July 22: George Clinton

ClintonLast week we paid tribute to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, one of the original pop showmen. Today, we honor one of the people who followed Hawkins’ lead and took rock spectacle to a new level. I speak of course, of George Clinton, the leader of the amazing funk music collective known as Parliament-Funkadelic, who was born on this day in 1941.

Over the last five decades, the P-Funk collective has included dozens of musicians and over ten different bands. Clinton was primarily involved with the two bands that gave the collective its name: the slinky R&B driven funk band Parliament and the Hendrix influenced funk-rock group Funkadelic. With these bands, Clinton, along with his number two; bassist Bootsy Collins, created not just a tight funk sound which continues to influence pop music in the present day, but also a complex Afrofuturist musical mythology and elaborate live shows featuring outrageous costumes an appearances by the P-Funk spacecraft known simply as the Mothership.

No one knows where the Mothership might land next to bring The Funk to the people of Earth, but while we wait for it to return we might as well sip on a Parliament Cocktail. Created at Vancouver’s The Diamond bar is a strong drink with just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Parliament Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces  Cachaça
  • 1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 3/4 ounces lime juice
  • 2/3 ounces runny honey

Shake everything with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain in to a chilled cocktail glass and add a spritz of grapefruit oil.

Tomorrow: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and liquor.

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