The First Thing That Comes To Mind

Today I want to throw out a few names and have you think about the first thing that comes to mind.

Lady GaGa, Marilyn Manson, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Andre 3000 – George Clinton.

All are artists in the music biz. But is it the music itself that actually comes to mind first? Or is it their public facing characters ?

Many, including myself, feel it’s definitely the characters that come to mind first. In fact, without the characters, many artists may have never generated enough of a buzz to be noticed over the deafening roar of everybody else, and consequently we may have never gotten around to having ever heard their music – no matter how great the music was. A prime example of cause and effect.

… to many artists, having to have a reason other than what they feel they do best to even be heard is a rude-awakening and a bitter-tasting pill to swallow.

Don’t get me wrong, this type of character branding is nothing new, and it’s not just entertainment biz related – it exists everywhere. But to many artists, having to have a reason other than what they feel they do best to even be heard is a rude-awakening and a bitter-tasting pill to swallow. But once you accept it, and perhaps even embrace it, the world is yours.

I placed George Clinton in the list above rightly so, because he was an absolute master at characters. As much as I enjoyed the music of Parliament / Funkadelic, I also could not deny the characters; Dr. Funkenstein, Brides of Funkenstein, Diaper man, Sir Nose, Horny Horns, every album cover; they were everywhere. Even though William Collins was an undeniable bass playing sensation that played on many of James Brown’s mega hits, prior to coming to George Clinton’s camp he was just a bass player. So what did George do? He created a character – Bootsy. The rest is rhinestone rubber band history.

– Big Strad

Tags:

Comments are closed.