‘I’m Just Getting Started’: George Clinton, leader of Parliament-Funkadelic, returns home to Newark

The Godfather of Funk was honored at ceremonies in Newark and Plainfield before taking the stage with his seminal funk outfit Friday night. He was joined by special guests Questlove, Nona Hendryx, Ice-T and more!

“I ain’t never been nervous in my life,” George Clinton, the Godfather of Funk, told the crowd of students and faculty at Avon Avenue Elementary School in Newark, NJ Thursday morning. “But looking at you guys … I realize how small I must’ve been when we started Parliament-Funkadelic. I didn’t realize we were this young, but this is where we started.”

Clinton, who founded the Parliaments on Avon Avenue Elementary’s playground when he was a student there in the 1950’s, was honored by the school for his contributions to the world of music and art. Jennifer Tsukayama, vice president of Arts Education for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, David Rodriguez, executive vice president at NJPAC, and Ras Baraka, the mayor of Newark, took to the stage to say a few words about the Newark native who brought funk to the forefront of contemporary music in the 70’s and 80’s. 

“Today we are all funkateers,” Tsukayama proclaimed.