the front row, balcony, down onto the Crystal Ballroom's suspended dance floor as the crowd gathers for what turned out to be three hours of brilliant, loud, funk. The lady in center, on the right side of the barricade, wearing the gold hat with the big bow, looks ready for a great night out!
To the right of the double row of barricades, over 21, to the left, under 21. The balcony is over 21 as well.

Before getting in line, we ate a quick supper at Ringlers, on the first floor beneath the Crystal Ballroom which is on the third floor, I think. Mama called me right about 7:25 p.m., just before we got in line for the concert, to say, "They said they'll play till the lights are turned out. I just saw 'em on TV. And they're not going to start until 9 p.m.! You're gonna be out real late." I replied, "Yes, ma'am, I am." She said, "Have fun!"

Look what was hanging right in front of us!


Finally, you can almost recognize George in this one--he's in the middle of the stage, looking to the right. I had others with the rest of the band pretty clear, but George just kept groovin' and being blurry for my camera. Oh, well, I was there for the fine funk!

Not sure at all who this guy is--he danced around in his fur pants and fur hat, after he took off his fur coat.

The guy in the fur pants went into the audience and brought several women on stage to join in the fun.

Last photo of the night, taken around 11:45 p.m. We'd walked down to the under-21 side of the floor in order to get closer to the stage--we thought the concert was almost over, and it seemed like a good idea to get closer to the stairs. It went on for another 30 minutes, so we danced around a bit on the bouncing dance floor--glad I had on my motion-sickness bracelets! I held up the camera and clicked. I think that's George in the center at the bottom.

From the Crystal Ballroom Web site:
Crystal Ballroom, GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC, Tuesday, September 1, 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show, All ages


George Clinton, the Godfather of Funk, was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and is a solo funk artist as of 1981. He has been called one of the most important innovators of funk music, next to James Brown and Sly Stone. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, along with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.

In September of 2008 Clinton released his latest solo album "George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love" on Shanachie Records. Largely a covers album, Gangsters features guest appearances from Sly Stone, El DeBarge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RZA, Carlos Santana, gospel singer Kim Burrell and more.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic tour 200 days out of the year in Europe, Asia, Africa and the USA.

George Clinton is one of the greatest innovators of urban-based soul, rock and funk, and his career mirrors musical trends from doo wop to hip hop. While growing up in New Jersey, George was a teenage fan of Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers. After seeing them perform at a talent show, he decided it was time to get up and do his thing. First as the founding member of the Parliaments, Clinton started recording doo wop sides in the 1950's, followed by a move to Detroit where the group finally hit pay dirt with their Number One R&B hit "(I Just Wanna) Testify" in 1967.

In 1968, George formed Funkadelic, a visionary band that combined acid rock with primal funk. Funkadelic carried the torch for George's creative output until 1972 when, in a stroke of genius, George renamed the band Parliament and signed them to Casablanca Records, while Funkadelic signed with Warner Brothers in 1976.

Clinton now had two powerhouse bands signed to two different labels even though each band consisted of the same members. As George breaks it down, "Parliament was more orchestrated with horns and complicated vocal arrangements while Funkadelic was more a straight up rock band with a heavy rhythm section."

With the growth of funk as a vibrant musical force, George was churning out landmark hits with both acts. Parliament was hitting with dance floor jams like "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)," "Aqua Boogie," "Flashlight," and "Bop Gun." Meanwhile, Funakdelic was also hitting hard with anthemic funk jams like "(Not Just) Knee Deep" and "One Nation Under A Groove."

As the Seventies came to a close, George Clinton soldiered on as a solo act and hit once again with the Number One Urban smash "Atomic Dog." Times and music changed, but Clinton remained true to the funk and recorded a number of acclaimed albums for Prince's Paisley Park imprint as well as Epic Records in the 1980's and '90's. And George and his touring band, the P-Funk All Stars, graced the stage at the Woodstock festival as well as on a popular Nike ad during the 2002 NBA playoffs, and a show stopping live performance with OutKast at the 2004 Grammy Awards.

Visit for more information.

I can't say for sure who all from this long list of names actually appeared on stage Tuesday night. The only one I recognized among the crowd--George himself.

Garry "Starchild" Shider - Rhythm Guitar, vocals
Michael "Kidd Funkadelic" Hampton - Lead Guitar
Cardell "Boogie" Mosson - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Ricardo Rouse - Guitar
Lige Curry - Bass, Vocals
RonKat Spearman - Guitar, Vocals
Frankie "Kash" Waddy - Drums
Joseph "Foley" McCreary - Drums
Rico Lewis - Drums
Jerome Rogers - Keyboards
Michael "Clip" Payne - Keyboards, Vocals
Bennie Cowan - Trumpet
Greg Thomas - Saxophone, vocals
Robert "P-Nut" Johnson - Vocals
Belita Woods - Vocals
Steve Boyd - Vocals
Kimberly Manning - Vocals
Kendra Foster - Vocals
Shonda "Sativa Diva" Clinton - Rap
Carlos "Sir Nose" McMurray - Dancer
Shaunna Hall - Guitar
Gene "Poo Poo Man" Anderson - Vocals
Danny Bedrosian - Keyboards
Tracey Lewis - Rapper & Vocals & Guitar
Paul Hill - Vocals
Mary Griffin - Vocals
Patricia Walker - Vocals


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