Monday, August 27, 2007

Something trippy from Pedro Bell

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.


odocoileus said...

I've always hope for an animated version of Tales of Kid Funkadelic as drawn by Pedro Bell.

I saw a copy of a Kid Funkadelic script by one the Hudlins at the Pasadena flea market, but the vendor was gone by the time I got back. Oh well.

Invisible Woman said...

That show seemed to be the perfect venue for him.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

I guess the Eddie Hazel freakout solo would've been too much for the kids and all those viewers in tvland.

That was weird in a cool kinda way. Man, you could look at those Pedro Bell album covers for days. Especially if you had imbibed a mind-altering substance - of course I wouldn't know anything about that. And even if I did, your mind would get altered if you stared at those covers for too long.

Here's to Pedro Bell Splankologist Supreme.

Thanks Dave!