Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 340
Sat, Dec 22, 2012

“Maggot Brain”


“♫ I was
not offended/
For I knew
I had to rise
above it

What a perfect soundtrack to the end of the world. Such an incredibly epic rock song with guitarist Eddie Hazel’s laying down one of the sickest guitar licks in rock history. So good that Hendrix would have been proud looking from beyond hearing Hazel’s interplanetary riffs. George Clinton described “Maggot Brain” as “very special, you know. It’s own kinda thing. A really soulful kind of rock that no one had quite done before that. Eddie Hazel had a good a good vibe on bluesy slow stuff and he was real articulate with that kind of tone. Rock & roll and blues was still happenin’ so once in a while we had to put some real blues into the thing. Real tears into the picture. Maggot Brain just happened to be the vibe that we came across. Hendrix, Page and Big Brother were doing that real good rock & roll and blues and all that stuff. So we had to knock out a few ballads. You know, “free your mind and your ass will follow…Maggot Brain.” “Music for my Mother”….we were just in and around all of that. We were just trying to get some bluesy-nasty music goin’ on.

How did a classic cut like “Maggot Brain” get made, let alone released, in 1971? George was quoted in Jim Irvin’s edited The Mojo Collection when he said, “Back then people said, ‘You can’t do that sorta thing on record, George,’ And I was saying’ right back, ‘You bet yo’ ass I Can.’”

Listening to this epic track you wouldn’t be surprised to know that Clinton and Funkadelic created ‘Maggot Brain” on hallucinogenic , George admitted in The Mojo Collection that he was on acid as George explained, “I just got in there and turned the knobs. It was such a vibe. I didn’t know any better—you can only do that stuff when you don’t know any better. Nobody knows what the fuck’s goin’ on. Soon as you do, it changes anyway, so ain’t no one thing stable but freedom. But then I found out freedom of the need to be free is even better, so we just went out to lunch. Free your mind, and your ass will follow. And those three records, up to Maggot Brain, we just went totally out to lunch. By the time we got to America Eats Its Young, I was trying to figure, I done took all this acid, and hippies and all that shit was over, do I have enough brain cells to come back to chronological if I have to?”

Clinton also admitted to coax that extraordinary guitar solo from Eddie Hazel, George told the guitarist, “to play like your Mother just died.” The same cut that music critic Greg Tate called “Funkadelic’s A Love Supreme,” could “Maggot Brain” be the soundtrack to dying Mother Earth? Our planet deserves such an epic anthem like “Maggot Brain.” Even though, as reported in The Mojo Collection, the title track got her name, “rumor has it that Clinton discovered his brother’s decomposed remains in a Chicago apartment with a cracked skull—hence Maggot Brain…” was born.

There’s no better way than watching the end of days than, hanging with family while cranking up the soundtrack to the End of the World. Relive the greatness of Funkadelic nation, with one spin, not only will you feel it— you will believe in the Funk!