WHO: George Clinton
WHEN: Friday, July 10, 2015
WHERE: Chene Park
George Clinton brought the funk to downtown Detroit on Friday night
Chene Park was a non-stop party on the Detroit River once music began around 8 p.m. on Friday, but the main event wouldn’t occur for nearly three and a half more hours.
After blasts from the past from The Mary Jane Girls, the SOS Band, and Cameo, the main event was a performance by the grandfather of funk, George Clinton.
We spoke with the singer backstage before the show. Clinton, who was once a songwriter for Motown, said Detroit will always feel special to him because the fans here “just want to have a ball.”
“It’s crazy to perform in Detroit,” Clinton said. "It’s one of those cities where people always want to have a good time and want to hear music that makes them get up and move.”
George Clinton and the Mothership took the audience back in time revisiting big hits like "Flashlight," "One Nation Under A Groove," and "Atomic Dog."
The grandfather of funk hasn’t lost a step after all these years of jamming, as he was just as active as any artist in their 20s.
Clinton even did an ode to the brothers of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, otherwise known as the Q Dogs, during his performance of Atomic Dog, letting multiple members dance on stage.
“I love playing those songs that made people fall in love with the funk [be]cause all these years later, they still know how to get down to it,” Clinton said.
Although Clinton is one of the pioneers of funk and has had a career that began in the 1960s, he keeps up with modern music better than most people might expect. In fact, Clinton has been very active in 2015, having been on tour most of the summer, finishing up a new P-Funk album, and having appeared on albums from Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar.
“Of all the dudes out now, nobody is touching Kendrick,” Clinton said. “There are other people who are talented, but nobody is fucking with that Kendrick.”
At 73 years old, Clinton said there is nothing he’d rather do than make music and play it for the world.
“I’ve been doing this thing for a long time, and I don’t think there is anything I’d want to do other than music,” he said. “Nothing better than doing [concerts] for folks who’ve been listening to me from the start.”
Clinton and company will hopefully be bring the funk to Detroit for many more years to come.
Bryce Karl Huffman is a summer intern for the