Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rare Clip Of The Parliaments Performing With Funkadelic in 1969

This great old clip from 1969 shows Parliament when they still called themselves the Parliaments. At this time, the Parliaments were a vocal group, and Funkadelic was their backing band. In addition to George Clinton, the Parliaments consisted of vocalists Fuzzy Haskins, Grady Thomas, Calvin Simon and Ray Davis. Funkadelic's players for this performance included axmen Eddie Hazel and Tawl Ross; Mickey Atkins on keyboards; bassist William "Billy Bass" Nelson; and Langston Booth on drums. The songs they performed on the clip include "What Is Soul," "Testify" and "Into My Own Thing," a Sly & the Family Stone track. The name of the show was called Say Brother, which aired on WGBH in Boston.

It's a raw, gritty performance of the legendary funk/rock collective when they were still trying to figure out how to bring it all together and find the best way to harness all that funk and talent at their disposal. The performance is a bit sloppy and unfocused, but the soul, energy and talent still shine through. A very young George Clinton, sporting a Mohawk years before the punk rock movement made it fashionable, gives a sweaty, primal performance. Fuzzy Haskins also shines with a soulful vocal performance. These brothers already had tons of stage charisma. And Funkadelic are bringing the rock and the funk.

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