P-Funk Earth Tour

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The P-Funk Earth Tour was a series of concerts performed by Parliament-Funkadelic in the mid-1970s, featuring absurd costumes, lavish staging and special effects, and music from both the Parliament and Funkadelic repertoires.

The P-Funk Earth Tour was ambitious from the start. Casablanca Records executive Neil Bogart gave George Clinton a $275,000 budget for production, the largest amount ever allocated for a black music act to tour.[1] Clinton hired Jules Fischer as set designer, who had previously worked on tours for The Rolling Stones, KISS, and other rock bands.[1][2] Both the show's music and production elements were extensively rehearsed at an aircraft hangar in Newburgh, New York.[1][2] The show required seven trucks to transport its equipment and scenery.[2] With a broad range of themes embodied in the show's production, culminating in the Afrofuturist landing of the P-Funk Mothership, author Rickey Vincent states that the P-Funk Earth Tour "drew from the ribald, uncensored entirety of the black tradition in mind-blowing ways no one had yet even attempted."[1] Rolling Stone viewed the tour as embracing Clinton's "semiserious funk mythology" with "[a] mixture of tribal funk, elaborate stage props and the relentless assault on personal inhibition [that] resembled nothing so much as a Space Age Mardi Gras."[3] The New York Times described the tour as featuring "superbly silly, lavish costumes" and an "opulent Baroque ... stage show".[4]

The tour began in October 1976 in New Orleans.[1] The 1977 live album Live: P-Funk Earth Tour was recorded at two early 1977 concerts, January 19 at the Los Angeles Forum and January 21 at the Oakland Coliseum.[1] The tour drew to a close in mid-1977; its expenses were as high as its innovation level and it was losing money steadily;[5] indeed one tour assistant's job was "to tell the musicians why they weren't getting paid."[5] Nevertheless, the tour served as valuable publicity and marketing for "the P-Funk brand",[5] making reference to the greater Parliament-Funkadelic-Clinton enterprise of acts, records, side projects, spin-offs, and so forth.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vincent, Rickey (1996). Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of the One. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-13499-1.  p. 245.
  2. ^ a b c Thompson, Dave (2001). Funk. Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-629-7.  p. 90.
  3. ^ McEwen, Joe (1980). "Funk". The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll. New York: Random House/Rolling Stone Press. ISBN 0-394-73938-8.  p. 375.
  4. ^ John Rockwell (1977-07-01). "The Pop Life: A Secular Niche For Gospel and 'Jesus Rock'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  5. ^ a b c Kempton, Arthur (2005). Boogaloo: The Quintessence of American Popular Music. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03087-6.  pp. 380–381.

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