Yeah, that’s me standing in front of the coolest thing I’ll ever own: the original album-cover artwork for Funkadelic’s “Hardcore Jollies” (1976).
The artist – Pedro Bell – was as much a part of Funkadelic as any guitarist or singer. His spaced-out marker drawings and satirically grandiose liner notes added much to the mystique of P-Funk music.
I first interviewed Pedro around 1991 for my short-lived music fanzine UNCUT FUNK. We’ve been friends ever since. (My 1996 interview with him is archived here.)
With influences ranging from Robert Williams to Frank Zappa, Pedro is one of the deepest cats I know. And one of the nicest. And one of the strangest.
Over the weekend I stumbled upon a YouTube video that will delight any and all funkateers. Pedro Bell in 1997 was a guest on “Chic-A-Go-Go,” a Chicago cable-access show. Pedro was interviewed by a hipster puppet named Ratso. Then he did a strange little song-and-dance. And then the young kids in the studio audience boogied to Funkadelic’s “Comin’ Round the Mountain.”
I’m still tripping out.