George Clinton is planning to highlight his recent legal issues and family life in an upcoming reality TV show. For years he has faced troubles regarding the copyrights to his catalog. Earlier this year, the mastermind of The Parliaments, Funkadelic and such spin off groups as P-Funk All-stars and the Brides of Funkenstein, gave up the rights to four of his songs so that he could pay off his lawyers. As one who has been sampled for years without compensation (arguably the “most sampled” artist of the hip-hop generation, next to James Brown) Clinton wants his legacy to be that he “has turned people on to the fact that they need to fight for their rights to their music.” For more background information on his legal activity, you can read a Deposition taken from Westbound Records’ employee Jeanne ”Jane” Peterer Thompson earlier this year, which in reference to Westbound boss Armen Bolanian, contains such damning passages as this:
“On February 8, 2002, again under the direction of Mr.Boladian, I personally filed and registered: (i) a copyright registration in the name of Westbound Records with the U.S. Copyright Office as awork for hire known as the Funkadelic Sound Recording SR318917titled: “Cosmic Slop” asserting a June 17, 1973 data of first publication;and (ii) a copyright registration in the name of Westbound Records with the U.S. Copyright Office as a work for hire known as the Funkadelic Sound Recording SR318918 titled: “Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On” asserting a September 15, 1974 date of first publication, unaware of the fact that no actual work for hire agreement existed for either of these sound recordings.”
The deposition appears to vindicate at least somewhat Clinton’s claims that he never signed away Parliament-Funkadelic’s rights to their music, the appearance of which has caused much strain between himself and other members of the loose-knit funk collective.While no network is confirmed to air his reality show, cameramen have been following Clinton on and off stage. In speaking with Uncut Magazine, Clinton said:
“I’m doing a reality show with my family, with my son Tracy, my six grandkids, Scott Thompson, Brandi – it’s a big family thing. A bit like ‘The Osbournes’ but most of them are, like, musicians, rappers and everything. We got to come up with new ways to get the music across, so we’re doing this reality show. So we can expose all the noses out there, stealing the copyrights and taking people’s music and money. This is all gonna be part of the reality show, the copyright fight, plus we still kicking ass onstage.”
The funk legend sat down with Bishop Don “Magic” Juan (yes, that Magic Juan) to further discuss his plans. Check out what he has to say below about the reality show and keep praying for the day when our fine nation may once again be united under George Clinton’s groove.