Friday, March 25, 2011

Old Stuff Friday- The Soul Corner - "I Bet You"

One of my best friends as a kid, Bill, had a brother Don who was around 8 years older than us. Don was a real east side Detroiter, super cool, liked fast cars, tough guy, but was super nice to and patient with Bill and me, showing us barely adolescent boys the ropes of growing up.

Don had a car with a turntable in it that played 45s (!). And in the summer of 1970, his car was rocking one song, "I Bet You" by the Funkadelic. The song had been previously done by Parliament, Funkadelic leader George Clinton's prior (and subsequent) band. [Just heard from Bill who informs me the car was a late 1960s blue Chevrolet Impala convertible, which makes my fond memories all the more understandable].

But the new super funked up version of "I Bet You" redefined the song and accomplished the ultimate merger of funk and psychedelic rock'n'roll on Funkadelic's self-titled, now classic debut record. Eddie Hazel's fuzzed out lead guitar from here has been sampled many times, while the bass lines define funk itself.

Don would blast the song and take us somewhere fun like Putt Putt or to ride go carts, instructing us that this was the music we needed to be listening to, not the Monkees or the lightweight stuff our friends liked. Bill and I were smart enough to realize this was truly sound advice.

George Clinton of course, is still touring, and still tossing out great lines like one from here "You ain't gonna lose with the stuff I use" (appropriated by the Cramps' Lux Interior among others). Clinton is an underrated lyricist in my opinion (he gets help here from his main man Bootsy Collins), and the lyrically inclined among you should check out the words to "I Bet You", where nearly every line is a great one (my favorite - "You can't know what's going on when you're asleep, I bet ya!"):

And thanks to CKLW, the Canadian AM radio station across the river from Detroit with its powerhouse signal, this track became a regional hit single, which was surprising even then, but now seems downright impossible.

Enjoy your weekend:


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Anonymous said...

Oh yeah! One of the best musical memories of my youth. Thanks, Jim.