P-Funk Earth Tour  

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"Afrofuturist ideas were taken up in 1975 by George Clinton and his bands Parliament and Funkadelic with his magnum opus Mothership Connection and the subsequent The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, P-Funk Earth Tour, Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome, and Motor Booty Affair. In the thematic underpinnings to P-Funk mythology ("pure cloned funk"), Clinton in his alter ego Starchild spoke of "certified Afronauts, capable of funkitizing galaxies." --Sholem Stein

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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. Clinton hired Jules Fisher as set designer, who had previously worked on tours for The Rolling Stones, KISS, and other rock bands. Both the show's music and production elements were extensively rehearsed at an aircraft hangar in Newburgh, New York. The show required seven trucks to transport its equipment and scenery. 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." 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." The New York Times described the tour as featuring "superbly silly, lavish costumes" and an "opulent Baroque ... stage show".

The tour began in October 1976 in New Orleans. 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.

The tour drew to a close in mid-1977; its expenses were as high as its innovation level and it was losing money steadily; indeed one tour assistant's job was "to tell the musicians why they weren't getting paid." Nevertheless, the tour served as valuable publicity and marketing for "the P-Funk brand", making reference to the greater Parliament-Funkadelic-Clinton enterprise of acts, records, side projects, spin-offs, and so forth.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "P-Funk Earth Tour" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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