Coronavirus

George Clinton at Coachella 2017: 'The Older You Get, The Fresher Funk Gets'

George Clinton performs at Heineken House Ultimate House Party during day 2 of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 15, 2017 in Palm Springs, Calif.
Billy Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

George Clinton performs at Heineken House Ultimate House Party during day 2 of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 15, 2017 in Palm Springs, Calif.

At 75, funk legend George Clinton may have been the oldest performer at this year's Coachella, but he's not slowing down any time soon. Backstage at the Heineken House, just after he and his revolving door of P-Funk Allstars laid down two hours of jams (including staples like "Atomic Dog," as well as newer material), Clinton spoke with Billboard about the new Parliament album in the works. 

"It's called Medicaid Fraud Dog," Clinton said. "It's about the pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, people selling meds!" 

This was the funk pioneer's first time on the Indio field for the fest, but he and his myriad bands have decades of festival experience. "It reminded me of the European festivals," he said. "Glastonbury and all of those, I've done those over and over. It reminds me of the Woodstock thing -- we've done that!"

Clinton was bummed, however, that he missed his buddy Thundercat's set earlier in the day. The jazzy bassist and Clinton jammed with Michael McDonald earlier this year in Utah, but Clinton and he hadn't connected before his set earlier on Saturday. "I didn't even know he was here," Clinton exclaimed, clearly disappointed.

Clinton long ago shed his trademark dreads ("I'm old! Your hair starts falling out, and there's nothing to attach them to!") but he's not giving up music. "Funk is always gonna be fresh," he said. "The older you get, the fresher it gets."

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.