Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
P Funk mythology
A series of concept albums and live shows, primarily from Parliament and Funkadelic, have a group of recurring characters, themes and ideas that are collectively referred to as the P Funk mythology.
On Chocolate City (Parliament, 1975), the titular first track concerns a DJ character, who inspired the Lollypop Man (alias the Long Haired Sucker). According to George Clinton (who shares credit for the song with Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins), he was frustrated that radio stations refused to play his songs and invented his own station (called W-E-F-U-N-K) and a DJ to man it.
On Mothership Connection (Parliament, 1976), Starchild first appeared (inspired equally by Sun Ra's "Black Noah " and Jesus); he is a divine alien being, who came to earth from a spaceship (his arrival is "the Mothership Connection") to bring the holy Funk (with a capital "F": the cause of creation and source of energy and all life), to humanity. As it turns out (according to The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein (Parliament, 1976)), Starchild secretly worked for Dr. Funkenstein, the intergalactic master of outer space Funk, who is capable of fixing all of man’s ills, because the "bigger the headache, the bigger the pill" and he’s the "big pill" ("Dr. Funkenstein ," from The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein). Dr. Funkenstein’s predecessors had encoded the secrets of Funk in the Pyramids because humanity wasn’t ready for its existence until the modern era. The titular "clones" are the Children of Productions whose job is to ensure that everyone is on the One. Starchild’s nemesis is Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk ("Sir Noise Devoid of Funk" from Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome (Parliament, 1977)). Inspired by The Pinocchio Theory of Bootsy’s Rubber Band Sir Nose attempts to end the Funk because he is too cool to dance. He is the master of the Placebo Syndrome, which causes unFunkiness (a combination of stupidity and no dancing). His goal is to place the minds of all humanity into a state called the Zone of Zero Funkativity. Starchild, on the other hand, uses his Bop Gun ("Bop Gun (Endangered Species) ," from Funkentelechy Vs the Placebo Syndrome) to achieve Funkentelechy for all humanity. With the Funky powers of the Bop Gun (which are augmented by the Flash Light....Shine the light on them suckas!!!), Starchild causes Sir Nose to reach Funkentelechy, and find his Funky soul. He then dances away the night.
Sir Nose’s return (along with ally Rumpofsteelskin) is detailed on the Motor Booty Affair (Parliament, 1978). Here, Sir Nose is both too cool to dance and swim, but Mr. Wiggles and the good citizens of Atlantis (a place where one can swim underwater without getting wet) cause Sir Nose to dance the Aqua Boogie.
On Gloryhallastoopid (Parliament, 1979), Sir Nose’s machinations are undone by the Big Bang Theory, which reveals that the Funk caused the creation of the universe.
Sir Nose’s last appearance is on Trombipulation (Parliament, 1979), where he traces his ancestry back to the Cro-Nasal Sapiens, who were especially Funky, leading Sir Nose to reclaim his Funky heritage, along with his son, Sir Nose Jr.
Funkadelic albums are rather more ethereal and abstract when compared to Parliament’s. One central concept is Maggot Brain (Maggot Brain (Funkadelic, 1971)), and a song on that album, which is a way of thinking which allows one to forget one’s troubles, above which one must rise or else drown along with all the maggots of the Earth. One Nation Under a Groove (Funkadelic, 1978) introduces Funkadelica, a nation wherein the Funk rules and can’t be either stopped or labeled. The people of Funkadelica are called Funkateers (as are P Funk fans) and are led by Uncle Jam. Their mission is to rescue dance music from the doldrums (unFunkiness).
The Funk is described on the very first song (Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?) of the very first Funkadelic album (Funkadelic), in the lines "... my name is Funk/I am not of your world/Hold still, baby, I won't do you no harm/I think I'll be good to you".
On the second album, Free Your Mind... And Your Ass Will Follow, Funk is said to lead to the Kingdom of heaven, which is described as being "within" (the titular song). "Funky Dollar Bill" (off the same album) describes multiple unFunky priorities, all revolving around materialism and consumerism, which have taken over all that is good and true in society (including, on "Eulogy and Light," religion).
The Many Identities of Bootsy Collins
On Stretchin’ Out In Bootsy’s Rubber Band (Bootsy’s Rubber Band , 1976), Bootsy was Casper the Friendly Ghost who educates children at the Psychoticbumpschool ("Psychoticbumpschool ," from Stretchin’ Out In Bootsy’s Rubber Band).
On Bootsy? Player of the Year (Bootsy’s Rubber Band, 1978) Bootsy is a rhinestone-bedecked doll of a rock star called Bootzilla ("Bootzilla " off Bootsy? Player of the Year) who is far superior to Barbie, on account of his ability to sing, dance and play.
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