[There was a video here]
Funk legend George Clinton, of Parliament, Funkdelic, Parliament-Funkadelic, and more, appeared on last night's episode of Tavis Smiley to hawk his new book, Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir. That title makes me more smiley than Tavis.
Clinton talked at length about his legal battles regarding the rights to his music. He says record labels effectively took money from him and the hip-hop artists that sampled him and his various acts. He also is suing his former lawyers (again, I guess?). He also said that people went to the "U.S. Copyright Office itself" and changed the writing credits on his songs. He said several times that people should read more about this in his book.
It was all sort of confusing—a 2011 Hollywood Reporter article about Clinton's various lawsuits was rightfully called "George Clinton's Legal Troubles Are A Mystery Wrapped In A Pandora's Box." One thing that did come through clearly, though, was that the battle to own the music that is rightfully is has given the 73-year-old a sense of purpose.
"I'm 73 years old, I wouldn't have nothing else to do anyway," he said. "I got rid of my habits, so hey, really got nothing to do...I got a lawyer habit now." The sober Clinton wore a plaid blazer, mustard colored slacks, and striped socks.
"At 73, you ain't got much to do but go fishing and get fat for real," he told Smiley later. "You know, but I'm still on the road, I have fun on being the road, but this gave me something I could be passionate about."
Also, this interview provided the joy of listening to George Clinton speak. Thank you, Tavis, and you're welcome for sharing.