George Clinton talks about copyright law, reality TV and getting clean

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By Dana Forsythe

BOSTON Just one stop into their 2013 tour, Dr. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic (along with a large chunk of the Northeast) had their plans sidetracked by the biggest snowstorm to hit the Boston area in 10 years. Hardly phased Clinton and co. have rescheduled their House of Blues gig in Boston to Wednesday, (Feb. 13) night.

For over two decades Clinton has been championing copyright law, winning a major lawsuit in 2005, which returned ownership of songs he recorded with Funkadelic in the 70’s. In 2013, Clinton said his goal is to further that cause for others as well as himself.

Clinton’s main opponent has been Bridgeport Music Inc., a company that owns the rights to about 170 songs written by Clinton and other members of his bands. The company has said Clinton signed over his rights to the music in the early 1980’s but Clinton has retorted, saying his signature was forged. The resulting legal battle continues.

At the age of 72, Clinton is still going strong and as busy as ever. In the last year he raised over half a million dollars to restore and preserve his bands’ original recordings and rebuild his studio, was awarded a Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music and launched a legal defense fund for further copyright cases.

This week, he spoke with about the tour, copyright law, being snowed in and getting clean.

WickedLocal: Can you tell me what you hope to accomplish this year in your fight against BMI over copyright law?

George Clinton: We’re getting the word out and we hope to expose the practices of these companies. We launched our site, entirely dedicated to the issue,, to get it out there and share what we’ve been going through. I’m raising my voice for everyone that has been cheated out of royalty checks, including my family, my band members. We’re talking about 30 to 40 people just with me who are missing out on these royalties.

Of course, the record companies have worked for years to keep the system as is and it’s just become harder to fight for our song rights. Companies like BMI have been going after artists for samples they’ve used and it’s not the rappers that are at fault. They’ve had their money taken away; it’s just never got to the right people.

2013 is a big year because it’s the first year many artists will be able to file for termination of these contracts. It’s a huge issue and my goal is get the songs back I and others wrote, get some money back – although I know we won’t get it all back – and allow people to recapture their songs.

WL: How do you find the energy to keep playing shows year after year?

GC: It’s fun and when you like what you’re doing, it ain’t no problem. It ain’t that hard. Our first show of the tour was in Vermont on Thursday and we played all kinds of songs, but a lot of older stuff from the early 60’s. Fans were going crazy. But, you know, it’s always fun and good on tour. I’m feeling refreshed and with the renewed fight for copyright, the entire group and tour has a new enthusiasm.

WL: The rumor is that you’ve cleaned up recently. Can you talk about that?

GC: I have cleaned things up in the past couple years, that’s for sure I’ve got a lot of renewed energy and although I’ve always had energy playing music, I’m not expending any on finding and doing drugs. I’m also not spending any money on it either (laughs). I’ve got a whole new outlook on life and I’ve just realized I can’t be handling my business like that. You can’t be messed up and do what you need to do, it’s impossible. I paid a lot of money to get messed up and that’s all I got.

But, I’m glad to have made that turn. It’s also helped in the fight against these companies like BMI. I think that they believed that I’d be out of commission when I started this fight and I’m not and I think we’re doing pretty well.

WL: You mentioned that you’ve been filming a new reality TV show, how’s that going?

GC: It’s fun, yeah. We’ve had cameras around for a long time before this so it feels natural. We’ll be filming a big episode on Tuesday, at the show at B.B. Kings in New York, talking about the group’s history and everything else. It’s been a lot of fun just getting everyone on tape, playing music and clowning around while talking (laughs).

We’re all just happy to be on the road again and resuming the tour after being stuck in snow for the past couple of days. We’re happy to make up the Boston show this week and we’ve always loved that city. Since playing the Sugar Shack in the 60’s, we’ve had a real good time in Boston. It’s a great place.

For more information about Clinton’s copyright fight, visit For tickets or information about the show in Boston, visit


GRAMMY NEWS : Sly Stone Accepts Oxfam Award for George Clinton

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The legendary musician Sly Stone (center), made a rare appearance at the 5th Annual MojaMoja Brunch and Benefit Concert for Oxfam America during Grammy weekend. MojaMoja host Garth Trinidad (left), and Bob Ferguson (right), Oxfam America’s Manager of Creative Alliances & Music Outreach presented the Vanguard Award to him. Stone accepted the award on behalf of the honoree George Clinton, who could not attend the event due to severe storms in the NorthEast. (Photo: Wendy Le)

The MojaMoja Pre-Grammy Brunch and Benefit Concert celebrated its fifth anniversary with an eclectic lineup and a totally unexpected appearance this year.

While event producer Ramona Wright noted that “every year we get a surprise visit,” few were probably expecting reclusive soul icon Sly Stone, who got onstage to accept the Vanguard Award in the stead of legendary Parliament-Funkadelic founder George Clinton, who was being honored at the event but couldn’t appear due to being grounded in Newark thanks to the blizzard blanketing the Northeast.

“I’m happy for George,” said the famously enigmatic Stone in his brief appearance onstage, distinctive with his white outfit and trademark outrageous hair, before — just as characteristically — he disappeared into the wings. It was a classic MojaMoja moment — music business as unusual, celebrating artists from different generations on the same stage, doing their own thing.

Conceived by event producer Wright, MoMoja CEO Oscar Merino, and KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad (the station is an official media sponsor for the event as well), the mission “is to expose new music integrated with existing iconic artists, taking advantage of the talent converging on L.A. during Grammy Week,” Merino said. “Garth’s ears are crucial in terms of curating that talent.”

As such, last year’s brunch featured the buzzworthy likes of Flying Lotus and Little Dragon contrasted with Mavis Staples, honored by the event’s beneficiary, the global anti-poverty relief and development organization Oxfam America, with its Vanguard Award; previous editions have featured Grammy winner/hip-hop don Heavy D and rising star Janelle Monae.

This year’s brunch featured a similarly iconoclastic balance. One up-and-comer featured was multi-genre artist Chloe Flower — a pianist who fuses lyrical classical melodies with hip-hop beats, and has worked with Nas, Swizz Beats, and Celine Dion; Flower is in L.A. to work on her solo debut produced by Babyface, featuring guest spots by Boyz II Men and Deepak Chopra.

The other end of the spectrum was represented by William Hart of legendary R&B group the Delfonics, famed for hits like “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time”), “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)” — the latter famously interpolated into a hip-hop smash by The Fugees. Hart was performing at MojaMoja with a revisited Delfonics lineup, promoting an upcoming album set for release on hipster label Wax Poetics in March.

“I’m getting a vibe here that’s like a whole new start to my career,” Hart says. “I’ve met ten different radio personalities and DJs here. The younger generation seems to have taken to me: it reminds me of the time when I got my first Grammy, for ‘Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time).’”

Adrian Miller, co-manager of Chloe Flower, stated “We’re huge fans of Garth’s, so when he invited us, we of course embraced that. It’s maintaining a great relationship.” Miller’s sentiments were echoed by Sarah Chambliss, U.S. label manager of the pioneering electronica label Ninja Tune, was there accompanying one of the imprint’s premier artists, the U.K. singer-songwriter Fink, a recent transplant to L.A. to record his upcoming new album and jumpstart his co-songwriting career.

“It’s amazing how influential KCRW is, in a city where everyone’s a music supervisor, they’re like the greatest music supervisor of all,” says Fink. “It’s amazing — we’ve gotten film licenses just from film directors hearing my song on KCRW during their drive home. Also, it’s for a great cause: Oxfam has an immense reputation in the U.K., and it’s great to get it better known in the States.”

Indeed, the charity aspect to the event remains a crucial part of its appeal. “I work as an anti-human trafficking activist, and we depend on Oxfam,” says Flower. “This is a perfect event for me.” In addition to Oxfam, 2013’s MojaMoja happening also built awareness and funds for the Darfur Stoves Project, supporting work in the ongoing African tragedy zone. “We started the brunch because there was a tremendous opportunity for artists coming in for the Grammys to give back,” says Wright. “We wanted to create a party with a purpose.”

“The charity aspect is extremely important,” says Trinidad. “I couldn’t do something like this without trying to help somebody.”

Likewise, music-rights lobbying and royalty collection organization SoundExchange was a co-sponsor of the event. “It’s about having a presence as we continue to play a bigger and bigger role in getting artists paid fairly,” says SoundExchange president Michael Huppe. “We lobby on Capitol Hill, and we’re hear during Grammy week.”

“It’s great outreach,” adds Sean Glover, SoundExchange’s Manager of Artist and Label Relations. “We can catch someone here before they’re on the cover of Billboard, or win their first Grammy.”

Boston House of Blues show has been rescheduled to Wednesday February 13th

All tickets bought for the Feb 8th show are still valid

Emporium Feb 10th Show rescheduled to Feb 18th

Due to a severe snow storm, the show at the Emporium in Patchogue , Long Island has been rescheduled to Monday February 18th, 2013
All tickets bought for the Feb 8th show are still valid

Maximum Hedrum release video for the single “Keep In Touch” featuring George Clinton co-writing and vocals skills

Based solely on the bandmates’ respective backgrounds, Maximum Hedrum may be the most left field super group since Tinted Windows. Blending electronic music and funk, the collective consists of N.A.S.A’s Sam Spiegel (who also produced Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Show Your Bones), vocalist/guitarist Derrick Green of metal band Sepultura, and German musician and producer Harold Faltermeyer, most known for his scores of Beverly Hills Cop, Fletch, and Top Gun. Oh, and they’ve also got George Clinton co-writing and guesting on their self-titled debut’s lead single, “Keep in Touch”. Who could even think of making this stuff up?


‘King of Funk’ George Clinton and others accuse local businessman of music royalty rip-offs

George Clinton and others accuse local businessman of music royalty rip-offs

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Original press release source:

Tickets can be purchased – ticket sales end on 2/6.  No tickets will be sold on-site.  Use the promotional code “PFUNK” and receive a $25 discount on any ticket price before Noon PST, Sunday, 2/3/13.

Oxfam America to present Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with Vanguard Award at Los Angeles Brunch & Benefit Concert

Los Angeles, CA (January 31, 2013) – Funk legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton will be honored Saturday, February 9, 2013, with the Vanguard Award by global NGO Oxfam America at the 5th annual MojaMoja Pre-Grammy Brunch and Benefit Concert presented by 89.9 KCRW. Performances include a special DJ set tribute to Clinton by KCRW’s Garth Trinidad and an international line-up of artists such as Fink, Adrian Younge presents the Delfonics featuring William Hart, Yuna, Chicano Batman and Chloe Flower. All of the artists are donating their time to perform at the benefit concert and brunch to raise awareness and funds for Oxfam America and partner The Darfur Stoves Project. The event is scheduled from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at the W Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. Tickets are available to the public and can be purchased exclusively online at:

More than 250 funk fans and key influencers are expected to pay tribute to the 71 years young American singer, songwriter, bandleader, music producer and principal architect of P-Funk. Clinton is known by many alter egos like Sir Nose D’VoidofFunk and Dr. Funkenstein. However, in 2012, the psychedelic maestro received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music becoming a real doctor. “Oxfam America is honored to present Dr. George Clinton with the 2013 Vanguard Award at the MojaMoja Brunch and Benefit Concert. George’s musical genius has inspired artists around the world and helped to break creative boundaries in all kinds of art for nearly half a century,” says Bob Ferguson, Oxfam America’s Manager of Creative Alliances & Music Outreach.

Ten years ago this year was the start of the conflict and humanitarian emergency in Darfur, Sudan. Armed conflict in Darfur has uprooted more than 2.5 million people. During the past decade Oxfam is working with Sudanese partners to provide clean water, agricultural support, tree seedlings, small business trainings, grants for people living in and around the crowded camps and fuel-efficient stoves. A portion of all tickets sales from the brunch will support the production of these stoves. Dr. George Clinton pauses for just one day during his busy East Coast tour, flying from Boston to Los Angeles to accept the honor and help raise awareness for Oxfam America. “It’s an obligation and opportunity to be associated with a campaign that promotes ways to end global hunger,” says Dr. Clinton. “I salute Oxfam America’s tireless efforts to save lives around the world during the past 40 years. I’m honored to be a part of the MojaMoja Brunch and I’ll be calling on all P-Funk fans to support the Darfur Stoves Project.”

“Other artists on the MojaMoja Brunch line-up like The Delfonics are heavily sampled, and so their music catalog is still highly profitable,” added Dr. Clinton. “We want to make sure they are being paid.” As a result, in addition to his support of Oxfam America, Dr. Clinton is spearheading a social justice campaign to raise awareness of how other artists are having their works stolen via copyright fraud. Clinton is using his celebrity and to bring attention to this cause. On Sunday, February 10th, the funk icon and his band Parliament–Funkadelic (P-Funk All Stars) will resume their non-stop 2013 tour. Visit: for concert dates.


*Media wishing to gain access to this event or schedule on-site interviews with George Clinton, other talent or Oxfam America can contact Diaris Alexander 510-761-5205 and e-mail requests to:


Visionary funk musician, producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee George Clinton was born in 1941, and has under his belt a non-stop 55-year music career. He got his start in music in 1955, forming a doo-wop quartet known as The Parliaments. In 1959, the group released its first single “Poor Willie.” The Parliaments recorded a string of Motown sounding singles throughout the 1960s, finally hitting #1 in 1967 with, “I Wanna Testify.”

In 1969, he took the backing band for the Parliaments and formed another group called Funkadelic, which created the foundation of Clinton’s heavy funk sound. In 1970, Clinton shortened the name of The Parliaments to Parliament. The two groups – Parliament and Funkadelic – dominated the R&B and Pop charts throughout the 1970s with monster albums like Mothership Connection and One Nation Under A Groove. The groups toured relentlessly under the combined banner “P-Funk.” Clinton continued to produce numerous spin-off P-Funk acts across multiple record labels, including James Brown alumni and bassist Bootsy Collins. In 1983, Clinton began a solo career for Capitol Records and followed up by producing the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ second album, Freaky Styley. Clinton’s P-Funk body of work has hugely impacted Hip- Hop, and nearly all modern forms of popular music. Many of Hip Hop’s most successful artists have sampled his work and he’s collaborated with highly influential rappers Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Big Boi and too many others to list.

In 1998 George Clinton established Mother’s Hip Connection Education in Tallahassee, Florida. The non-profit organization’s mission is to improve the educational environment while promoting lifelong learning through music. In 2012, during his 70th year, Clinton was granted an honorary doctorate by the Berklee College of Music. The Septuagenarian rock star also broke ground at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, where he donated his legendary stage prop “The Mothership” to the museum. Clinton continues to tour in 2013 and produce new music. He encourages fans to visit and subscribe to his YouTube channel and see for themselves just how strong his funk is after 55 years of music making. Visit:


A portion of the proceeds will benefit Oxfam America, a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. Oxfam saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty, and campaigns for social change. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, Oxfam America works with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions.

The Darfur Stoves Project was founded to improve the safety and livelihoods of women by providing fuel-efficient stoves; which reduce firewood requirements, limit women’s exposure to violence during firewood collection and decrease the use of money and food rations to obtain fuel. The Darfur Stoves Project is the first initiative of the non-profit organization Potential Energy. For half the world’s population, a clean cookstove means one less day of struggling to find enough wood to survive. It means increased safety, better health, less harm to the environment, a higher income, more time and increased employment. Learn more at: and


MOJAMOJA curates experiences that connect people through music and culture. A global community of emerging and established creatives, brands & influencers, is the online destination to discover events and trends in international pop and alternative music and culture. Award- winning 89.9 KCRW radio host and music industry thought leader, Garth Trinidad is the co-creator and curator behind the venture that produces an annual Pre-Grammy brunch and benefit concert in Los Angeles and events for brands around the world.

RIP Scott Taylor



After A long stay at Bayview hospital our friend, P Funk Horn Player Scott Taylor passed away today.
Please keep him and his family in your prayers

George Clinton Fights for His Rights – George Clinton Appeal

Statement from George Clinton via

Original statement appears here:

Official wire news via Yahoo! News:

George Clinton talks with Mixdown Magazine

George Clinton talks with Australia’s Mixdown Magazine about the 2013 Australia P-Funk Tour and more.

Originally posted at:


George Clin­ton & Par­lia­ment Funkadelic will be bring­ing their 22-piece Galac­tic Cir­cus extrav­a­ganza to Aus­tralia March 2013.

March 7 – Metrop­o­lis, Fre­man­tle WA
March 8 – The Hi Fi, Syd­ney NSW
March 9 – Bill­board, Mel­bourne VIC
March 9–11 – Golden Plains Lucky Seven, Mered­ith VIC



It’s impos­si­ble to imag­ine how the course of musi­cal his­tory would have tran­spired if it weren’t for George Clin­ton. Cer­ti­fi­ably one of the all-time greats, Clin­ton stands as one of the most influ­en­tial fig­ures in rock his­tory, lead­ing the charge with his land­mark out­fits Par­lia­ment and Funkadelic (Clinton’s col­lec­tive oeu­vre is labelled with the umbrella term P-Funk). P-Funk enjoyed a mas­sive resur­gence in the early ‘90s with the boom of west coast G-Funk rap, with Clinton’s work form­ing many foun­da­tions in the form of sam­ples. These days, George Clin­ton &Par­lia­ment Funkadelic still tour exten­sively, spread­ing forth the good word of P-Funk to new gen­er­a­tions, while fea­tur­ing inter­gen­er­a­tional per­son­nel within their exten­sive ranks. Ahead of his return to Aus­tralia, an eru­dite Clin­ton recounts his per­pet­ual bat­tles with copy­right issues, his hunger for new music, and the last­ing P-Funk legacy.

Do you think the social mes­sages you were get­ting across in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s are still applic­a­ble today?

Pretty much the same. Those things are still rel­e­vant – free your mind and your ass will fol­low – I think there’s a resur­gence of peo­ple find­ing out about what we were talk­ing about. A lot of what we said was through dance music, and peo­ple just danced to it, but now they’re begin­ning to relate to the things that we said. In the late ‘60s, early ‘70s when Funkadelic were doing rock stuff, with a lot of social mes­sages – like ‘Mag­got Brain’. But in the ‘70s they related to the danc­ing at first. But now they’re relat­ing to what was said – ‘Think, It Ain’t Ille­gal Yet’, ‘Funken­t­elechy’, ‘Three Blind Mice’ – all the stuff we was talkin’ about back then.

What keeps you moti­vated at this stage?

We like doing what we do. That’s the main thing that makes it easy for us to do it. Every­body loves what they do.

How do you view your cur­rent audi­ence?

Our shows have always been like a cir­cus. The grand­par­ents will go, the par­ents will go, and the kids will go.  We have enough his­tory and enough styles of music that every­body relates to us in some kind of way. They don’t mind see­ing their par­ents’ heroes, or their kids’ heroes. We kind of get around that, which is hard to do because kids hate their par­ents’ stars and vice-versa. Kids don’t like their older broth­ers’ and sis­ters’ heroes. But I think with hip-hop hav­ing so much P-Funk DNA, a lot of the younger gen­er­a­tion trans­fer to us kind of easy. It’s for three gen­er­a­tions, all the way from 75 to 80 year-olds, to 12, 13 year-olds.

You’ve obvi­ously influ­enced hip-hop, but do you see Funkadelic as being an influ­en­tial rock out­fit?

To some extent, yes. You get groups like Chili Pep­pers, Janes Addic­tion. You can hear P-Funk in them.

You’re obvi­ously in tune with what is hap­pen­ing in the con­tem­po­rary music world.

I search YouTube to find what’s cookin’ for the most part. There’s a small clique of peo­ple putting it out, and they’ve got the power. So you have to find alter­na­tive ways to find new shit or to get new shit played, to get peo­ple to hear your new shit. I think YouTube is prob­a­bly the rich­est with that right now.

What are your thoughts on the inter­net being an out­let for musi­cians?

Well I feel more com­fort­able with the inter­net being an alter­na­tive to reg­u­lar record com­pa­nies because record com­pa­nies weren’t doing any­thing for artists any­way. Now you at least have a chance of get­ting stuff out there when you want to, and you’re get­ting paid. If you only sell a few, you still make more money than what you were get­ting from the record companies.

Do you wish that you were start­ing your music career in this cli­mate, rather than bat­tling through the music indus­try since the ‘60s?

I’m fight­ing for the rights to my stuff right now, but I’m glad we’re sur­viv­ing and we’re still around to fight for the rights to our stuff, or to at least put in motion. We’ve been to con­gress, to sen­a­tors, to record com­pa­nies. Espe­cially now with the new copy­right law tak­ing effect next year, for the first time in a long time – since 1978. That’s get­ting ready to be tested. Record com­pa­nies don’t want to abide by the law. I’m glad to still be around to watch it change.

Your shows often go for longer than two hours, and you’re still tour­ing exten­sively. Where do you get the energy?

Funk got Via­gra in it. You’re ready to be hard. We got the energy, the peo­ple give it back. It makes it so easy to do when the peo­ple are part of the show.

The rich Par­lia­ment mythol­ogy – Starchild, Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk – I can’t help think it’s fer­tile ground for a Broad­way pro­duc­tion or fea­ture film.

We’re work­ing towards that right now. A P-Funk show, a play. And a movie of the Starchild, Sir Nose, Mr Wig­gles, Dr Funken­stein, Clones, the Moth­er­ship. There will be a movie some­where along the line.

Do you think P-Funk will be eter­nal?

I don’t think it will stop. It will just be dif­fer­ent. There’s a group called Drugs that’s a part of it right now, one called 420. Mem­bers have their off­shoots, but there will always be some P-Funk, some Funkadelic around.

This will be the first time in a long while that the full P-Funk live expe­ri­ence will be in Aus­tralia. What can we expect?

Every­thing. We’ll be doing every­thing up there.