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Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins is one of the all-time great funk and R&B bassists/singer/bandleader. He formed his first group, the Pacesetters, in 1968. From 1969 to 1971, the group functioned as James Brown’s backup band and was dubbed the J.B.’s. In 1972, Bootsy joined George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic. Collins and Clinton soon established a lifelong personal and musical friendship. Collins’ inspired, clever progressions and patterns were a key part of several records, including “Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine.” Bootsy’s Rubber Band emerged in 1976, a spirited ensemble that included his brother. Their debut LP, Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy’s Rubber Band, and their second release, Ahh…The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! equalled anything issued during Clinton’s peak period for idiomatic diversity, clever, bizarre humor, and outrageous lyrics. Both Ahh… and the third LP, Bootsy? Player of the Year, earned gold records and made it into the Top 20 on the pop charts. He collaborated with Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads in 1984 — using the name Bonzo Goes to Washington — that produced “5 Minutes (C-C-C-Club Mix),” featuring Ronald Reagan declaring nuclear war on the Soviet Union over a skittering rhythm track. In 1989, Bootsy was a member of the Bootzilla Orchestra on Malcolm McLaren’s album Waltz Dancing. One year later, he became a featured guitarist and bassist with the dance music trio Deee-Lite, and also toured England with a group co-led by Parker and Wesley. Bootsy’s New Rubber Band released Blasters of the Universe in 1994, and Fresh Outta ‘P’ University followed four years later. In 2006, the bassist actually released a Christmas album, Christmas Is 4 Ever. In 2011, a conceptual album, The Funk Capital of the World, landed, featuring everyone from Ice Cube to Samuel L. Jackson on the guest list.

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