Godfather of Funk

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will perform Saturday,  Aug. 24, at Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. Clinton, left, is widely known as the ‘Godfather of Funk.’

What happens when the Godfather of Funk, a man renowned for tearing the roof off of buildings - and suckers - finds himself performing at an outdoor arena?

"We'll tear off the outer layers of the atmosphere, then," says funk legend and Parliament Funkadelic founder George Clinton. "We'll make it rain aliens."

Bring an umbrella, because Clinton and his P Funk All Stars will be manipulating the stratosphere for a free concert at Gardner's Basin on Saturday, Aug. 24.

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Clinton describes the show as a "three-ring circus" filled with a multi-generational cast.

"It's a funky play," he adds. "It's a tag team. We've got about 25 or 30 people running on and off the stage, but all of them are funking."

With so much action and interplay between several dozen musicians, things are bound to go awry from time to time.

"I'm like the traffic cop," Clinton says. "It may look chaotic, but it's actually very orderly. Things do go wrong, but the audience never knows it."

Having recently celebrated his 72nd birthday, Clinton's musical career spans the course of six decades and is an integral aspect of several key musical movements throughout history.

"I'm feeling more energetic now than I did over the last 10 years or so," admits the musician, who recently chopped off his signature multicolored dreads in favor of a slicker, more reinvigorated look. "I got rid of some bad habits. I have a lot more time to think and plan stuff now, and more energy to know what I'm doing."

Clinton has accrued an impressive amount of hits, many of which will be featured in the evening's setlist.

"I usually look at the audience and can tell what era they're into," he reveals. For some, it's a healthy dose of "Flashlight," "We Want the Funk," and some of the other 1970s Parliament/Funkadelic classics. Others prefer Clinton's more recent work in the rap world, which also involves both his children and grandchildren.

"But if it's the 'Grateful Dead' type fans ..." Clinton says with a chuckle, "we can play anything and they'll be jamming."

LEARN MORE: GeorgeClinton.com

THE MEMBERS: There are literally dozens of musicians accompanying George Clinton onstage. "I'm schooling them on the music and business aspects," Clinton says. Several other band members have children performing, as well. "They've been around it ever since they were born," he adds.

COMING UP: See George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic Saturday, Aug. 24, for a free show at Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City. The concert runs from noon to 8 p.m., and also features B.A.D., Ed Morgan, Special Occassion, and Angela Burton and Passion.

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