By Thomas Semioli
One name! One icon!
“You look like a Bootsy…” said the mother of the bassist born William Earl Collins – hence the single moniker synonymous with the genre he so richly enhanced. Indisputable fact: Bootsy is the foremost funkiest player ever to pick up the instrument – namely the “Space Bass.”
His legion of master disciples, including Flea, Prince Roger Nelson and Marcus Miller, to cite a humble few, have certainly expanded on the template set by Bootsy, however to my ears, Mr. Collins reigns supreme with his deft command of rhythm, space (pun intended), melody, showmanship, use of mind-bending, shape-shifting effects, and most of all…attitude!!!!
An incomparable and prolific recording artist, producer, composer, philanthropist, Funk University founder, and multi-instrumentalist, Bootsy’s tenure with James Brown in the original J.B.’s; Parliament Funkadelic; as a bandleader with Rubber Band; and collaborator whose work spans Keith Richards, Material, Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, Sammy Hagar, Jerry Harrison, Deee Lite, and Buddy Miles to reference a very, very very, select few, has been oft imitated and sampled, yet never surpassed.
Bootsy Sound & Vision…
Dig this all too brief sampling of Bootsy tracks…
James Brown live 1971: https://youtu.be/ZJ-qaeldagg
Bootsy’s Rubber Band Live Stretchin’ Out 1976 https://youtu.be/3byI94zEjc4
Bootsy’s New Rubber Band Live 1993 https://youtu.be/FQNdAnZkN78
Keith Richards “Big Enough” https://youtu.be/LbzxcvNFhoU
Deee Lite “The Groove is in the Heart” https://youtu.be/etviGf1uWlg
Herbie Hancock “Perfect Machine” https://youtu.be/yJq9_EqcwQU
Snoop Dog “Undercover Funk” “Give Up the Funk” https://youtu.be/m_84x4wFaoE
Musiq Soulchild / Big Daddy Kane https://youtu.be/EbS2dIADcsg
Disciples of Funk https://youtu.be/WUDy4S4BdOE
Jerry Harrison “Bonzo Goes to Washington” https://youtu.be/_BRHwFy0qaQ
Bootsy Collins Praxis “Transmutation Animal Behavior” https://youtu.be/9TerGRhSFJg
Prince Inducts Parliament Funkadelic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame https://youtu.be/EbS2dIADcsg