It was a wild day tracking down the funk pioneer Bootsy Collins before his Montreal International Jazz Festival show at Metropolis, but as you can see from the video interview, it was well worth it.
William Earl “Bootsy” Collins is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is, on stage and in person, funk personified. At age 20, his band The Pacemakers (eventually known as The Pacesetters) became James Brown‘s backing band and were renamed The J.B.’s. Though there were many incarnations of the group, as the first to do it to it, this lineup is always referred as The “original” J.B.’s- contributing to such monsters jams as Super Bad and Sex Machine. Bootsy’ signature space bass groove then made it’s way over to a little outfit called Parliament/Funkadelic and he played with George Clinton‘s groove army before taking on funktacular frontman status.
Along the way, he’s also collaborated with Dee-Lite (on Groove is in the Heart), Keith Richards, Bill Laswell, Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker, Snoop Dogg and Chuck D. He’s also released a series of albums and singles (like his Rubber Band’s #1 hit Bootzilla) that fundamentally altered this planet’s groove. He’s back on the road after an all-too-long hiatus with a new album, Tha Funk Capital of the World, and his show at the Montreal Jazz Fest is going to be out-of-sight. I’ve interviewed a lot of musicians over the years, but hanging out in Bootsy Collins’ dressing room was almost too much for me to handle.