This weekend, the high priest of funk George Clinton is bringing all that is funky to The City National Grove of Anaheim. While he’s one of the most respected names in music history and widely considered a pivotal innovator in the most important movements in several genres, to a degree his continued touring and existence seems to almost be taken for granted. This is the man who has been on the bleeding funking edge for decades, and still brings it live week-in and week-out.
That’s why, for those of us who are going to witness Clinton in person this weekend, we at the Weekly have decided to take a look at how George Clinton has been everywhere impacting so many facets of our lives. These are five of our favorite George Clinton cameos.
Late Night with David Letterman (1986)
30 years ago, George Clinton brought pure uncut funk to late night network television when he sat down for the first of several visits with David Letterman. The two innovative titans of counterculture creativity, Clinton’s visit showed the two playing to each others’ strengths and really encompassing the vibe of where both were creatively.
Graffiti Bridge (1990)
Graffiti Bridge, Prince’s sequel to 1984’s Purple Rain, is such an unusual entity. Entirely shot on several sets designed inside the Purple One’s Paisley Park residence, the film was entirely written and directed by Prince. As a result, it’s like when your grade school friend gets a video camera and invites everyone to come over to make a movie. Only, your friend is Prince and you do exactly what he says because…well…he’s Prince. In Graffiti Bridge, Clinton plays a club owner on the same block as clubs owned by “The Kid” (Prince), Morris Day and Mavis Staples. Clinton has a musical number near the end a few minutes after his character is introduced and if I spoil any more, I risk the parties protecting Prince material on the internet taking this post down, so I better stop.
Remember that time the guy who would go on to direct the Iron Man movie played a Generation X burnout who wound up landing Parliament Funkadelic performance on his college campus? So begins one of the coolest silver screen musical performances of the '90s. PCU’s become a pretty treasured cult classic, and had immortalized Clinton’s funkiness on celluloid for generations to come.
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Good Burger (1997)
Quick reminder: they made a Good Burger movie. Even better, a scene involves George Clinton dancing and effectively introducing a new generation of All That viewers to “Knee Deep.” There’s a lot going on in this scene, but in 2016 we especially treasure it for the calming reminder that George Clinton and Abe Vigoda once shared screentime.
The Bernie Mac Show (2004)
Speaking of great talents that are no longer with us, Bernie Mac once had George Clinton and Parliament cameo on his Fox sitcom The Bernie Mac Show. In a brief fantasy cutaway about what his birthday should be like, we got Bernie dancing alongside Clinton in what has to be the ultimate ideal birthday house party situation. We predict if you attend Clinton’s show at The Grove this weekend, you’ll be dancing like this too.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic perform on Sat. June 25 at the City National Grove of Anaheim at 8 p.m. For tickets and show info, click here.