Bands That Freaked Me Out When I Was Young: P-Funk, Black Sabbath, Culture Club


parliament-funkadelicYou can’t talk about Funk and not bring up the the trio of James Brown, Sly Stone, and George Clinton. With horns, nasty basslines, and a combination of African-styled beats mixed with electro-grooves, funk music wasn’t mainstream like the soul and R&B that the radio played on heavy rotation. First time I saw Clinton’s jam band, P-Funk, I didn’t know what was going on! A Parliament / Funkadelic concert stage often had over 15 band members in exotic costumes, wild afros, space suits, giant black men in diapers, colorful wigs, a truly intimidating visual experience. Whether he was solo (Atomic Dog), jamming with Prince (killer version of Erotic City), or fronting his bands, Parliament and Funkadelic, there was always something unique about George Clinton. Here’s a couple P-Funk jams to get the weekend kicked off in style!



bsOzzy Osbourne has become a lovable reality TV dad, a less intimidating version of the leader of the darkest, most ominous Heavy Metal band of the early 1970’s. Black Sabbath’s lyrics of witches, death, and the occult were scary to young listeners. Even their album covers looked like Satanic film scenes. When they started the band, Geezer Butler noticed that suspenseful, scary films were making big money and he thought the music business needed to jump on that idea. Their debut self-titled song was so dark that Rob Halford of Judas Priest called it “the most evil song ever recorded.” Go beyond the now-cliched themes and you’ll appreciate the incredible music and atmosphere generated by these early Sabbath records that have influenced so many artists over the past four decades.



culture clubWhen I was sixteen and working in Minneapolis, a tall, attractive woman with long hair, high heels, and lots of makeup came into the store where I was working. She was flirty and looked oddly out of place. As she left the store, my co-workers were dying laughing. They said, “You don’t know she’s a TV?” I was young, gullible, and never heard of a T.V. (outside of my television set). They said SHE was a transvestite. Oh my God! Another crazy introduction to the big city for me 😉 Later that year, Culture Club was all over MTV with Boy George leading the way. This time I wasn’t fooled but still a little freaked out by his dress and style. Despite his look, the soulful voice and Motown-like sound on songs like “Time” and “Miss Me Blind” were great records for their time.