No Mothership. No Bootsy Collins. No crazy, multi-colored hair. What would a post-millennium George Clinton deliver for the funky-faithful assembled inside Vinyl Music Hall in Downtown Pensacola, Florida?
With a storyline worthy of a Lucas/Spielberg “Indiana Jones” treatment, the original “Mothership” that floated on stage during stadium tours and delivered Dr. Funkenstein (Clinton) was abandoned in a junkyard by former promoter Bernie Walden and has never been found. A replica was created and housed in Clinton’s Tallahassee studio until the Godfather of Funk was approached with the request of having the hallowed vessel displayed in the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture. (To read the amazing history of the original “Mothership” and journey of the “Mothership 2.0”, from its creation to it’s placement in the Smithsonian, read Chris Richards’ Washington Post article)
What would George Clinton have in store for the Northwest, Florida crowd? Let it be known, that Mr. Clinton did not disappoint. With the Mothership decommissioned and Bootsy Collins “doin’ his own thing,” The Groove Maestro enlisted a corp of elite musicians including his Granddaughter, Sativa (Shonda Clinton) to fight the tyranny of conformity and dullness that looms in the dark caverns of the music world. To paraphrase former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s older brother and former President, George W. Bush, “You’re either funkin’ with us, or funkin’ against us!” Of course, the same paraphrase could be said of Anakin Skywalker in his rage toward Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, but lets keep the Florida connection going here.
With no opening act, Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic unleashed the funk in nonstop waves of groove and theatrics. After watching his performance, I’m supremely confident that the World’s Ambassador of Funk would easily rock an acoustic “unplugged” tour, even if he and his entire band were boom-butt naked on every stop of the tour.