BY ASHA MAHADEVAN
George Clinton proved his legendary status Monday night when more than 100 fans chanted “just funk it” at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Clinton was at the museum to sign copies of his memoir, “Brothas Be, Yo’ Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir.”
The event was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. but Clinton arrived 20 minutes early and seeing the long line of fans waiting to meet him, immediately started signing books.
The artist, known for the 1970s funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic (P-Funk All Stars), said it was “great to be in Queens.”
“It feels good to be here to jam in this neighborhood for people of different cultures,” Clinton said.
The fans were no less excited to see their idol in their neighborhood.
“I am really glad to see him in Astoria,” said Hye Ryu, an Astoria resident, who said she has followed his music for more than 20 years. “We are getting a chance to see him. It makes the neighborhood special.”
“He was probably the first funk musician I ever listened to in college,” said Ryu’s husband Young Yun. “To me, he is like a rockstar.”
Andre Doughty, 22, stood in line with his childhood friend, William Clyde. The two were introduced to Clinton’s music by their fathers, who were good friends and often played his songs.
“Funk keeps the energy. He gets straight to the point,” said Doughty.
Daniel and Liz Cousins grew up listening to Clinton in Virginia and California respectively. “It’s got an infectious sound,” said Daniel as Liz added, “It is sort of like cartoon characters meet music.”
The book signing was followed by a screening of “Cosmic Slop,” a three-part TV special that Clinton hosted in 1994. George Logan, who played one of the principal characters in the TV special, was at the book signing too.
“I’ve followed his music since the 60s,” said Logan. “It has stood the test of time. Lots of rappers today use his beats.”
After the screening, Clinton participated in a Q&A with his friend and Grammy-winning artist James Mtume. The discussion touched upon the first time Mtume saw Clinton (the latter was dressed in a tutu and a diaper), the funk artist’s musical influences and his decision to produce musicians at different labels at the same time.
When one of Clinton’s fans asked him life advice, he suggested she “just funk it.”
After the discussion, Clinton once again signed books for fans. A total of 180 books were sold over the course of the evening, according to a publisher’s representative.