11:44 AM GMT 21/05/2013
Parliafunkadelicment loses its "Diaper Man". World becomes less funky. Kris Needs mourns...
THE FUNK WORLD is in mourning at the news that Garry 'Star Child' Shider, George Clinton's musical director and right hand man for 40 years, succumbed to brain cancer on June 16.
Apart from acting as main conduit between Clinton and his legions of musicians, Shider was renowned for taking the stage clad only in a large nappy, earning him the tag 'Diaper Man'. After hooking up with Funkadelic on 1971's Maggot Brain album, he sang, co-wrote and played guitar on all their major albums, along with sister group Parliament's post-1974 output, Clinton's later solo projects and many P-Funk offshoots. Shider was also band leader of Clinton's current P-Funk All Stars.
Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, in July, 1953, Shider first encountered Clinton in 1960 at the fabled local barber shop which spawned doowop group the Parliaments while acting as a local epicentre for would-be musicians and bored teenagers. The seven-year-old Shider had bunked off church to get his hair waved but was smitten by the singing he heard in the shop that day. By the age of ten, at the behest of his father, he was singing behind gospel legends such as Shirley Caesar & The Mighty Clouds Of Joy, while staying in contact with Clinton at Parliaments gigs, telling friends he would one day join them.
At 17, Shider relocated to Toronto with bassist friend Cordell Mosson, forming funk band United Soul [or U.S. Music]. Clinton, who was also living there at the time, was sufficiently impressed to sign them to his new production company, producing a single for Westbound called Baby, I Owe You Something Good.
After singing on Maggot Brain, Shider joined Funkadelic full time, going on to play a major role on subsequent acid funk milestones including America Eats Its Young, Cosmic Slop, Standing on The Verge Of Getting It On, Let's Take It To The Stage, Tales Of Kidd Funkadelic and One Nation Under A Groove, for which he co-wrote the anthemic title track with Clinton.
With Parliament, he appeared on Up For The Down Stroke, Chocolate City, Mothership Connection, The Clones Of Dr Funkenstein, Funkentelechy Vs The Placebo Syndrome and Motor Booty Affair, co-writing songs including Unfunky U.F.O., Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication, Night Of The Thumposorus People and Let's Take It To The Stage. He also played on P-related albums by Fuzzy Haskins, Eddie Hazel, the Horny Horns, Bootsy's Rubber Band and many more.
During the '90s, Shider divided his time between Clinton and projects such as guesting on the Black Crowes' 1996 album Three Snakes And One Charm, TV shows [including David Letterman and Saturday Night Live] and movies including PCU and The Night Before. In 1997, he was inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame with Clinton and 14 fellow funkateers. Recently, Shider had also been playing with fearsome US psych-funk outfit Drugs.
He was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in late March but insisted on undertaking one final P-Funk All Stars tour, without followers being aware of his illness. He leaves his wife, Linda, three sons, his mother, six brothers and five grandchildren. The Garry Shider Medical Fund has been set up to help his family clear his outstanding medical bills.
Clinton and his band are due to headline the Jazz Stage at Glastonbury on Saturday, while his old friend's memorial service will take place this Tuesday in Plainfield.
"Garry was the heart of the group... always about making the whole ship better, and finding new ways to make it consistently run," said Clinton. "No creature in this world or any other can replace Garry Shider. He is virtually un-clonable."
Rest in P.
Posted by Danny_Eccleston at 2:50 PM GMT 25/06/2010