Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 12:10 pm | Mostly Cloudy 75º


Jeff Moehlis: George Clinton and the Mothership Land at the Chumash Casino

Sir Nose does acrobatics as part of the George Clinton concert at the Chumash Casino. Click to view larger
Sir Nose does acrobatics as part of the George Clinton concert at the Chumash Casino.  (L. Paul Mann photo)

The mothership landed at the Chumash Casino Thursday night, with George Clinton flying his faithful funkateers on a trip through the funkalicious sounds of Parliament-Funkadelic.

The journey began with "Mothership Connection (Star Child)," a mid-70's Parliament gem which got everyone on their feet.  

At 74 years old but rejuvenated after kicking his long-time drug abuse, Clinton looked sharp in a reddish-maroon suit and fedora as he took the controls of the sweet chariot that swung down and picked up passengers for a good-time ride, including the 10 to 20 other people onstage singing backup vocals and/or laying down the funky grooves.

"Mothership Connection," which like most of the others during the concert stretched well past the 10 minute mark, ended with mind-melting guitar solos and chants of "Jump! Jump! Jump!" that had many fans obliging.  

This jam was followed by the smooth "One Nation Under a Groove," which included a funky bass solo, a sweet horn break and a quick drum solo.

Next up were three songs — "Pole Power," "Get Low," and "Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?" — from the first Funkadelic album in 33 years"first ya gotta Shake the Gate."

These had a more modern hip-hop vibe, and although they weren't well known to the audience, they kept the party going.

It was then back to the 70s with the classic "Flash Light," during which Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk came out dressed like a pimp in a feathery white suit and proceeded to do onstage handstands and acrobatics.  

George Clinton’s granddaughters Tonysha (far left) and Sativa (second from left) added vocals to the funky mix at the Chumash Casino. Click to view larger
George Clinton’s granddaughters Tonysha (far left) and Sativa (second from left) added vocals to the funky mix at the Chumash Casino. (L. Paul Mann photo)

Clinton himself got into the groove with a funky dance as the casino opened up the front area for the more enthusiastic members of the crowd — including yours truly — to be closer to the funk master.  

The Sir Nose appearance was followed by "(Not Just) Knee Deep," which included some funky scat singing by saxophonist Greg Thomas.

Clinton's granddaughters Tonysha and Sativa then got a chance to shine with a cover of "Vanish In Our Sleep," by former Parliament bassist Bootsy Collins.  

Next came "Atomic Dog," during which Clinton invited ladies from the audience to dance onstage, a few of whom ended up suggestively sandwiched between Clinton and Sir Nose.

The journey ended on a high note with "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)," which segued into "Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples," and lots of psychedelic guitar and energy pulsed onstage and off.  

"Ow, we want the funk / Give up the funk / Ow, we need the funk / We gotta have that funk!"

All told, the audience rode the mothership for nearly two hours, quite long by typical casino concert standards. Funkin' awesome!

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.


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