Welcome To The Soul-Patrol Newsletter
RIP Bernie Worrell, Funkadelic, Talking Heads, RRHOF, Letterman, W00 Warriors, George, Bootsy, Scott Free, John Hickey
Above: Bernie and Soul Patroller Brian Jackson at the first Soul-Patrol Convention
It’s kind of nice for me to see such a fuss being made over the passing of Bernie Worrell, if all was right in this world, Bernie would have been an instantly recognizable worldwide household name. Instead he was someone who always needed to be introduced by mentioning his participation as the member of various groups, in order to validate his genius. And goodness knows I had the distinct honor of “introducing” Bernie Worrell many different times, onstage, online, offline, etc, in many different situations. Each time, I always had to mention his association with various groups, something that I always found to be quite disturbing, so I am quite happy to see the fuss being made over his passing.
Bernie (and his wife Judie) have always been there for Soul-Patrol.com. In fact they were a big part of putting us on the map, before the site even existed. Bernie was my very first chat guest on Prodigy Urban Sounds back in 1996. Trust me, back in 1996 the idea of an artist coming on line to chat live with fans was a brand new idea. After Bernie and Judie (AKA the infamous “Purplewoo”) agreed to do the live session, Prodigy management refused to let me use the “Chat Auditorium” (Special chat room when you knew there would be more than 50 people.) They told me “we never heard of him.” And of course I told them the usual (Genius keyboard wizard, Rock n Roll Hall of Famer, Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads, Pretenders, David Letterman Band, etc.)
Didn’t matter, they said Bernie wasn’t big enough. I of course asked why they were trying to marginalize Black music, by insulting one of it’s greatest artists and maybe, just maybe they needed to find some other “house negro” to run Urban Sounds and that Bob Davis might not be the right person to be their “house negro.” With that threat they finally agreed to let me use the “Chat Auditorium.”
Not only did Bernie draw more than 50 people (actually we had over 150,) but some ove the biggest names in the music business (including Prince and Paul Shaffer)came into our chat room that night. All of this to chat with someone I was told by Prodigy Management, “that nobody ever heard of.”
Over the years Bernie & Judie have been a big part of Soul-Patrol.com in both big and little ways. They attended our various Soul-Patrol Conventions over the years, we hung out with them at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductions, when the Talking Heads were inducted, Bernie showing up to do a “cameo” appearance with the Wooten Brothers or the BRC, his participation in Global Noize, the mind blowing “Social Lybrium” project and of course the many “off & on” reunions with George, Bootsy and others from the P-Funk Mob. Over the years our association with Bernie has provided “instant credibility,” with the cream of the crop of Black music.
However for me, the musical configuration that was always defined the “Best of Bernie” was Bernie Worrell & the W00 Warriors. Please read the review below from 2005 of Bernie Worrell & the W00 Warriors (that night featuring our friends Scott Free and John Hickey) @ the Doylestown, PA “Moose Lodge.” It was a concert quite worthy of P-Funk, Talking Heads and Sun Ra, performed in a packed house of 300 drunken beer guzzlers, who probably in 2016 will be voting for Donald Trump. I think re-running that review is the best way for me to honor the greatness of Bernie Worrell. Please read it and let me know what cha think. RIP Bernie W00
Concert Review: Bernie Worrell/W00 Warriors @ "The Moose" Doylestown, PA
* Garry "G Man" Sullivan - Drums
* Scott Free - Guitar
* John Hickey - Guitar
* Donna "Lady Bass" McPherson - Bass
* Wizard of W00 - Keyboards
I have often made the comment that FUNKADELIC from the early 1970's was the very best Rock n' Roll band that I ever saw perform live. Of course when I say that, people who have never seen FUNKADELIC, yet associate that term with something other than what it was will give me a strange look as if to say...
"Uhhhh Bob, didn't you mean to say FUNK instead of ROCK n" ROLL..."
If you are a person who falls into this category, then I would advise you to go and see Bernie Worrell & the W00 Warriors if they ever are within 150 miles of where you live. You won't be sorry that you did.
Here is the set list....
* Stretchin Out
* Woo Together
* Gamin On Ya
* Super Stupid
* Red Hot Momma
* Undico Kid
* Cosmic Slop
(NOTE: One Nation Under A Groove, Take Your Dead Ass Home, Burnin Down The House were originally scheduled, but the set ran over and they never played these 3 songs)
The band stepped on to the stage (sans Bernie) and kicked things off with Scott Free (serving as emcee) announcing that they were about to stretch things out with the...
And that is EXACTLY what they did for about 8 min till Bernie came out, with our boy Scott Free "takin it to the stage" sounding like a combination of Bo Diddley and Eddie Hazel and
prancing around the stage looking like "Chuck Berry from Mars".
....and then Bernie comes out!
The crowd knows just who the INSURANCE MAN OF THE FUNK is and is primed for him and Bernie doesn't disappoint them by urging everyone to "W00 TOGETHER" and they do, because you see this "lily white crowd", in the home of Philadelphia's far right wing conservative radio talk show host (Michael Smirconitch) know what the deal is with Bernie.
(See what yall are missing, Black folks???)
Bernie has got the crowd in serious "W00 Mode" and then the band takes off with the FUNKADELIC classic "SUPER STUPID", where guitarists John Hickey and Scott Free turn the show in to ROCK SCHOOL 101. In the meantime I have been in the middle of the crowd dancing right along. Our good friend "DR BROOKENSTIEN" (David Brooks) was on the other side of the floor dancing his be-hind off, wearing one of his trademark "purple on purple on purple" suit (with matching "star child glasses & rings").
Next up was a short interlude with some Hendrix riffs as an intro to "RED HOT MAMA". During the song drummer "G-Man" got off into some serious "Billy Cobham style territory" during his long solo that energized the crowd.
At this point I closed my notebook, stopped taking notes and just grooved with the rest of the show, which ended with a MONSTER version of COSMIC SLOP.
A couple of side notes...
* Guitarist John Hickey had got a great new solo CD that I have been listening to for the past couple of months
* The new documentary film about the life of Bernie Worrell has been showing at film festivals across the country and is gearing up for a theatrical release...
* I had an extended conversation with "Bernie's Management" (our good friend Judie :)) and she told me about a number of new projects that Bernie has in the queue. To stay updated, take a visit to Bernie's site and sign up to his mailing list.
Bernie Worrell is truly one of the greatest artists of his generation. Funk Star, Rock Star, Soul Star.... SUPER STAR.
Bernie Worrell is truly one of the greatest artists of our time. I've known him for quite a while and of course he was one of the very first artists that we ever dealt with on Soul-Patrol. He has been a believer and a supporter of ours for many years. One of the things I mentioned to Judi was that over the past 10 years or so since we did our very first artist chat session online with Bernie that his profile has expanded greatly.
Back then I couldn't just say "Bernie Worrell". I always had to say....
"Bernie Worrell.... Classically Trained Keyboard Wizard of Parliment-Funkadelic, Talking Heads, Pretenders, Ray Charles, David Letterman show, etc...."
Now I can just say..."Bernie Worrell"
(and people know who I'm talking about...)
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