Subject: THAT "DRUG" THANG

You posted the following in response to the question "What's A Funkateer:

(Drugs helped but wasn't mandatory. the music helped but READ the Funkadelic lp covers and if you can understand them and follow from one lp to the next you were definitely there. (with the help of some serious smoke i followed all the way through all the covers)

I wanted to comment on this in light of several situations.......that I have recently become aware of where "funkateers" have recently gotten themselves in to "drug related" trouble.

In both cases these were people who had quit for quite some time and had decided to start up again for various reasons. In one case the person is now in jail & in the other the person seems headed down the road of self destruction.

We have discussed this topic quite a bit here on the board and in my mind we can't discuss it enough. One of the common stereotypes applied to funkateers is that they are 'high' all of the time or that you have to be 'high in order to groove to the music.
I would hate for younger people reading this to think that FUNK music in and of itself is promoting the use of drugs. Now I won't deny that it is something that was there, however it was something that was common across all demographic sectors and not unique to funkateers in the 1970's. The United States was then & still is today a drug culture
The kind of drug use that is often associated with the fans and that you are referring to specifically is associated with both the album covers and song lyrics of P-Funk.
20 years ago I thought that those song lyrics & album covers were very creative. Today I look back on them with a bit of nostalgia. I will always feel that they were the .....pinnacle of a form of creativity that isn't seen very often on today's music scene.
However when I get the opportunity to discuss P-Funk with younger people they often will focus on drugs and feel that this is what the band and it's music were all about.


Nothing could be further from the truth, sure there were drug messages and such in the lyrics and on the album covers but, that's not what the band was all about.
My greatest disappointment in George Clinton has to do with the fact that he did not take things to the next level. He had created the foundation for a cultural movement ..........that could easily have been the most powerful force in this country. He could have molded that into something great.

Instead he kinda winked about the drug messages and made as much money as he could off of it. He is still doing that today.
This band had a powerful message and had created something that was truly great. Instead of having a legacy which is one that we could say was the "beginning of something", it has a legacy that is closer to the "end of something".

Part of what ended this cultural movement (and the band itself) was in fact drugs. I have never forgotten that, it's painful...for me to think about it. Lives, careers and families have been destroyed because of it. One of the reasons why I rarely discuss P-Funk here is because it's actually painful for me to think about and I get mad when I do. They sold us all out for "short term profits".

Sorry for being so long winded but I guess to sum it up:
"I disagree with your definition of a funkateer"

Iím drug free & staying that way !!




Subject: THAT "DRUG" THANG
  • You got caught up with the one word drugs and missed the meaning of what i was saying. I said it WASN'T MANDATORY!!!!

    The point of that sentence was to read the lp covers and follow along and you would be in funk land. By no means is drugs a important part of it. Am drug free and have been for a long time now and still enjoy reading the covers and of course the music and visit funk land often. read the beginning of the statement--it is a state of mind. we groove to a different drummer with a mean bass backup. i am telling

    the new funkateers and wanna bes to READ THE COVERS AND LISTEN TO THE MUSIC. by no means am i advocating the usage of drugs. Like you said it was part of the culture back then and i was just stating it's involvement in my life back then but also stated IT WAS NOT MANDATORY!!!!!!!! Now that we got that straight maybe you can agree with my definition of a funkateer. You got too caught up with the reference to drugs and missed the whole point.

  • I got your point.....no problem there. I just wanted to elaborate so that everyone is clear on where I stand on the issue of Funk & drugs. In my opinion drugs destroyed the Funk movement. They sucked the life blood from it in a way that was totally devastating. Drugs ruined the lives not only of the artists, but also of the fans.
    An entire movement which could have changed the very fiber of this country for the good was lost because of drugs.
    I can appreciate what you are saying cause I know where.....you are coming from. The point here is that since 1980 the Black community has lost it's way culturally, politically & economically.
    The generation of people who were supposed to prevent that from happening spent the 1980's totally "zoned out". They were oblivious to what was actually happening.

    I also happen to belive that time has not run out for the "funkateers of the 70's to regroup/renew themselves. In some ways funkateers are this countries most valuable resource because they also have the ability to communicate with younger people who may also be into Hip Hop......
    ....perhaps we can see sone good that will come of this after all ????????????

  • Let me take your wisdom a step further...the frightening sound of "Generation X" artists glorifying the use of weed and crack in hip hop. Artists as well-respected as Snoop and the late Tupac and Biggie Smalls sell MILLIONS of CDs telling our teens how "cool" it is to get high. I was absolutely shaken when I recently saw an interview with William "Bootsy" Collins and listened to his explanation of his continual drug abuse throughout his HIT years of 1976-1980...and I thought then that Bootsy was a genius...THE BOMB!!! He says now he does not even REMEMBER writing several of his biggest hits (including THE PINOCCHIO THEORY, IMHO the GREATEST Funk tune ever recorded...). To think a talent like Bootsy can't even remember WRITING these songs...
    1980 was a pivotal year for TWO reasons...first it was the height of what I call the "herb" years. I remember not being able to DJ a party without getting a contact high.

    It was not only "cool"...it was NORMAL to smoke weed (I wasn't normal...(g). Secondly...we became so sedated as a people that EVERYTHING suffered...the civil-rights movement, Reagan elected and sending black rights back twenty years, and our communities fell apart...and are STILL in disrepair. It infected everything in our culture...including our music...and we are now going through this drug problem AGAIN!! We must get ourselves CLEAN...and get back on the track to rebuild our communities...and ourselves!!!

  • (Artists as well-respected as Snoop and the late Tupac and Biggie Smalls sell MILLIONS of CDs telling our teens how "cool" it is to get high)
    Something is desperately wrong here. Sure there were many drug messages in the music of the 70's. If you listened closely you could decipher them. But today's artists just come right out and say it. The sad part is that parents often look the other way, trying to be 'cool' themselves. I'm not trying to be a "polyanna" about this, not one bit.....nor am I trying. .condemn the youth of today. My only question is that since we have been thru this before
    DIDN'T WE LEARN ANYTHING ??
    & CAN'T WE TEACH OUR CHILDREN BETTER ??

  • You hit it right on with the word "sedated". we as a people have been high so long and sedated that we let too much sh*t slide by. And if you ask most of us who were around during the 70' and 80's you will find that yes we were "cool" back then but don't remember much because we were sedated. It was too easy to escape the sh*t instead of dealing with it and improving things. you may ask why we let it go that way. It's another way the man had control over us as a people.
    If we were high we couldn't do much and they made sure there was plenty around in our community so we don't see what was happening to us or didn't care. Plus weed didn't make us violent but "sedated" us so we didn't do sh*t about anything. We just "mellowed out" It pisses me off to think about how many years me and my buddies "mellowed out" and wasted away because we were "wasted". Bob this is a good thing to transplant to the web page so hopefully more of the generation X will read and learn from.

  • The problem is simple...our children have NO respect of the struggles we have gone through. They feel that, for the most part, they have no connection to the struggle...so they act as if there is NO problem. In addition, because so many brothas and sistas got high themselves, our children feel that since we did it...they can too. We MUST learn to give children POSITIVE role-models...and insist respectful and intelligent behavior from them. How do youthink this can be accomplished...and how can we change the
    negative images portrayed by our hip-hop stars??

  • The same is said of pyschedelic and progressive rock fans (such as myself). People think we're always stoned. I've even had people ask me what I was smokin at some of the shows I've been to (by my fellow fans, no less). I always tell the same thing I'm always on, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I don't do drugs, I don't smoke pot, and i don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't drink alcohol either! Anyway, I have friends who have a certain amount of experience with pot, acid and magic mushrooms, and the consensus amongst them in regards to this is pretty much, half serious "Man, you don't need drugs, you're already there!" type of thinking! Which is cool with me, but it's weird they seem to think that I'm having experiences with psychedelic music that most people only reach when they drop acid or smoke pot. I know a lot of people who say the same thing about my taste for John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Sun Ra. "The difference between you and most of the rockers who are listening to that stuff now is THEY'RE smoking pot and getting stoned, but you're not!" a friend who used to work at a record store told me once! I figure maybe it's that I have an adventurous spirit and an open mind, who knows!?
    May you never thirst!

  • I feel that part of the solution to this business of "role models" is for each one of us to behave as though we are one. When I see things like friends of mine getting high with their children I immediately leave. I do not want their children to think that I am someone that they can get high with.
    This whole issue of "role models" is one that we have control over as people who have lived through this before. When I make statements like "Funkateers may hold the key to the salvation of this nation", it's not a joke........
    Funkateers are at the cross roads. Generally speaking we are talking about Black people who are between the ages of 35-50. They have firsthand knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement, Drugs and Computing. They are diverse and open minded.....& they survived the 1970's As we approach the year 2000, what better role models could there be ?
    All we gotta do is get our act together !!!

  • I'm so glad that you brought this up. Back in the 70's people who were "funkateers" & people who where "freaks", usta hang out with each other. We don't talk about it enough up here.....FUNK was a unifying force on many different levels & it was ALL on a positive tip !!
    "Long Haired Hippies.. Afro Blacks...All Get Together ..Across The Tracks....."

    I miss that whole groove !

  • AND THEY PARRRRRTTTYYYYY....ALL NIGHT LONG...NIGHT TIL DAY...HEAR WHAT I SAY.. i remember that record bob. you know this board has hit on another problem we as a people have to
    face. the lack of good role models. we used to have them but haven't seen one since King. But yall are deep and hitting the point real hard. we have to be role models for the children now becuse there isn't one and they are looking for guidance. can Farrakkan be a model???
    I think NOT!!!
    He has his good points but he is too racist himself to lead a people. I agree with you 100% getting high with the kids is NOT being responsible and a good model. We can talk about it with them and hip them to the fact that it usually
    messed us up one way or another but NEVER condon it and do it within sight of them if you still haven't awakened yourself and quit.

  • Great post !!!
    You are so correct about role models not being on televison or even famous people. We all need to stand up and be counted on as role models for children. My father was my role model and I know that your father was for you. How do I know this ?
    Because I was at your house and saw it. Not only did men act as role models for their own children, but also for everyone else's child in the neighborhood That's part of what is missing a sense of unity.........
    .....we got too much selfishness and we act as if we have no responsibility to the larger community.
    So what am I talking about ??? ...."community action" ???
    mass organizing ???
    Of Course not
    What I am saying is that each of us has a responsibility to solve this problem. We created it & we can fix it. The generation of "freaks & funkateers" are the ones who made daily drug use an acceptable thing. That's who can fix it.
    Each One Teach One
    If each one of us made an effort to be a role model for at least one other person......this problem would be solved !!
    While we sit around and blame the "media" (When is the last time you saw Ted Koppel selling crack on a street corner ??), we each have within our own power & sphere of influence to make a difference.
    Let your own behavior define you, and keep it real !!

    (& that's what the "UNCUT FUNK" is really all about !!)

  • Consider this in the context of what we have been talking about

    1. James Brown - Drug Problems & jail time
    2. Rick James - Drug Problems and jail time
    3. Sly Stone - Drug Problems & jail time
    4. George Clinton - Drug Problems
    5. Chaka Kahn - Drug Problems
    6. Jimi Hendrix - Drug Problems (death by overdose)
    7. Wilson Pickett - Drug Problems & jail time
    8. Miles Davis - Drug Problems
    9. Marvin Gaye - Drug Problems
    10. Bootsy Collins - Drug Problems
    11. Eddie Hazel - Drug Problems
    12. Larry Blackmon - Drug Problems
    13. etc.

    These are not rumors or gossip but they are facts that we have all read about in books & newspapers. Does anyone see any relationship between drug abuse and the demise of these
    artists hmmmmmmmmmmmmm ??????
    Drug Abuse = Slavery

  • You have a very valid point. Drugs seems to be the root of most of their problems. back to that community thing you were talking about back in the day we didn't have just one set of parents. all our friend's parents were our parents too. Your mom would beat my ass just as bad as mine would if i did something wrong around her and visa versa. that don't happen now for several reasons. one is law suits. I would sue you if you hit my child and then beat your ass for disciplining my child. would claim child abuse too. Two would be apathy---that's not my child or problem why should
    i get involved. Three is lack of respect from the kids today. Of course i don't mean me and you personally cause i would expect you to act like our parents did and handle the situations accordingly. Today's kids the first thing out their mouth is "you not my mother fu*k you!". As you also stated our father's were our role models and as a people we MUST continue this tradition because there aren't any out there for our kids.

    (as a people we MUST continue this tradition because there aren't any out there for our kids.)
    The reason I put this topic up in the first place is because it is my belief that drugs were one of the key reasons for the demise of the FUNK movement as well as the "sedation" that some folks seem to be under.
    "Each one must teach one"
    That's the only way that these kids are going to understand ....& folks have to be willing to be heald personally accountable for their actions.

  • I don't do drugs(I'm no angel) and have experimented, thank god not w/ smack. i applaud your stance
    re: no drugs to dig music on CD or live. thanks.

  • (I don't do drugs (I'm no angel)
    Those of us who are "refugees from the 70's" all know that drugs were a BIG part of the scene not just for the musicians, but also for the fans. After all the motto of the 70's was "sex, drugs & rock n' roll".
    However those of us who were there also know of the huge toll that drugs have extracted from the lives of many of the people that we knew back then. Some are no longer even alive to tell their story, many are still to this day............
    ......dealing with the impact/effects of their own drug usage. One of the things that disturbs me is the
    glorification of drug usage in some of todayís music.
    I think it's important for younger people who may be reading this to understand what the realities of this situation are.

    "Some of my best friends....."

  • I can't add much to that. i've seen first hand what hard drugs have done to acquaintances. the devastation.
    Hollywood even still glorifies smoking. I can't believe it!
    And anyone who does think "softer" drugs like crank, ecstasy; etc are harmless, is vastly wrong. I'm no
    preacher .nuff said. ......"Fall mountains, just don't fall on me..".

  • I recently saw P-Funk live in concert and was surprised to see that George Clinton is still smoking reefer onstage. There were many younger people in attendance at the show who obviously didn't see George "the first time around", only know him from "samples" and have only second hand knowledge of the band's history. (he should know better !!)

  • Reefer sh#@ messes w/ your short term memory & motivation and god knows what junk it'll put onto your lungs? look at what happened to Marley. CANCER. Live and die young credo -is antiquated ,IMO. I don't smoke reefer. I have when I was young and stupid/experimenting. Drugs are for thugs, IMO. enjoy life on a natural high! that's my credo. I'd bet G.Clinton does that reefer bit for shock value? nuff said.







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