Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Missing Mothership

I've been a fan since I was 10 years old, maybe younger. It seems like yesterday the first time I laid my eyes on the Maggot Brain album cover which was terrifying on one level but fascinating on another. Parliament Funkadelic is one of only a handful of bands that fundamentally changed the course of music.

From WaPo...
This is a story about a UFO.

Not just any UFO. The Mothership.

It might be the most awe-inspiring stage prop in the history of American music and it belonged to funk legends Parliament-Funkadelic. Since the Mothership vanished in 1982, rumors of its whereabouts have mutated into local lore.

This is a story about trying to find it...

...Parliament released "Mothership Connection" in 1975, an album with a title track about hitchhiking to cosmic transcendence: "Swing down, sweet chariot. Stop and let me ride." Clinton started dreaming up a tour to match. After watching the Who's 1969 rock opera "Tommy," he asked himself: "How do you do a funk opera? What about [black people] in space?"

He called upon David Bowie's tour producer, Jules Fisher, to help bring the Mothership to life. "This was theater. This was drama," says Fisher, a renowned Broadway lighting designer." The Mothership was assembled in Manhattan and made its first descent in New Orleans from the rafters of Municipal Auditorium on Oct. 27, 1976.

I was at a Parliament show at the Capital Center when the Mothership landed. It may have been the April '81 show but if so I blocked out George's infamous strut.

If you haven't seen a Mothership landing or just want to reminisce it begins around the 4 minute mark.

1 comment:

Cherry said...

Luis says: One of the greatest albums ever made. They played country, psychedelic, acid rock (before anyone else), and of course, funk. One of the most ripped off bands in the world. Right on! (Fist up). Total innovation.

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