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Bootsy, baby, will skip Atlanta

Michael Weintrob

Michael Weintrob

Perhaps it was the LSD – Bootsy Collins says he dropped acid every day for two years during the early Funkadelic era – but a misstep in planning his current concert tour means he won’t be playing Atlanta this summer, according to a spokesman.

“Bootsy’s plans for an Atlanta show [in June] had to be canceled due to his set time at Bonnaroo the day before and resulting changes to his travel plans,” said PR representative Tyler Cannon.

Cannon said the funk master had tentative plans to play June 12, and early press releases listed a June 12 engagement in “Buckhead” but no venue was mentioned and apparently none was secured.

Nonetheless, the larger-than-life bassist, a creator of the Parliament-Funkadelic sound, stopped in Atlanta recently to talk up his new album and tour – the one that skips Atlanta – and to describe the evening in 1970 in Columbus, Ga., when he first performed with James Brown.

In the fanciful Collins theology of funk, Brown is the Father, George Clinton the Son, and Bootsy the Funky Spirit, a rhythmic trinity that Collins discussed during a sit-down at the W Hotel in Midtown. Attended by his wife Patti Collins in striped stockings and crinoline miniskirt, Collins cut a dashing figure, sporting glitter glasses, sequined top hat and platform boots.

Copies of his new CD, “Tha’ Funk Capitol of the World,” sat on the hotel room’s black granite counters.

According to Collins, 59, he and his band, including Kash Waddy, Phillipe Wynne and his late brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins, did not know they were being hired to replace Brown’s backing band when they flew down to Georgia in Brown’s private jet on that spring afternoon in 1970.

“James Brown was our hero, the band were our heroes. We’d never think about crossing a picket line to play with him,” he said.

“When we got to Columbus Ga., we started to get a funny feeling, funny vibes. The other band was looking at us like ‘those dirty suckers.’ Then Mr. Brown told us, ‘I done fired the band and y’all the new band.’”

Though they knew all the songs, it was a terrible way to have your wish come true, said Collins. “It was real strange. It felt great on the one side, but then on the other side, to see our heroes faces like we done stabbed them in the back . . . That part of it was a mess.”

Playing with Brown for a year, and recording tunes such as “Soul Power,” “Super Bad” and “Sex Machine,” was a critical part of his education, said Collins. For starters, it taught him how to stop sounding like a guitarist and start sounding more like a bass player. “I didn’t know anything about the bass.” Brown told him to lean on the first beat of the measure, which made the music come together.

He’d listen to Collins playing his highly-decorated lines, stick out his lower lip and say (here Collins expertly imitated Brown’s rasp): “Nah, You ain’t doing it. You gotta play the ONE. If you play that one, you can play all that other stuff, ‘cause I like what you’re doing. But you gotta play that one.”

This was a schooling that he needed, said Collins. “I wanted to learn how to be disciplined. I came from a home with no father in it, and I needed that ‘man’ discipline — in a way that only James Brown could do it. It was right on time and just what I needed.”

Collins’ new record includes a host of guests, with banjo from Bela Fleck, rap from Snoop Dogg, spoken word from Samuel L. Jackson and Al Sharpton and a voice-of-God appearance by Princeton professor Cornel West.

“We had been talking for some time,” said Collins of West. “He had this voice, this intelligence, that needed to be heard. I thought if I only got the right track, it would be a whole new world for both of us.” That track turned out to be a number called “Freedumb.”

When they got to the studio, West asked him, “What you want me to do?”

Collins said “Well, we got all these smart phones, but we’re still making dumb decisions.”

“I got you,” said West. “Turn the tape on.”

44 comments Add your comment

Rick Day

May 24th, 2011
3:53 pm

My venue wanted to book Bootsy when we saw a gap in his schedule to be in Atlanta, but damn, he wanted $25k OPENING BID PLUS expenses.

Thanks but no. Not for a nostalgia act.

Big Dawg

May 25th, 2011
12:26 pm

nostalgia act????? Who is Boosty anyway??????

Anita

May 25th, 2011
12:38 pm

@Big Dawg, If you don’t know Boosty then you probably should be commenting on this article. How are you anyway?

Casper

May 25th, 2011
12:46 pm

Big Dawg…lemme take you to psychoticbumpschool….and if you DON’T know whut I mean, let’s start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIHrdLwa_y8 from an appearance on David Letterman.

Spanky

May 25th, 2011
12:52 pm

“Who is Bootsy”?!…even us white people know who HE is!! He put the Funk in P-Funk!

Big Dawg (not knockin ya, bro), google him! He is still awesome!…..(my 2 cents) Have a good day, ya’ll!

Freedom

May 25th, 2011
1:02 pm

Just heard an awesome interview that he gave on NPR… i’m only 30, but i think i gotta get this album, plus another for my pop’s…

ziza

May 25th, 2011
1:02 pm

a nostalgia act!?! what rock do you live under dude? check out spanky’s post and don’t denigrate what you obviously know nothing about. shout outs to anita, casper (not the holy ghost) and spanky. wow.

Pickle Juice

May 25th, 2011
1:26 pm

@Rick Day go sit down! Hey @Big Dawg, use your smart phone and google his name.

Fulton

May 25th, 2011
1:34 pm

Rick Day prolly has a long nose and I’m quite sure he don’t know what that means either…LOL

Casper

May 25th, 2011
1:43 pm

@ Fulton…sho’ u rite….signed, Sir Nose!!

Space Bass

May 25th, 2011
1:43 pm

@Big Dawg – you’re faking the funk, if you don’t know Bootsy, you don’t know FUNK! As he said so many times, “it’s the angle of the dangle baby!”

ATLER

May 25th, 2011
1:43 pm

We the people of Ga need to bridge the music gap!!!!!!!!! Bootsy is one of the pioneers of Funk. Other then George Clinton. They were the P FUNK BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BluePhi1914

May 25th, 2011
1:49 pm

Who is Bootsy?!?!? Part of James Brown’s sound, P-Funk, Parliament, Funkadaelic, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, George Clinton, George Duke, D-Lite, ANY of these ring a bell???? …..Sigh….youngsters these days……smh….

Reid in EAV

May 25th, 2011
1:51 pm

Ah great. So all of Atlanta is Sir Nose D’void O’Funk.

But I do find it hilarious that Bootsy of all people had to be TAUGHT about “the one.” This from the man who laid down the bass on “Get Up For The Down Stroke.”

Space Bass

May 25th, 2011
1:59 pm

@Big Dawg – here is the education http://youtu.be/T62XibPMlXw “I’d Rather Be With You”

whitegurlfan

May 25th, 2011
2:14 pm

Bootzilla, Baby!!! Bootsy’s Rubber Band! too bad no Bootsy this go round, maybe next tour….been a funk fan since the 70s with P-Funk and all the other great funk/soul bands which I miss (pre-rap).

Space Bass

May 25th, 2011
2:15 pm

Bootsy Collins is the Jimmy Hendrix of the Bass Guitar. I paid big money to get a vintage Mu-Tron pedal trying to get that wet, sticky sound to drop out of my bass. He started “Funk University” http://www.thefunkuniversity.com and was just awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Bass Player Magazine. Man, I can’t tell you how many women I seduced with “I’d Rather Be With You” now I am not with any of them. LOL!

FunkCentral

May 25th, 2011
2:17 pm

ATL Still Reps The FUNK !
http://www.TheFunkStore.com !
(Based In Suwanee-GA !)

mylastname

May 25th, 2011
2:20 pm

this rick day person is an idiot and should be fired from the venue he works for. 25K is cheap for bootsy. dummy.

rave1914

May 25th, 2011
2:26 pm

@bigdawg is a perpetrator. if he dont know bootsy he caint know how to get of the porch. he gotta go — funk not only moves, it removes…

White Chocolate

May 25th, 2011
2:49 pm

Love Bootsy….Disappointed he won’t be playing Atlanta. Anyone else at the International Ballroom show maybe 1996(ish)? Bootsy toured with Parliament/Funkadelic. Bootsy was the opener and was about half-way through his first song….He leaned over into the crowd and someone snatched his shades off his face….after repeated requests for the shades back Bootsy stopped playing (on the one) and walked off the stage never to return. P-Funk picked up the slack….but, whoever took the shades definately deserved a beat-down…Anyone have change for funk?

BootsyFan

May 25th, 2011
3:20 pm

How could anyone not know who Bootsy is?!? He is a popular twitter account, duh.

Notgruntled

May 25th, 2011
3:20 pm

@mylastname: Silly me. I assumed that paying an act more than you could possibly recoup was what got people fired.

gm

May 25th, 2011
4:08 pm

I wish the young bloods today learn how to create, instead they get garbage music like Rick Ross, talking about pushing drugs on a cell phone, stupid songs by little Wayne to keep our kids ignorant.
Thanks boosty for learning a craft, no like the dumb rappers today, that have no talent, it not totally their fault when you have old heads on V103 still playing it and dont set examples this is what happens.

James

May 25th, 2011
4:16 pm

@ White Chocolate

It was 94 and he was seriously upset about that and there was a huge reward offered for the shades.I saw P-Funk at the Fox a while later and he made a suprise appearence and just tore the roof off.The cost of the ticket was worth his time alone not to mention the fact that George Clinton and his gang played for over three hours.

Arthur

May 25th, 2011
4:25 pm

No Atlanta show this time around? Darn. ’saw his concert at the Omni years ago, great show. We want Bootsy!

JK

May 25th, 2011
4:35 pm

White Chocolate – I was there in the “Brawlroom” when someone swiped his shades. If I am correct it was winter 93-94, I think I still have the ticket. He ranted, and split. Clinton was on stage with him when he left and kept it going.

Carl

May 25th, 2011
4:37 pm

They should add Boosty to that ‘Stuff White People Like’ website.

Bootsy 4EVR

May 25th, 2011
4:39 pm

I’m a 50-yr old white woman and I grew up in the 70’s listening to Bootsy, Parliament, Dazz Band, Isley Bros, etc. AND TOTALLY LOVED THEM!!! We had a choice in my small Alabama town…I could listen to Grand Funk Railroad, 38 Special, Eagles or Lynrd Skynrd….all of who tend to attract nothing but rednecks and I hated the music. Then Bootsy and George stepped in and dayum did they ever save the music scene! “Bow-wow-woah-yippee-yay-yippee-yay” as we “gettin down just for the funk of it” while we “one nation under a groove!”

“just wind me up! got to funk away!”

James

May 25th, 2011
4:50 pm

@ Boosty 4ever

Who cares about what color you are? I just saw 38 Special put on an awesome show at Wild Bill’s a few weeks ago and like you grew up on Funk.One of the first concerts I saw was Grand Funk Railroad at old Fulton County Stadium and I think the Eagles have made some of the best music ever..And guess what I’m black..

White Chocolate

May 25th, 2011
4:55 pm

James & JK….thanks for the clarification…’94 it was….I knew it was before my kids came along, but the memory is a little fuzzy…..It was a fun (and really weird) show….I still hear echos of the never-ending maggot brain ringing in my ears…

Carl…..maybe the stuff “really COOL white people like” web-site would be more like it….Time to get funked up…WC Out

"Big Hands and Big Feet" Johnson

May 25th, 2011
5:16 pm

@Fulton Don’t speak in code when you wanna be straight up racist. Make your ethnic slurs simple and plain (much like I’m sure you are in person).

The message of the Mothership is One Nation Under a Groove. Don’t stick up for Bootsy by hatin’.

McGarrett

May 25th, 2011
5:19 pm

Boots lost his star shades at the old dust bowl. International Ballroon Sept 1996. P-funk was touring to support TAPOAFOM. He was about to kick some rhinestone rock into high gear. Clinton and P-Funk came on right after Casper disappeared and launched into the most genre-defining version of Funkentelechy I am yet to hear. Even tho Boots left this was hands down the funkiest P-Funk gig in the 90s in the ATL.
Mike Kidd Funkadelic Hampton opened the show with Maggot Brain, by he time they hit Macon 2 weeks later Boomanchu was nowhere to be found.

The last real Bootsy show in ATL was July 93 in the Fox also featured Roger & Zapp Bootsy turned the mutha out!

Fulton

May 25th, 2011
5:21 pm

@ James & Whitechocolate – I was at both shows, Intl Ballroom & Fox and yes, the roof was gone by the end of the night!! lol But, good news….PFunk will be back – 9/3/2011 Soul Food Music Festival Stone Mountain, GA. BE THERE!!!

White Chocolate

May 25th, 2011
5:23 pm

McGarrett….there was a middle age bald white dude on stage that night…he did a rap song….do you know who that was?

Fulton

May 25th, 2011
5:26 pm

er…Big Feets it’s obvious you got it twisted & don’t know what you’re talkin ’bout either…smh Now, go to your room, do some Funk homework & then get back to me…lol

McGarrett

May 25th, 2011
5:28 pm

Free your mind & ass will follow, we need a dose of the Bop Gun up here.

McGarrett

May 25th, 2011
5:30 pm

WHite Chocolate that is the hardest werkin man in show biz tonight, may I present Louie Babblin Kabbabie!!!!!!!!!!

KenFromCalifornia

May 25th, 2011
8:03 pm

bootsy was the man back in the day…”psychotic funk” lives on. and bootsy’s christmas cd is slammin’!!

McGarrett

May 26th, 2011
6:18 am

For what its worth here the new record is pretty funkin kool. Bootsy’s a rocker as well and was part of the first line up for Bill Laswell’s experimental super group Praxis a few years back teaming with Bernie Worrell and Buckethead. If you like that then treat yourself to Science Faxtion’s Living on Another Frequency from 2008, another grinding funk metal workout. He also did the music for the film Superbad.
Casper is one of the few acts inducted into the Rock Hall still producing fresh quality music. Nostalgia indeed?

grandiosebackpa

May 26th, 2011
8:37 am

I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, http://BidsWork.com

White Chocolate

May 26th, 2011
9:08 am

McGarrett….your knowledge of funk is encyclopedic. I’ll check out Praxis and the Science Faxtion record too. Thanks for the tip

Found this clip of LBK doing Booty on youtube. They played this that fatefull night at Intl. Ballroom..enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIbMhOOwhxs

Funkateer 4 Life

May 26th, 2011
9:15 am

Its a shame people he the value of true genuine talent until they pass away…if you have ever been to a P-Funk/Bootsy concert you’d know you’d make the money back plus a profit!!! But our loss is SC, TN, NC and AL’s gain. PROMOTERS FIND A DATE AND BOOK THIS LEGEND!!!

Need Some New Faces

May 26th, 2011
10:00 am

I’m with some of the others – never heard of this guy so I guess I won’t miss him.