"Mother Earth is pregnant for a third time, for y'all have knocked her up."
Those indelible, disturbing words, inspired by the influence of LSD, came from the mouth of one George Clinton, issued right before his Funkadelic bandmate Eddie Hazel launched into what is now considered one of the greatest guitar solos of all time. The song, taken from the album of the same name, was "Maggot Brain," released in 1971 but still relevant today for its incredible skill, its psychedelic nerve, and Clinton's brief soliloquy on "the maggots in the mind of the universe." The song sounds like an apocalypse — fitting for an increasingly apocalyptic age.
For this alone, George Clinton would be a legend. But the frontman of Parliament-Funkadelic — the band has been known by both names at various times — has done so much more, working from everyone from Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He is the ultimate icon of funk music, that incredibly distinctive fusion of black-originated genres like jazz and R&B with psychedelic rock. He's also 77 years old, and he seems to be aware that his own days on Mother Earth are numbered.
“Even though I feel like I’m just getting started, the reality is the group needs to go ahead and keep it going," Clinton told Rolling Stone recently. "We’ve got a new vibe in the band, and they’ve been carrying it for the last three years. I’ve been up there representing for people, but they’ve actually been turning the place out. And we’ve been selling out for the last five years, every night.”
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Hopefully they'll keep selling out on their next tour, which will be Clinton's last with the group. It includes one date in Phoenix, Saturday, August 17, at Celebrity Theatre, with support from Fishbone, Dumpstamphunk, and Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, February 8, at 10 a.m. local time via Clinton's website. The collective's last album was Parliament's Medicaid Fraud Dogg, released last May.
Find all the dates for the tour below.
March 10 — Northampton MA — Mass MOCA
April 11 — Honolulu HI — Blue Note Hawaii
April 12 — Honolulu HI — Blue Note Hawaii
April 13 — Honolulu HI — Blue Note Hawaii
April 14 — Honolulu HI — Blue Note Hawaii
May 26 — Chillicothe IL — Summer Camp Music Festival
May 30 — Milwaukee WI — Miller High Life Theatre
May 31 — Chicago IL — Aragon Ballroom
June 1 — Cincinnati OH — Riverfront Live
June 4 — New York NY — Central Park Summerstage
June 5 — Boston MA — Blue Hills Pavilion
June 6 — Philadelphia PA — Franklin Music Hall
June 9 — Columbia MD — Capital Jazz Festival
June 15 — Tunica MS — Gold Strike Casino
August 2 — Los Angeles CA — Greek Theater
August 3 — Saratoga CA — Mountain Winery
August 4 — Lincoln CA — Thunder Valley Casino
August 8 — Seattle WA — Showbox Sodo
August 10 — Portland OR — Oregon Zoo
August 11 — Eugene OR — Cuthbert Amphitheater
August 15 — Denver CO — TBA
August 17 — Phoenix AZ — Celebrity Theater
August 18 — Las Vegas NV — Brooklyn Bowl
George Clinton: Final Tour With Parliament-Funkadelic. With Fishbone, Dumpstamphunk, and Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf. Saturday, August 17 at Celebrity Theatre, 440 North 32nd Street; 602-267-1600; celebritytheatre.com. Tickets on sale 10 a.m. Friday, February 8, via georgeclinton.com.