QQ Rockers, we've lost another one. PARLIAMENT/FUNKADELIC founding member Bernie Worrell passed away on Friday. Bernie was an accomplished musician providing keyboards/synthesizers (more specifically the Moog) and played with everybody from George Clinton and Bootsy Collins to Keith Richards to the Talking Heads.
I had the opportunity to see "The Wizard of Woo" at Cosmic Charlies some years ago. Digging through my archives I found this little article I did on the former djotisbadass.com. And in an upcoming podcast soon to be released, I'll tell you how I thought I upset some Parliament members that night.
Bootsy Collins said Bernie Worrell was the Jimi Hendrix of the keyboards. Futuristic, funky synths. Bernie added a space/galactic sound to Parliament but he always kept it on the one!
Enjoy the small tribute.
The Bernie Worrell Orchestra
Cosmic Charlies, Lexington, KY
Parliament/Funkadelic founding member, and Talking Heads keys maestro Bernie Worrell brought his orchestra to Lexington for a Monday night jam session that did not disappoint. Granted half the orchestra was missing (horn section...not your typical orchestra), but the rest of the guys made up for it. Opening up the show was Lexington funkateers, Relic Delic, bringing their brand of in your face raucous funk to the house. Busting out about 45 minutes of original rocknfunk, keep yer eyes on the very talented DeBraun Thomas, lead singer and guitar player. Bernie hits the stage, and amazes the crowd with flawless control over 4 keyboards, synths, organs n such. If you were coming here to hear some P-Funk, you might hear some elements of it, but you are not going to get a P-Funk cover show. What you get is loud, heavy, synthesized funk. Not pimpin' funk, not crusin' funk, not James Brown funk, but loud heavy funk...and it's good too. Did I hear Funkadelic's "Slightly Stupid" or was I dreaming? Seriously, I can't remember, but it didn't matter because all that matter that night was the groove. Speaking of groove, the hellacious version they worked up of the finale "Take Me To The River" (in which he played on the Talking Heads' version) was flat-out awesome!!! The call and response he put in it, "Ladies, say take me to the river! Fellows say it, drop me in the water!" was fantastic! Bernie is getting up there in age, but for an old music prodigy like himself, he had no problem of keeping the energy of the venue. That night, it wasn't P-Funk. It was B-Funk! And that B stands for BERNIE!