Bernie Worrell, co-founder of Funkadelic and Parliament, has died.
As The Guardian's obituary observes, in effect he was paid in exposure:
Worrell’s contributions as a keyboardist, writer and arranger didn’t bring him a lot of money, the source of much legal action and fierce criticism of Clinton, but fellow musicians paid attention.As a result, when he was fighting cancer it took a fundraiser to help cover his medical expensese. Although it was a pretty impressive fundraiser.
He had a varied career - he was part of the band featured in Rikki And The Flash, the so-so Meryl Streep movie; he played with Talking Heads during their imperial phase. And, perhaps less magnificently, he was part of Buckethead's post-Guns N Roses existence:
Worrell had been inspired to take up the synth by Emerson, Lake And Palmer. From a Passion of the Weiss interview last year:
I have to say when I was in college at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. I had an Emerson, Lake & Palmer [album]. That’s when I first heard the Moog synthesizer.With Worrell so influential on black music, this does mean that Emerson, Lake & Palmer are legitimately one of the founding forces of hip-hop. Kind of.
It tickled my fancy. That was a big one. [Note: Emerson played an enormous Moog modular synth.] After joining P-Funk, they came out with the Minimoog, which is the granddaddy after the one that Keith Emerson [played]. I bought one, and then came “Flash Light.” And “One Nation” bass line, that’s a Minimoog. Bass line on “Aqua Boogie,” that’s a Minimoog. There’s actually three Minimoogs on “Flash Light.” Everybody gravitates towards the bass line, but there’s two more doing cartoon voices.