David Corio

George Clinton

The Portman Hotel, London, UK
(July 3, 1985)

One of my personal musical heroes and one of my favourite people to photograph. George clowns around so much in front of the camera that he makes it very easy to get a good portrait of him. He originally trained as a hair dresser and has always been conscious of his image from his earliest days in his doo wop band The Parliaments. They later changed radically to become Parliament and various off-shoots including Funkadelic helped create what became known as the P-Funk sound which mixed heavy funk with elements of rock and loose jams that could see his shows going on for more than 4 hours.

I took George outside the hotel for some shots and when we tried to go back in the doorman refused to let him re-enter until I convinced him that Mr Clinton was a guest at the hotel. He had red false eyelashes, multi-coloured braids in his hair, baggy shorts and massive white trainers on.

I met him again in 1994 when he was collaborating with Primal Scream and asked him if he still did drugs and he replied ‘only when I’m working – and I’m working all the time!’

George Clinton