(Hammerstein Ballroom, Manhattan Center - NYC)
I celebrated the new year (1998) with some good old-fashioned P-Funk at the Hammerstein Ballroom (Manhattan Center) in New York City.
I arrived at the Manhattan Center at 9:20pm. I had my Kodak 110 camera ready to take pictures of the P.Funk musicians, when I saw Billy Bass onstage, talking to a fan. However, somehow I sensed that Billy wasn't in the mood because he sounded a little bit agitated by someone's comments. (Well, that's what I picked up!) About 30 or 40 minutes later, I greeted Michael "Clip" Payne at the standing room entrance...."Clip" wasn't interested in being photographed, either. He said, "No. Uh-uh. But you're cool, though." (Well, I took some pretty good snapshots of them during the show!)
At 10:15pm, the show started with a group called The Hotheads....I think they are from the Hamptons (as someone told me). The group's performance was okay......the first song that was performed ("Why Ask Why?") was very, very good! Personally, I think one of the acts from the last Funk-O-Rama event ("Starr Cuellars & Enterprise", "Enemy Squad") would have been a better act to start before the "P". The Hotheads's set ended around 11:15pm.
Soon after the Hotheads's set, I ran into Michael "Kidd Funkadelic" Hampton, and boy was I thrilled!!! Kidd Funkadelic is a very friendly and fun guy.....boy, was he really pumped up over the P-Funk show! After I met him, I ran into a guy who is the head of the group, Rhythm Republik, and who regularly works at the Wetlands....his name is Kregg Ajamu. (Hey Kregg, next time, ease up on your hi-fives....I had to visit my doctor to have my severed hand re-attached!!! :-) )
At 11:45pm, the "P" arrived......just what the doctor ordered (Dr. Funkenstein, that is!)!!! What separates this show from all of the other P-Funk shows I've seen is that the band opened with my most favorite Funkadelic tune, "Cosmic Slop"!!!!!!!!!!! This is the first time I've ever heard "Cosmic Slop" live!!! YES!!!!!! IF I HAD DIED AFTER THE END OF THE SONG, I'D DIE A HAPPY MAN!!!! "Would you like to dance with me, we're doing the cosmic slop!" Garry S-A-N-G his ass off on this tune, before the band started another tune, "Tear The Roof Off The Sucker".
The song set was:
* Garry Shider was (of course) wearing the cloth diaper, but this time, the number "98" was written on the rear part.
* LaShonda Clinton came out at the beginning of the song "Somethin' Stinks and I Want Some" and was given a joint to smoke. She took a puff and passed it to some other musician, maybe Lige. Then, it was passed to Steve Boyd.
* Babblin' Louie Kabbabbie came out and started rapping the lyrics to "Booty", with George (of course) bobbing his (Louie's) head up and down.
* Greg Thomas did his vocal portion of "Knee Deep".
* Kidd Funkadelic set the fuckin' place on fire with "Maggot Brain", while Billy Bass, Blackbyrd and Lige "flew on" with "Dog Star (Fly On)".
* During the "Hall of Fame" riff, George pointed to every musician and each one did a tiny solo, including the keyboard and horn section. George pointed to Clip, who was just standing there empty-handed, and Clip just shrugged. Of course, George laughed and so did I.
* The rap to "Music For My Mother" was performed by Clip, Steve and some other guy I'm not familiar with.
* I got a chance to shake hands with George Clinton during the very lastsong, "Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow".
* Clip displayed a copy of Stozo The Clown's (Ronald P. Edwards's) P-Funk 3-D art poster, an orange-background poster with cartoon drawings on it. The3-D effect was cool...real cool, but Stozo wasn't selling the copies he had at the show though!
The show ended at 3:20am!!! I was thinking that the "P" would play until 4:00am.
I met Steve Boyd, who was standing in the middle of the standing room and talking to some fans, and I yelled "P-FUNK FOREVER!!", as I shook his hand!!
On the real tip, for $85.00 maybe the P-Funk mob could have had the landing of the mothership.....and I mean, a BIG prop of the mothership!! Still, the show was worth the money.
Some of the people that I really missed were Belita Woods (where was she? She wasn't there to perform her lovely tune, "Sentimental Journey"), Sheila Brody, Tracy "Treylewd" Lewis, and Sir Nose.
The P-Funk personnel:
(and some extra musicians that
I'm not familiar with by name)
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