Super Freak

That girl is pretty wild now The girl's a super freak The kind of girl you read about In new-wave magazine That girl is pretty kinky The girl's a super freak I really love to taste her Every time we…

That girl is pretty wild now
The girl’s a super freak
The kind of girl you read about
In new-wave magazine
That girl is pretty kinky
The girl’s a super freak
I really love to taste her
Every time we meet

I just downloaded Super Freak to my phone.

It’s kind of lame, not the original but a synthy re-do like a lot of ring tones. But it doesn’t matter, man.

It’s Rick fucking James. It’s SuperFreak.

He died while I was in Fiji. I didn’t know til I got home.

Don’t let it be one of the three things. I can see the headstones. James Brown and George Clinton are shivering right now.

I have a confession to make. When I was a teenager…

I can’t say it.

I hated the funk music.

I know.

It gets worse.

We called it…

Nah, I can’t say it. There was the N word involved. But only because it offended the hippy-dippy types I went to school with. Same reason I used to wear a nazi armband and say I liked hitler and talked about guns and war. That was all reaction/attention games and I didn’t mean a damn word of it.

But I did – sigh – hate the funk.

It took me a really long time to get over that. I went from being into folky stuff and brit-pop when I was a kid to rock and roll and heavy metal and prog-rock as a teen, to punk and new wave and whatever I went on to after that (I guess it’s called alternative now, which isn’t alternative to anything).

It wan’t for years afterwards. And then it was via jazz-fusion-funk (That marcus miller, man, can he play), and funk-rock (The chili peppers, sure, but better and more important, Dot3).

I had a couple collections of things but y’know, I never listened.

Then one day I pulled out the Ohio Players Greatest Hits and… Well, it was one of those moments when the light went on.

Why, I asked myself, have I been ignoring this shit so long?

Well, here’s part of the problem.

Have you tried to go buy a good funk compilation? There isn’t one. Or there are not many.

I don’t know how this happened. But somehow the people who package music, even Rhino Records, can’t tell funk from hip-hop from disco. Now I like those things. There’s some fucking awesome disco. But DISCO – IS – NOT – FUNK!

Plus, even the best bands from the best era of true uncut funk seem to have released a lot of bad albums with a few great songs.

But I finally hit on two; Tear the Roof Off, the best of Parliament, and Music for your Mother, the best of Funkadelic.

Now we’ve all heard of George Clinton. But I didn’t really know. I thought this was one band with two names, which it sort of is and sort of isn’t.

So I listened to Tear the Roof Off. I’d heard Parliament before so it didn’t suprise me; but god, what a great collection. What a great band. What the hell was I thinking, this is the best music ever. This is the best compilation ever. I never need to buy another album ever.

But you know I had that other one, that Funkadelic one.

Well, ok, ok, I’ll listen to that. But not quite yet.

It took a while to get to it.

That one. That’s the revalation.

Forget what I said. I have a new favorite album. I have a new favorite band. I have a new — world.

This. Is. Fucking. GREAT.

Parliament was a cartoon band. All stage gimics and funny sounds and sci-fi. Brilliant, because Clinton is brilliant, but goofy.

Funkadelic was that with the nonsense stripped away. Mostly guitar. And ass-kicking, serious playing. Funk meets psycedelic; duh, that’s what the name meant. I didn’t thnk about it.

God I love this collection.

It changed me. The way certain things do; Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”. The Police. The hip-hop collection Jeff made me. This was one of those moments where things went off in my head and I got it.

I’ve been trying to find the True Funk ever since. It’s hard. There’s an inordinant amont of crap in there mixed with the pure uncut Funk. The shit’s been stepped on. But it’s out there of you search.

So back to Rick James.

I wish I’d gotten it back when. I wish I’d gone to see him when he was in his heyday.

He isn’t the pure shit, the original like Clinton or James Brown. He’s something else. He’s really a rock guy. He was in bands with Neil Young at one point, if I recall correctly. Ha came out of there to funk, not from R & B world like the other guys. But he took the funk to the people, he got white rock fans to listen to funk. I hated him back then. I wish I hadn’t been so stupid about it. I would have loved this guy if I’d seen him; hell, I certainly loved what he was singing about.

So Rick James, up there in (Down there in?) that other place. You take those guys up there in that band that keeps getting better and better and you start showing them the Funk. Ol’ Ray’s up there, he gets it. You guys get that band warmed up.

It’s such a freaky scene

I need to go listen to more Funk, baby, and maybe twist one up.

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