George Clinton To Step Off The Mothership, Quit Touring

George Clinton
Marcy Guiragossian
– George Clinton
George Clinton of Parliament Funkadelic in Richmond, Calif., File photo.

Pollstar has received confirmation that George Clinton, the longtime frontman of Parliament Funkadelic, intends to join the ranks of classic artists retiring from the road.

“This has been coming a long time. Anyone who has been to the shows over the past couple of years has noticed that I’ve been out front less and less,” Clinton said in a statement. “Truth be told, it’s never really been about me. It’s always been about the music and the band. That’s the real P-Funk legacy. They’ll still be funkin’ long after I stop.”

The news is accompanied with a whole slew of dates for Parliament Funkadelic, the next of which is May 4 at House Of Blues in in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The routing is mostly clubs and theatres in the U.S., then moves to Europe in June and July. After that there is more time in North America, with two stops planned in Japan at Sonic Mania and Summer Sonic festivals . The last performance on his current on his routing is at Frontier Field in Rochester, N.Y., Aug. 26.  

The 76-year-old Clinton’s most recent performance was with Parliament Funkadelic at the soon-to-be-closed B.B. King Blues Club in New York City. The group has been on the road for the last few months, and has filled up venues in North America like Thalia Hall in Chicago for a $45,352 gross and Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Va., for a $36,725 gross.

Clinton is a legend in the live and recorded music industry, first the catalyst for the formation of sister groups the Parliaments and, later, Funkadelic as well as being a creative force behind P-Funk . While the collective’s lineup has always been somewhat fluid, it is notable for having been the musical launchpad of funk masters including Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins, as well as the forebear of offshoot bands like Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Bride Of Funkenstein, and George Clinton’s P-Funk All Stars. P-Funk has been losing members though – Ray Davis in 2005 and Garry Shider in 2010, and Clinton himself was hospitalized for a staph infection in 2011.

Known for outlandish concerts, featuring a flying stage prop “Mothership” and wild costuming, landmark albums including Mothership Connection, One Nation Under A Groove, and Maggot Brain, P-Funk also made its mark on the sonic landscape with hits including “Give Up The Funk” and “Atomic Dog.”  Parliament Funkadelic, according to Rolling Stone, has what would be its first album under that name in 40 years on the way, called Medicaid Fraud Dog.

Pollstar reached out to George Clinton’s representatives for additional comment.