Interview

Why It Matters to Bernie Worrell

Photo used with permission

Photo: Brian Diescher. Used with permission

My love for all things Funkadelic knows no bounds.  Call it what you want — Parliament, P-Funk, Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Dr. Woo, it doesn’t matter.  If it’s on the one I’m there.

So I just about peed myself and blew a snot bubble when Bernie Worrell, P-Funk founding member and the baddest keyboard player on this or any other planet said yes to an interview.

Worrell is out on the road right now with the Bernie Worrell Orchestra.  If you’re in Los Angeles (Jan. 18), San Diego (Jan. 19), or New Jersey (Feb. 14) you can see the legend live, and if you do I want a full report.

Enough.  Let’s hear from the master:


Why It Matters: You have a couple of gigs coming up this weekend in Southern California, and another in a few weeks in Jersey.  Do you have plans for a bigger tour in 2013?

Bernie Worrell: We will begin a month-long national tour in April. We will hopefully make the rounds on the festival circuit and play some club dates in between.

WIM:  You’ve played with… well, you’ve played with pretty much everybody.  Can we expect any special guests?
BW: First of all, I never know which of my friends is going to end up at a show but our bandleader, Evan Taylor, reaches out to people for each show.  So, yes, we will be having special guests — including Blackbyrd McKnight.
WIM: Your two new songs, “BWO is Landing” and “Get Your Hands Off,” are outstanding. Are they getting good response?  When do we get a full album?
BW: The new songs are getting a great response. The BWO is going back into the studio when we get to Los Angeles — we’ll be finishing up the debut album.  Jerry Harrison and Mike Watt will be collaborating with us.  We will announce on our site when we know the exact release date of the album.
WIM: Can you tell us a little about your scholarship fund?
BW: Each year, my manager, Judie, and the Board of Directors of World Of Originality Inc. (my 501(c)(3)Not-For-Profit) produce the “Local & Legend Music Festival” where we raise funds for the “Bernie Worrell Scholarship in Music/Performing Arts”.  This September 15th, our Fifth Annual LLMF takes place in Vasa Park, NJ.  The more money we raise, the more we can donate for the Scholarship.
Through WOO I also go to colleges and schools, doing Q&A sessions.
WIM: Why does music matter to the legendary Bernie Worrell?
It was a gift from God, given to me in order to use it to help people, heal people and make a “joyful noise” for everyone.  I live, breathe, sleep music  — that’s how I earn a living.

You can visit Bernie at www.bernieworrell.com and catch up on your Woo news, download some tunes, buy some cool shirts, etc.  Ain’t life grand?

***BONUS CLIP***

Fast forward to around the seven minute mark to hear Bootsy on Dr. Woo:

Photo: Brian Diescher.  Used with permission

Photo: Brian Diescher. Used with permission

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