Published May 25, 2011While several participants of George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic clan have been celebrated over the years as musical trailblazers -- just think about the impact of Bootsy Collins's wriggly bass lines, for instance -- there's one member of the crew that has never got its due: the Mothership.
Debuted on a 1976 tour, the massive spaceship set piece was integral to P-Funk's out-of-this-world image. While the ship may have been neglected when much of the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, you can now pay your respects to the prop at an upcoming exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
Clinton has donated the set piece to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture as a permanent exhibition when this branch of the museum opens in 2015. Ironically, this isn't the original craft. The first Mothership was hucked into a Maryland-area junkyard as a write-off in 1982 when the outfit's management was faced with debt. The craft that will be on display is a 1,200-pound aluminum replica that was built in the mid-'90s.
If you're actually allowed to navigate the Mothership, make sure you neither yell that the "roof is on fire" nor tear the roof off the sucker, lest you land yourself in jail for starting a riot.
Thanks to Rolling Stone for the tip.