Bootsy Collins Says He Won’t Play Bass Onstage Anymore
Bootsy Collins will no longer be playing bass onstage.
In a new post on his Facebook page, the onetime Parliament-Funkadelic bassist writes that the "time has come for me to tell all our Funkateers that I will not be playing bass in concert anymore. I have decided to become a coach for up and coming musicians. I know you are disappointed – just think for a moment how I feel."
Collins said he's just following doctor's orders. "Doc said too much pressure on my inner ear and right hand," he wrote. "I had to make up my mind, so I did." It's not all bad news, though. Collins said he still plans to "continue to funk from the studio." "I know you got questions, and I don't have answers," he concluded. "Maybe one day, you too will understand."
Collins signed it all off with a note of optimism: "This year will be the funkiest year of them all. Watch for it."
The 67-year-old, who was born William Earl Collins in Cincinnati, got his big break in 1970 when James Brown hired the Pacemakers, Collins' funk group, as his backing band. He played on the R&B classics "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "Super Bad" and "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing," as well as a handful of other hit songs, during his time with Brown.
In 1972, Collins joined George Clinton's Parliament and Funkadelic groups, playing on legendary funk albums like Mothership Connection, The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein and One Nation Under a Groove. During those busy years, when Parliament and Funkadelic were both releasing albums, Collins became one of the most influential bass players of his generation.
He remained with Clinton's camp throughout its '70s commercial peak. Over the years, he formed his own group, Bootsy's Rubber Band, and played with artists as diverse as Deee-Lite, Fatboy Slim and members of Talking Heads. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Collins could still be seen onstage as recently as last month, when he played with funk artist GRiZ in Detroit.