Bernie Worrell 1944-2016

Bernie

Pure Music.
Pure Passion.

The man was a vessel. The sounds he made were direct from his soul to yours.
His fingers were only complete when connected to the black and white keys – ivory, wood, plastic – no matter.

His hands rested in chordal patterns. They twitched in brilliant half-steps. Fingerless gloves covered the paws of genius.

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A crooked and friendly smile made it all right.

His contemporaries, if there are any, come from millenia — Monk? Chopin? Bach? Beethoven? Ellington? Debussy? Miles?

Or is it Bootsy, George, Eddie, Garry, Kidd, and the rest of his funkateer cohorts?

One of the finest composers, arrangers, and performers of the 20th & 21st centuries died the other day.

Expired after a thankfully short battle with cancer.

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Expired before he could deliver even more wonderful music.

George Bernard Worrell.
The Wizard of Woo.

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Bernie Baby We Miss You Already.bernie_worrell

If anyone can make music in the post-earth life it’s this man.

I expect to see him on that cosmic keyboard.

Through the front window of the mothership.

Close encounters of the woo kind.


Here’s some other takes on the legend passing:

How Bernie Worrell Built Our Musical Future (MTV)

Bernie Worrell, masterful P-Funk keyboardist, dies in Everson (Bellingham Herald)

Bernie Worrell, ‘Wizard Of Woo,’ Dies at 72 (NPR)

Bernie Worrell Obituary: Founding Member of Parliament-Funkadelic who helped Talking Heads take new musical directions. (The Guardian)

Bernie Worrell, Parliament-Funkadelic Keyboardist, Dead at 72: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee was also unofficial member of Talking Heads (Rolling Stone)

George Clinton: Bernie Worrell’s passing a ‘huge loss’ (Asbury Park Press)



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Good Morning Eddie

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Who’s the finest electric guitarist of all time? It’s a very short list at the very very top.

There’s likely millions of good ones, thousands of amazing ones, and probably 100’s of legends I have heard of.

But then there’s the very top. The completely untouchable, unplayable motherfuggus that just knock people out. Done.

They make other guitar players try harder– or quit. Mic Guitar drop.

Eddie Hazel is one of those guys.


 

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The most genius amongst a pack of them, he blazed through the P-Funk mob from ’67-’82 then battled his addictions outside of music. By 1990 he was starting his comeback stronger than ever. He passed away in 1992 at the young age of 42, a medical prescription error the supposed cause, unfinished music.


 

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There’s lots of tributes out there. This one always gets me. It’s Bootsy’s tribute track just a few short years after Eddie’s passing. Beautiful.


 


 

Why flip the title? Good morning shows the future is bright.

“Good morning Eddie” because I know through music education our youth (and ignorant adults) will know geniuses like Edward Earl Hazel. They will live forever. They will be studied academically, spiritually, and musically. They are the 20th century masters.


 

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Living For The Live

There’s a lot going on in this clip. It’s pretty good.

Ray Charles + Stevie Wonder, doing one of Stevie’s funk songs, with neither of their bands, for an awards show. It looks like the late 80’s with plastic keyboards and big hair but the talent is so great it works out just fine.

Also since Ray’s R&B big band really doesn’t do the early 70’s funk groove that this song was originally cut in, for this era they turned into a disco-tempo gospel style romp. It’s reframes the song nicely.

Imagine if these two ever did a full record together….

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Damn, Bowie Is Gone

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Is it a hoax? While releasing his latest album, and already receiving amazing reviews, David Bowie, 69, passed last night from unreported cancer.

So many unanswered questions here, like who knew, how they were planning the promotion of the new album and all of that?  The BBC is saying it’s been an 18-month battle.

A great man has fallen. A great artist that forever changed the world entered it as David Jones in Brixton and succumbed 2 days after his 69th birthday, and 2 days after releasing his final album.

Buy that new album Blackstar and buy 5 more Bowie albums why you are at it. You won’t regret it.

Review my previous Bowie moments here.


 

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The Funk Professor – Bootsy Get Live

Believe it or not Bootsy is touring the states and you gotta see the man to be the man. Check your local listings and don’t miss this show if it comes within 400 miles of you.

I caught it last year and it was perhaps the finest night of live music and energy I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve been to a million shows. Getting to see The Rubber Band and the Master of the One cannot be replicated.

Youtube can whet your appetite. Here’s amateur footage from the beautiful hamlet of Asheville, North Carolina. It takes a little while to get settled but once they lock in on the show it’s amazing.

PS – Love the new album – The Funk Capital of the World – I got it on double-disc vinyl and it’s just outstanding. The music goes everywhere, the packaging, the vibe, the love, the cameos, just an amazing man. Bootsy ain’t slowing down at all, he’s a hero to us all.

 

Here’s part 1:

and here’s Part Deux:

 

Bootsy!

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A Legend Passes – Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, Guitarist & Sanger for Ohio Players, 69

 

360px-Leroy_Sugarfoot_Bonner_publicity_photoWe have lost an underrated musical genius, the voice of a generation, the creator of a new singing style, and an influence to countless other musicians (perhaps most notably Prince)…. Mr. Leroy Bonner, better known as Sugarfoot or just Sugar.

He started in the music business in the 1950’s and experienced just about every facet of the business in his 6+ decades. Ups downs and all arounds, Sugar always stayed true to himself and true to the music.

Mr. Bonner was the author of so many funk classics – writing or co-writing most of the Player’s material, singing lead on most of the major hits, and playing a smoking hot guitar. His fingerpicking and scat soloing was like noone-else.

He brought his double-neck to funk, his trademark Aww girl, put that suitcase down, You ain’t kiddin’ nobody, You can’t leave me, woman, you love me! vocal style has become the funk voice. This was just one of his many creations.

Video of the Ohio Players is very rare and not much is online. Here’s a cool interview and lip-sync on Soul Train from when they were blowing up in 1975 (cracked audio):


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Here’s one of my favorite Sugar performances, “Heaven Must Be Like This”:


Rest In Peace Mr. Bonner, you will be missed. You and your music will be remembered forever.

 

Patty and Bootsy Collins pay tribute.

Patty and Bootsy pay tribute.


 

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Go buy some classic Ohio Players albums now! 

 

 

Respect.

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Jobs during the mac development era


If you got the idea of empowering people through a friendly, logical computer interface, you’ve liked this guy for a long time.

If you got the idea that UNIX power should have a mainstream use, you’ve liked this guy for a long time.

If you or your kids enjoy certain computer animation films, you’ve liked this guy for a long time.


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Jobs during the NeXT years, planting seeds for the networking and digital media future.


If you appreciate the design that goes into products that become an extension or a tool, rather than an enemy, you’ve liked this guy for a long time.

If you appreciate progressive business ideals (at least for america) you’ve liked this guy for a long time.


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Jobs unveiling an early iPod, the device that changed everything.


If you think all of the above is crap and he’s just another business man trying to make a buck, you’ve come to appreciate this guy recently.

Today he announced he was unable to continue as CEO. Cancer is a bitch, even to one of the most compelling business leaders the world has seen in generations.

15 years ago the company he founded was a punch line in the very industry it created. Then Think Different happened. iMac. iPod. iPhone. iTouch. iPad. A 10-year run even the biggest fan boy couldn’t have imagined.

The man’s grand design came together and prevailed over FUD.

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs smiles during a Q&A session at the end of the iPhone OS4 special event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California in this April 8, 2010, file photo. Apple Inc co-founder and former CEO Jobs, counted among the greatest American CEOs of his generation, died on October 5, 2011 at the age of 56, after a years-long and highly public battle with cancer and other health issues. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS HEADSHOT OBITUARY)

Jobs during a recent event for Apple, visibly thin and weak.

All that said, the iCloud is on the horizon, and my friends and I have taken to calling it SkyNet. Apple without Jobs could possibly revert to bad strategies.

Eternal Moments

There truly are times when I pinch myself. I have seen some interesting, crazy, sad, beautiful, and legendary things unfold into my eyes, allowing me the first hand juice of being there.


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It seems that this digital sharing age still gets blasted back in place by a nice dose of reality up in your nostrils.

I found my eyes watering and my psyche tingling as I caught Headtronics live last Thursday. The show was smoking (of course). Freekbass and DJ Logic did their thing strong as usual.

Their third this night was the legendary Wizard of Woo, ladies and gentlemen presenting Mr. Bernie Worrell!!

Nice, right? How about the legend playing a killer improvisational set through my keyboards? That would be something special, perhaps even the highlight of my musical life so far.

Yes indeed.

Bernie Worrell piano

Herbie Hancock Gets Funky

WFNK.com Article

by Super J

Originally published on WFNK.com October 1999

 

This article discusses some of Herbie Hancock’s contributions to funk music and by no means is intended to be comprehensive. The emphasis of the article is to take a musical tour of Hancock’s works (under his own name) between 1973 and 1980.

The funk band – now that music has such strong roots in the Earth. With all the earthiness there’s always room for flight. The biggest reason I enjoy playing this new kind of funk is the contrast between the wide open improvisations and the funky foundation at the bottom. It gives the music a character that is broad, vast, yet in touch with the people” – Herbie Hancock, V.S.O.P. 1977

Herbert Hancock was born on April 12, 1940 in Chicago. He received classical training in piano and was performing at the age of 9, but was more interested in jazz rather than classical music. At age 21 he jammed alongside Coleman Hawkins and Donald Byrd, forming his first small group with Donald Byrd.


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He was offered a contract with Blue Note shortly afterwards. He recorded some cuts in the early sixties, eventually joining Miles Davis’ band and becoming an important sideman.

By 1968 he was experimenting with electronic sounds and started recording under his own name once again. He formed a Sextet and recorded experimental electronic atmospheric jazz. These sessions included percussionist Bill Summers, and Bennie Maupin – both soon-to-be Headhunters.

He found himself listening to the likes of Sly Stone and James Brown, becoming particularly taken in with the tune “Thank you falettin me be mice elf again” by Sly. Herbie was hip to the new sound and wanted to incorporate this energy and groove into his own music. The Headhunter group was born.


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He took a different approach to forming a group. Rather than selecting a small group of jazz musicians who could play funk, he chose a group of funk musicians who could play jazz. This included Harvey Mason, Paul Jackson, Bill Summers (from his previous group), Bennie Maupin (also from his previous group) and eventually numerous others. With this group he issued the album “Headhunters”.

“Headhunters” in 1973 busted it wide open

The album went straight to No.1 on the jazz charts and stayed at the top for fifteen weeks. The album was ahead of its time and jazz purists hated it. Herbie was one step ahead again, this time doing funk his way. It remains to this day a top-notch jazz-funk experiment. The musicians are so tight it is breathtaking, and the music is so complex that few live bands today dare to try and reproduce these tunes.

Track listing for Headhunters (1973):
Chameleon
Watermelon Man
Sly
Vein Melter

Sly is a tribute to Sly Stone, and is very sophisticated electronic jazz-funk. Chameleon has become a standard for some DJs and has been sampled numerous times. It ranks as one of the most important funk albums ever made.


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Since Herbie had just left Warner Bros. where records with the electronic atmospheric jazz group were made, WB released a compilation 2-LP package containing cuts from the albums “Fat Albert’s Rotunda”, “Miwandisihi” and “Crossings”. The compilation was called “Treasure Chest”. The album “Fat Albert…” seems to have been a rather funky LP, one which I haven’t heard myself.

In 1974, Harvey Mason left the band (temporarily) and was replaced by Mike Clark, who had already been jamming before with Paul Jackson. Herbie was commissioned to do a soundtrack for a thriller film starring Charles Bronson called “Deathwish”.

Track listing for Deathwish (1974):
Death Wish (Main Title)
Joanna’s Theme
Do a Thing
Paint her mouth
Rich Country
Suite Revenge: A. Striking Back, B. Riverside, C. The Alley, D. Last Stop, E. 8th Avenue Station
Ochoa Knose
Party People
Fill your hand


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The album in many ways was a traditional soundtrack. There were considerable amounts of string instruments used to reproduced film moods in typical ways. But a few of the tracks had a peculiar energy to them, showing evidence of funk creeping in. It by no means ranks as an important funk soundtrack, but contains some interesting musical moments and is worth a listen.

The next studio album for the group would be titled “Thrust”, also issued in 1974.

Track Listing for Thrust (1974):
Palm Grease
Actual Proof
Butterfly
Spank-A-Lee


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This is not an album to be trifled with. This is a hard-core funk record, and an astounding follow-up album to “Headhunters”. The funk style is not at all like the “funky 45” grits, but rather an aural assault by jazz-trained funk musicians.

Like the previous album, this is some of the most sophisticated funk-jazz ever put to record, making wispy crossover artists think twice before daring to label themselves “jazz-funk”.

Palm Grease, Actual Proof, and Spank-A-Line are top-notch driving jazz-funk cuts. Butterfly is a well-conceived ballad. This type of music is best suited to funk mind-trips and musical analysis rather than the dance-floor. Mind-blowing.

Late in 1974, Herbie would record a live album of this material from this period. His favorite place to play seemed to be in Japan, and he decided to record it. It was released the album (apparently only in Japan) under the name “Flood”.

Track Listing for Flood (1974):
Introduction – Maiden Voyage
Actual Proof
Spank-A-Lee
Watermelon Man
Butterfly
Chameleon
Hang up your Hang ups


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This album contains extended jams of cuts from the first two albums, Headhunters and Thrust. It also contains a new cut entitled “Hang up your Hang ups” which was to appear in studio form on their following album. The version here is a live one which lasts for some 20 minutes. The bass playing by Paul Jackson on this cut is the most some of the most complex finger-style funk bass playing ever put to record.

It appears from this recording and the previous one that Herbie was becoming quite taken in with the funk and wanted to seek the upper limit for orgasmic funk. His funky pinnacle lies on this record.

After these recordings several other jazz-funk musicians (including Louis Johnson from the Brothers Johnson) sat up and took notice. Harvey Mason had played on Herbie’s “Headhunters” album and wanted to rejoin (whether from listening to Thrust or Flood, or both). Mike Clark was still playing drums on some cuts, and another studio cat James Gadson, contributed on drums. Paul Jackson was still on bass, and was joined by Louis Johnson and Henry Davis on bass. Along with Harvey Mason, Blackbyrd McKnight (later to join P-funk), Stevie Wonder, and a whole menagerie of studio cats wanted a piece of the action.

It is not clear if these musicians sought out Herbie, or if Herbie invited them to play on the album, but Herbie (who was always the experimentalist) wanted some fresh blood on this album. The new album was called Man-Child. Jazz critics howled, feeling that the Blue-Note Herbie was lost forever.

Track Listing for Man-Child (1975):
Hang up your Hangups
Sun Touch
The Traitor
Bubbles
Steppin’ In It
Heartbeat


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Sun Touch and Bubbles are slow tempo tunes. Although they have steady beats, they are tending towards an atmospheric sound using a funk arrangement. Steppin’ In It is a pure funk-pop groove, sounding like it could have come straight off of a P-funk record (except for the fact that it is instrumental). One can’t help thinking of Bootsy Collins when listening to this track.

Steppin’ In It is also where Stevie Wonder makes a cameo appearance, playing harmonica throughout the track which adds a down-home feel to a rather circus-style funk track. Hang Up your Hangups was already being worked on from before and made its first appearance on the Flood album. It appears here as the studio version, still wickedly funky, and compressed from 20 minutes to 7 minutes. This still stands as Herbie’s finest funk track.

The Traitor was co-written by Louis Johnson (of the Brothers Johnson) and is also a hard-core funk cut, featuring some fine bass-slapping at the end of the tune. The arrangement is pure funk, but could stand up well as a straight-ahead jazz cut if played on acoustic instruments.

Heartbeat, although shorter (about 5 minutes) demonstrates well the tightness which the Headhunters group is famous for. I have actually managed to get a DJ to play this at a party, but found to my dismay that the average pop-music fan found it overwhelming. The beat is super heavy with a growling funk rhythm guitar. Absolutely nasty.

A new guitarist named Wah Wah Watson joined Herbie on this album and his contribution is unmistakable. Wah Wah Watson specialized in sophisticated single-note repeated rhythms combined with complex wah pedal patterns, adding a new level of nastiness to a sophisticated jazz-funk album.


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Herbie continued his funk experimentation in 1976 with a new album entitled “Secrets”. Sporting a huge Afro and goatee on the cover, he was hardly recognizable compared to the Blue-Note Herbie ten years earlier. Wah Wah Watson appeared again on this album, contributing his vicious wah-pedal guitar lines. Mike Clark and Harvey Mason didn’t appear on this album (although Harvey Mason was putting out albums under his own name, with Herbie playing on his records to return the favor). James Gadson was the only drummer on this new album with Kenneth Nash added as a new percussionist (Bill Summers was on Prestige recording under his own name) and Blackbyrd McKnight had joined the P-funk crew.

Once again another jazz-funk guitarist was added, none other than Ray Parker Jr., Mr. “Ghostbusters” himself (before he scored his own pop hit). The faithful Bennie Maupin also appeared on the album (and had been on all of Herbie’s albums to date since he joined him in the experimental jazz group). Herbie’s credit on the album reads like a summary of currently available keyboard technology:

Herbie Hancock: Piano, Rhodes Electric Piano, Yamaha Electric Grand Piano, Arp Odyssey, Arp String Ensemble, Hohner D6 JClavinet, Moog Micro-Moog, Oberheim Polyphonic Synthesizer, Echoplex.

And add to that Wah Wah Watson’s credit:
Wah Wah Watson: Guitar, Maestro Universal Synthesizer system, Maestro Sample and hold unit, voice bag.

…and you have a studio full of electronic music equipment. Herbie knew what he was doing though, and it showed on the album. The effects blend into the music, to the point where it is hard to imagine these cuts being played any other way.

Track Listing for Secrets (1976):
Doin’ It
People Music
Cantelope Island
Spider
Gentle Thoughts
Swamp Rat
Sansho Shima


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“Doin’ It” is a forecast of Herbie’s 1980’s electro-funk. It utilizes some vocals, fat and guttural wah effects and envelope filter effects. Sansho Shima is an interesting track, a wicked-jazz-funk tune with hints of pentatonic scale usage. The title is a Japanese name.

Cantelope Island is reworked to sound a little more like funky reggae (at least it sounds like this was the intention), it doesn’t really succeed as a reggae track, but fits well as a funky jazz piece alongside the other tracks.

There were tiny hints of electro-funk on Man-Child, but “Doin’ It” is pretty full-blown electro funk. Paul Jackson was still the bassist, except on “Doin’ It” where Wah Wah Watson plays bass. The drummer was another studio cat by the name of James Levi.

This was Herbie’s third drummer for the funk group. Harvey Mason, Mike Clark, and James Levi all have surprisingly similar styles, and all 3 were able to play some of the wickedest funk beats known to humankind. The sophistication of the musicianship and the piece structure is awesome. Compared to mainstream funk this material is on another level in terms of musical sophistication.


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The real crowning achievement of this album (and Herbie’s other funk albums) is that he can maintain a crack group of musicians, create tunes which are mind-expanding in their musical complexity and dexterity, yet through it all maintains a groove that kicks you right in the gut and keeps you moving. Quite an accomplishment.

Some musicians are tight, but don’t really groove and aren’t that sophisticated. Some musicians can play very sophisticated music, but are not tight or don’t have a groovy sound. Some musicians can play a good hook and groove but the music is simple and sometimes a little sloppy. But Herbie has all three elements: Sophistication, soul and an incredible sense of rhythm.

 


This article by Super J was originally published on WFNK.com on 10/1/99

A Chat with Keyboard Genius Bernie Worrell

Originally published on WFNK.com 08/01/1999

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During a heatwave sweeping the eastern united states in July of 1999, I got music legend Bernie Worrell (1944-2016) on the phone for a candid conversation about his new band The WOO Warriors, the old P-Funk days, and his current business dealings with George Clinton.

Raz: Hey Bernie, how ya been?

Bernie: Not too good in this heat. Other than that fine.

I understand. It’s probably what, about a hundred out there now, huh?

It’s a 100 to 105. We just had a power surge that just whacked the computers and stuff just before you called.

Uh oh. Yeah it went down when I was on the phone with Judie (Ed. note: Judie Worrell is Bernie’s wife and manager). We could use some AC ourselves. This is killin me! Let’s start out back in the day. Can you give me three words that describe P-Funk?

(laughing) wild, crazy, guys.

Alright… I can live with that. (laughs) Obviously our readers are funkateers. Do you feel that the entire movement that was P-Funk, with all the sounds, vibes, characters – those wild crazy guys – do you feel that it was underrated, overrated, or are you pretty happy with the way that it’s been received over the years?

People don’t really know a lot of what went down and what it took in blood, sweat, and tears to be a part of that whole thing. I don’t think there is enough credit given to a lot of the members. But on the other hand, we are known all over the world. People know who P-Funk is. It was my first time going to Puerto Rico a couple of weeks ago with my group they had stuff down there. I didn’t know it – I kinda figured maybe Puerto Rico, but even Argentina and places like that, they know our stuff. I would say I’m thankful, ya know, I’m pretty satisfied for how it is, but not completely satisfied, but then who is? (laughs).

When you made the move in the early 80’s to touring with the Talking Heads, what struck you as the most obvious change in the scene, as opposed to being out with P-Funk?

Didn’t get beat as much! (laughs) It was a cleaner business unit. There was a lot of things I taught them. A lot of things that their manager at the time Gary Kerfers used to come to me and ask me. They were P-Funk fans and Gary was also. I don’t know if a lot of people know it, but George Clinton gave Chris the idea – we’ll he didn’t give them the idea – they had the idea to break off and do something different, which was the Tom-Tom Club – and they got it from him. He was studying what was happening. They approached George about whether they should do this and he said “yeah”. And that’s when they did Tom-Tom club and all that stuff.


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Of all the amazing musicians you’ve worked with over the years, did any of your collaborations particularly surprise you? Did someone bring something to the table that you just weren’t expecting?

No. (laughs). No, because they are like me – they do what they do well.

How’s the new record “Free Agent” going? Any hopes of getting that into the record stores in the states?

Well if we can work out a distribution deal with a couple of people we are talking to – Warren Haynes from Gov’t Mule, his company being one of them.

I got that a couple of months ago and it is a really good record. I definitely hope it gets out. We’ll be doing a review of it in this issue as well.

The live new years eve one?

Yeah I got that one as well. “Free Agent” is pretty amazing.

Oh thank you.

I also caught a WOO Warriors show a few months back and not only was the musicianship amazing but the setlist seemed a bit more varied than WOO Warriors shows of the past. Would you prefer to play even more of your solo work or are you happy with the mix of old and new?

I like the mix – I can’t play all of any one thing, I get bored quick. I have to move from space to space, to different places cause it’s no challenge. It’s boring to me with just one set thing. I have to try it. I get disinterested cause I can play it automatically, and I care about it. (laughs)

Ya know, when we have to go from this genre to something else then it’s interesting cause we can stretch it out a little more. And I’m teaching at the same time, ya know, showing people “this type of thing you do this with, and you mix this in with that”. I like a lot of the P-Funk stuff that Clinton doesn’t do. People are always asking me ‘why don’t you play this? How come George doesn’t do this? Because he’s not able to, and we are. A lot of those songs that didn’t make it on B-sides or A-sides are great songs, and people love them so it still makes it fun, instead of playing the same old thing over and over.

Are there any old songs that you are looking forward to reworking and revisiting?

Right, that’s what made that last show you saw in Cleveland different, cause a couple of surprises were in there (laughs). That was some of the old stuff.

I also saw you guys in New York when you blew the power out of the stage!

Yeah well the power had been blown out the night before by another group, so they told us. Come to find out that they lied to us, it had blown out 3 weeks earlier.

Well you guys were loud enough at the show I saw a few months ago I’m surprised you didn’t blow out the power there!

(laughs) Yeah!

You guys have been traveling the land for a few years now as the WOO Warriors, and you’ve put out several solo records in the 90’s – are you at all upset at the lack of record label and radio attention?

Yes, but uh, blank them! Because we are getting ready to go into a new age with the middleman being cut out and more money to the artists, and the heck with em! All we need is the distribution. Then if they come after us I’ll say no until they give us the deal we want.

On that note we’ll do our part and make sure to put a link right to your site from ours so that everyone can order that CD.


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Hold on a minute….

(Bernie has to take another call. Turns out it’s George Clinton. I let him go for a few minutes and then call back)

Bernie – hey, you got a sec to finish up?

Yeah, yeah – George Clinton is on the other phone, I might have to say something, go ahead, we can talk right now.

Actually that’s an odd coincidence – I was just gonna ask about the record deal announced with you and George and if you had any more details on that and how that came about?

I can’t tell you all of it cause I don’t know all the details. I know they wanted me to co-produce his record and now I come to find out that there is a breach of contract cause there is actually gonna be 2 CD’s now, and we didn’t know about that – we just found out. And they want me to do the Woodstock thing and I’m not doing it until they do what I want. They still owe me money from March for some session work. That’s what George is calling about today, himself. He’s trying to talk to Judie right now. That’s why she was going on and on, because I don’t give a shit. I don’t care if we do Woodstock or not. (Ed Note: George worked with Mammoth Records to patch things up with Bernie, resulting in Bernie Worrell & The WOO Warriors performing at Woodstock ’99 and Bernie appearing as a “special guest” with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars)

I wouldn’t want to have the job of trying to talk Judie down!

Yeah well, they got the job (laughing). And it’s coming from me – they think it’s all her but she’s speakin for me. I can’t be spoken to once I get in a mood – I say “Fuck em”. (laughs). She’s tellin him now: ‘George, you know better than anyone that when he gets in a mood he don’t care’. So don’t get me started. I guess that’s what he’s trying to talk to her about now. He don’t sound too good, but you know, he’s tired.

Let’s move to something a little more positive. WFNK.com originates from Cleveland so we keep an eye on the happenings at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. You have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and I got to see the whole P-Funk display down there…

Did they put my clothes up yet?

Ya know, I haven’t been down there this year so I don’t know if they put them up yet. I was down there when they had the wax figures up of George and Bootsy. I don’t think they made the Bootsy one tall enough!

(laughing) Maybe they ran out of money!

Yeah they ran out of wax! Some musicians have come out against the Hall of Fame, saying that having a building to honor Rock and Roll goes against the attitude of the music. Do you have any feelings on that and is there anything you would change about the induction process?

I heard that you have people vote on who gets in, like Bruce Springsteen personally said that he voted, he was part of it. I’m sent something every year to check off who I would like to see inducted. I don’t know what they mean about the building – I think it is nice to have a facility where people can see the past. However I think more money should be put into use for helping the musicians after they’ve reached a certain age, and with their record deals, and the whole lot. Alright, we got the glory and whatnot, but what about financial help and cases of keeping people working? There’s a lot of different things they can do.

Like some sort of union or benefits package?

Yes. The building is nice but it ain’t feedin’ anybody. Well it’s feedin’ them! (laughs)

It ain’t feeding anyone in this town either. In fact it’s taking tax money away in this town.

See? You’re right. They could do benefit concerts for all kinds of things, from farmers to handicapped people, you know? Make programs up. Make the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame worldwide and help Greenpeace, help the endangered species. Put on shows, outdoor festivals. They could do a lot – a lot more I mean. Three hundred dollars for a dinner? Blank that! Dinner should be free.

I understand. So what are you up to now – what kind of projects are you into now that you are at liberty to talk about?

Yeah – still trying to finish the WOO Warriors studio CD. We just came back from Puerto Rico with the WOO Warriors, they loved that. They want us back. We still got the ongoing Clinton situation, which George is on the phone right now as I told you. And we’ll be working on getting the college circuit thing together. There’s the Gov’t Mule situation where we might be working in conjunction with them out of their office, so Judie will have some help, and I guess more production with Clinton.

To be announced, huh?

To be announced.

Sounds good. Well I thank you for your time, I know I caught you at a busy time.

It’s kinda stressful right now.

And the heat aint helpin, I’m sure.

As a matter of fact, Disney Corporation is George’s backer, so what’s the problem with the money?

Yeah you would think that if anyone had some money to spend it would be Disney.

Yeah, okay man, take care.