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The history of George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic is long, arduous and contains several name changes. Even so, in 1978, the group—definitively called Parliament-Funkadelic, the merging of two of Clinton’s projects—was arguably at its peak, pioneering a fusion of funk, soul and rock that has seen no equal in the decades since. This rare footage of the band, recorded on Nov. 6, 1978, features jam sessions that range from seven to 25 minutes long. During a rocking rendition of “One Nation Under a Groove,” vocalist, guitarist, musical director and eventual Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Garry Shider, dancing around in his trademark diaper, leads the refrain: “Do you promise to funk with me? Say you will.” Even watching this black-and-white footage nearly 40 years later, it’s impossible not to stomp your feet.
Looking fabulous in sparkling pants, cheetah print jacket, and a platinum blonde wig, Clinton prefaces a raucous performance of “Mothership Connection” like this: “If you feel like going to sleep and then waking up and jamming some more, then shit. Ain’t nothing but a party tonight. We don’t care how you do it.”
Don’t sleep on this rare footage of Parliament-Funkadelic. Here’s “Mothership Connection.”