KISS vs. P-Funk

Friday May 11th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I’m still buzzing about how much I enjoyed seeing George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic light up the crowd at the Cubby Bear in Chicago last night, but there are a few factors that don’t add up inside my twisted little logic box. Let’s see if I can sort a few things out and make sense.

In my opinion, the show should have been held across the street at Wrigley Field. Concerts are no stranger to that venue, as I remember Paul McCartney getting booked there not that long ago. I think Bruce Springsteen is there later this year as a matter of fact. Why isn’t George booked?

Some might snicker when I suggest that, but they probably don’t realize just how major a draw P-Funk was at one time. I still remember them playing Soldier Field in 1977. I wanted to see that show, but had no means of getting there from Milwaukee at the time. I can only imagine the look of unbridled horror on my grandparents’ faces had I asked them to take me to see that concert.

“You want us to drive you all the way to Chicago to see WHAT?”

“A concert where a spaceship lands with black people from outer space coming out of it.”

End of story.

A lot of people also don’t realize that George and Parliament were signed on with Casablanca Records at the same time KISS was with them. That must have been a circus and a half trying to keep all of that together. But I never liked KISS, even though I tried. Their music flat out stinks.

I do love their showmanship, and they can still sell out all over the world today even with such an inferior product music wise. George and the boys still bring it musically and always could, but they’re playing the Cubby Bear for a few hundred people on a Thursday. Something doesn’t fit.

What went wrong? Is it a marketing issue? Creative differences? A black/white thing? I have to believe it’s a little bit of everything. Maybe George isn’t a very good ass kisser, or chooses to put his energy in the creative side and not the business like so many other performers do. That’s been a huge hump for me to get over as well, and I don’t know how to overcome it. It’s a real concern.

There’s something to be said about doing things on one’s own terms, and I’ve always chosen to make that a major priority with everything I’ve done, but was it always the right choice? Might it be a little smarter to play the game a little better and allow myself more choices in the long run?

That could be exactly the right thing to do, but as for me I never did it. KISS did it, and they’re still raking in major cash to this day with not only their less than stellar music, but merchandising as well. George had a few t-shirts for sale at the Cubby Bear, and a few obscure CDs. That’s it.

I still had a great time, and I’m glad I went. But I don’t want to be doing B and C venues when I’m 71. That’s not all that far off, and it’s rather scary to think about. The path I’m on now won’t lead me to any kind of Promised Land, so I’d better find a way to change that – or get a day job.

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