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Concert of Colors 2021: Don Was Detroit All Star Revue P2

Metro Detroit’s free annual diversity-themed music festival returned for its 29th year with broadcasts and simultaneous livestreams across four consecutive nights. Between August 5-8, Detroit Public TV hosted the sounds of music greats from around the world, including Roy Ayers, Melvin Davis and acts from Haiti, Japan, Uganda and other countries.

AIRED: August 10, 2021 | 0:57:45
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

- Hi, planetary citizens, brothers and sisters.

Welcome back to the Concert of Colors.

My name is Ishmael Ahmed, director and curator

of the Concert of Colors and host

of WDET's This Island Earth.

The Concert of Colors was created nearly three decades ago

to celebrate the cultures and struggles

of Detroit's communities of color.

Today, we come together to celebrate all our cultures,

communities, religions, and genders.

And as in the past, we hope to return to our live format

where we can once again enjoy each other's company.

We would like to thank all of the staff, volunteers,

and artists that have made this year's event possible,

especially the Detroit Institute of Arts

who have played such an important role,

as well as Detroit Public Television, WTVS,

and Detroit public radio, WDET.

For this year's schedule, information,

and most importantly, to support our efforts,

go to www.ConcertofColors, one word, ConcertofColors.com.

And now let's take a minute

to thank our partners and sponsors.

- [Narrator] Support for this program was provided

by the Kresge Foundation, DTE, AARP,

the Detroit Free Press, Midtown, Inc., Skillman Foundation,

and Michigan.com and by these partners.

Concert of Colors, Culture Source,

Detroit Institute of Arts,

Charles Wright Museum of African American History,

the Arab American National Museum, Michigan Science Center,

University of Michigan Detroit,

Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Symphony Orchestra,

Detroit Public Television,

City of Detroit Department of Arts Culture

and Entrepreneurship,

Science Gallery of Detroit,

WDET 101.9 FM, the Scarab Club, Keegan Foundation,

Access, Laennec Museum of Michigan,

College for Creative Studies, Marx Layne,

New Detroit, Inc.

Detroit Excellence in Youth Arts,

and Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

(upbeat funk music)

Recorded live from the Detroit Film Theater

inside the Detroit Institute of Arts,

it's the 29th annual Concert of Colors.

- Welcome back to the Concert of Colors

and the Don Was All-Star Revue.

Thank you for joining us

as we celebrate the life and music

of legendary P-Funk master George Clinton,

who described funk this way.

He said, quote, "That is funk.

Funk is whatever it needs to be to give you that freedom

to let go and try whatever you're doing.

You're being funky when you just let yourself go," he said.

George Clinton has been letting go

and trying whatever moves him

since his early days with his band, the Parliaments

to Funkadelic, to Parliaments, to his solo work,

creating a funkified universe with countless musicians

who changed the trajectory of music and got us to move.

Here again is the Don Was All-Star Revue.

(smooth funk music)

♪ Friends, inquisitive friends

♪ Are asking me what's come over me ♪

♪ A change, there's been a change ♪

♪ And it's oh so plain to see

♪ Love just walked in on me

♪ And it's taken me by surprise ♪

♪ I wanna testify

♪ Happiness surrounds me

♪ I wanna testify

♪ You can see it in my eyes

♪ I wanna testify

♪ Now it was just a little while ago ♪

♪ I wanna testify

♪ My life was so incomplete ♪ I wanna testify

♪ I was down, so doggone low ♪ I wanna testify

♪ I had to look up at my feet ♪ I wanna testify

♪ I, I wanna testify

♪ What your love has done for me ♪

♪ I, I wanna testify

♪ What your love has done for me ♪

♪ Oh, luscious,

♪ Sure been delicious to me

♪ Oh, luscious, sure been delicious to me ♪

♪ Once I was a hollow man ♪ I wanna testify

♪ In which a lonely heart did dwell ♪

♪ I wanna testify

♪ But your love came sneaking up on me ♪

♪ I wanna testify

♪ And bringing life to an empty shell ♪

♪ I wanna testify

♪ Now I've heard so many times before ♪

♪ I wanna testify ♪ That your love

♪ Could be so bad ♪ I wanna testify

♪ But I just want

♪ To tell you people ♪ I wanna testify

♪ It's the best love I ever had ♪

♪ I wanna testify

♪ Oh I, I wanna testify

♪ What your love has done for me ♪

♪ I, I wanna testify

♪ What your love has done for me ♪

♪ Ooh, I wanna testify

♪ What your love has done for me ♪

♪ Sing it, girls

♪ I, I wanna testify

♪ What your love has done for me ♪

♪ I wanna testify

♪ I wanna testify

♪ I wanna testify, tell it

♪ I wanna testify

♪ What your love has done for me ♪

♪ I, I wanna testify, I wanna testify ♪

♪ I wanna testify, testify, tell it to me ♪

♪ Say, tell it to me, what your love has done for me ♪

♪ Testify

♪ I wanna testify

♪ I wanna testify, testify ♪ What your love

♪ Has done for me

(crowd applauding)

- I felt like whenever I played with P-Funk,

it was very free.

You were allowed to really express yourself.

I really think that comes through in the music.

As we were talking, the stuff is fun and it grooves,

but when you really listen to it,

it's layers and layers of stuff that people are

really allowing or being allowed to put their heart

and soul into it and their personality.

And I think that's what George really was a master at,

letting people, just making them feel comfortable

and let them do what they do.

And then him being the ringleader.

And he really understood it.

He understood music.

He really did, and he knew how to,

he could have been a conductor, you know,

if he was a symphony person or he was just,

he really knew, when he heard stuff, he would definitely,

his ear would tune into that, and he would,

as you hear him ring leading, bringing that out,

letting people do what they do by what he heard.

And encouraging them.

♪ Hey, hey, hey, yeah, all right ♪

♪ People, what you doin' out there ♪

♪ Standing on the verge of getting it on, of getting it on ♪

♪ I said, people, what you doin' out there ♪

♪ Standing on the verge of getting it on, of getting it on ♪

♪ I said, ladies, what you doin' out there ♪

♪ Standing on the verge of getting it on, of getting it on ♪

♪ Oh, what you doin' out there

♪ Standing on the verge of getting it on, of getting it on ♪

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Oh, my soul is out tonight

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Y'all, come on

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Oh, my soul is out tonight

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Y'all, come on

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Oh, my soul is out tonight

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Y'all, come on

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Oh my soul is out tonight

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Y'all, come on

♪ Mmm

♪ Hey, yeah, hey, yeah, hey, yeah ♪

♪ Even if you don't dig it

♪ Don't mean it's not the thing or thing to do ♪

♪ Could be just for you

♪ And even if you don't feel it ♪

♪ Right now don't think so think so think come on ♪

♪ It's almost done ♪ It's your thing here

♪ You really shouldn't ought to fight it ♪

♪ The music is designed to do no harm ♪

♪ We're just for you

♪ With just a little bit of effort ♪

♪ I can't help moving like it's going on ♪

♪ It's just for you

♪ Going, going

♪ With just a little bit of effort ♪

♪ I can't help feeling like I might come on ♪

♪ Hey, yeah

♪ And even if you don't get it

♪ The time will change us here, and yet we are ♪

♪ Just for you ♪ Well just I told you

♪ Come on, it's just for you

♪ Ooh

♪ Ooh ♪ It's just for you

♪ We're just getting on fighting ♪

♪ It's designed to do no harm

♪ It's just for you

♪ With just a little bit of effort ♪

♪ I can't help feeling like it's coming on ♪

♪ Come on, sing it with me

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning, burning, burning, burning, burning down the house ♪

♪ I'm burning down the house

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning, burning, burning, burning, burning, burning ♪

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Oh my soul is out tonight

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Y'all, come on

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Oh my soul is out tonight

♪ There's a song out tonight

♪ Y'all, come on ♪ Go

♪ Hey

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning, burning, burning, burning, burning down the house ♪

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning, burning, burning, burning, burning down the house ♪

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning down the house

♪ Burning, burning, burning, burning, burning down the house ♪

♪ Oh

♪ Ooh

♪ Yeah

♪ Oh, come on, let's go

♪ Hey

♪ Wait a minute, don't go get your things ♪

♪ This is just a nice little thing in your funky life ♪

♪ We have fun and help you fall ♪

♪ And it's just another reality, you will see ♪

♪ With our music, we'll bring you home ♪

(crowd applauding)

- So the first time I met George Clinton was on stage

in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It was 10,000 people in the audience.

That was the first time I'd ever been

in front of a crowd that big.

And so everybody was new.

It seemed to be a hundred people on stage,

the background singers, all the instruments.

And then I saw George for the first time on stage

when he landed in the spaceship.

And after seeing him land in the spaceship,

I was completely intimidated.

He was an alien.

He was extra, extra terrestrial. (laughing)

And I was kind of like tongue tied the first, I guess,

six months to a year being in his presence 'cause I mean,

I mean, the only time I really saw him, 'cause he,

he didn't go on the bus with us.

So the first time I ever saw him,

he was in his platinum wig.

And it's all, you know, so yeah,

it took me about six months to almost a year

before George became a human being (laughing)

for me, you know?

And at that time, when George was producing in the studio,

he babysat every note,

every lyric,

every expression.

So it's like, okay, big, big,

you gotta have a big, big mouth, big mouth sound.

And he could hear if there wasn't a blend, mm-mm, you know,

and, or he go and, or he would hear some sounds,

some notes that I didn't know existed.

You know, they were in between the notes

that we know in terms of this ABCDEFG scale

and the flats and the sharps.

He was hearing human notes, you know,

the stuff that people say when they're in pain,

when they're in joy.

I don't know what the name of that note is, but, you know,

you know it resonates with something in your being.

And you perk up.

Your ear perks up because it's you.

You're hearing something human.

(smooth funk music)

♪ Oh

♪ Ooh

♪ Now, I lay me down to sleep

♪ Flash light

♪ I just can't find a beat

♪ Flash light

♪ Oh, I could never dance

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah

♪ Flash light

♪ Red light

♪ Neon light

♪ City stop light

♪ Now I lay me down to sleep, yeah ♪

♪ Oh, but all the headlights

♪ Hey

♪ Hey

♪ Oh

♪ Help him find the funk

♪ Help him find the funk

♪ Help him find the funk

♪ Help him find the funk

♪ Help him find the funk

♪ Help me find the funk

♪ Help me find the funk

♪ Help me find the funk

♪ Oh come on, help me find the funk ♪

♪ Help me find the funk

♪ Help me find the funk

♪ Come on

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Flash light

♪ Red light

♪ Flash light

♪ Spot light

♪ Spot light

♪ Neon light

♪ Oh

♪ Green light

♪ Sing it loud, sing it loud, sing it loud ♪

♪ Ooh

♪ Everybody's got a little light under the sun ♪

♪ Help me find the funk

♪ Hey, sing it

♪ We don't want to get it on with just get your tiny tonk ♪

♪ We don't want to get it on with just get your tiny tonk ♪

♪ First of all, got fire, with all folks have a chance ♪

♪ Got plans, get off your tiny chairs ♪

♪ Got plans, get off your tiny chairs ♪

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Stop light

♪ Spot light

♪ Oh, stop light

♪ Neon light

♪ Neon light

♪ Hot light

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Stop light

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Stop light

♪ Spot light

♪ Red light

♪ Spot light

♪ Red light

♪ Spot light

♪ Green light

♪ We don't want to get it on

♪ Take your own way home

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Stop light

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Red light

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Neon light

♪ I said, neon light

♪ Spot light

♪ Spot light

♪ Spot light

♪ Flash light

♪ Spot light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Red light

♪ Red light

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Ha da da dee da hada hada da da ♪

♪ Spot light

♪ Spot light

♪ Flash light

♪ Red light

♪ Spot light

♪ Red light

♪ Neon light

♪ Spot light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Everybody's got a little light under the sun ♪

♪ Everybody's got a little light under the sun ♪

♪ Spot light

♪ Oh, spot light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Flash light

♪ Spot light

♪ Under the sun say everybody

♪ Everybody's got a little light under the sun ♪

♪ Under the sun, under the sun, under the sun ♪

♪ Under the sun (crowd applauding)

♪ Under the sun, under the sun

- All I can say is that George always had an ear.

He would hear stuff, you know, and say, "Yeah!"

or he would hear us talking and he would hear one

of the things we say.

And next thing I know, it's in a song, it's in a song.

We were just talking about that.

And now George has got it in the lyrics.

So he was just like a big sponge.

I think what George gave me was the freedom

to be adventurous.

The freedom to go ahead and try that thought

that maybe you normally wouldn't even consider

because it's so this or so that, but to follow your gut,

you know, to, if there's something in there,

it'll come out, and it'll be good too,

you know, cause if you're honest about it, you know.

(upbeat funk music)

♪ Hey

♪ Sing it

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Something about the music, she always makes me dance ♪

♪ Something about the music, she always makes me dance ♪

♪ She turns me on and on, and all about ♪

♪ She was a freak, never missin' a beat, yeah ♪

♪ She was a freak, boy was it neat, yeah ♪

♪ Not just knee deep

♪ When she did the freak with me ♪

♪ She did the freak, never missin' a beat, yeah ♪

♪ She did the freak

♪ Boy was it neat, yeah

♪ She's a freak

♪ The girl is a freak

♪ The girl never misses a beat, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Not just knee deep, she was deep ♪

♪ And did it work now

♪ She did the monkey

♪ It wasn't funky no more

♪ Chicken wasn't pickin'

♪ Not just knee deep, she was totally deep ♪

♪ She turns me on and on, and all about ♪

♪ She's the freak of my desire

♪ And when she dance she sets the world on fire ♪

♪ The little girl is the freak of the week ♪

♪ And when she dance she gives me happy feet ♪

♪ She's the freak of my desire

♪ And when she dance she sets the world on fire ♪

♪ She's givin' me happy feet

♪ Yeah, she's the freak of the week ♪

♪ She was a freak, never missin' a beat, yeah ♪

♪ She was a freak, boy was it neat, yeah ♪

♪ Not just knee deep, she was totally deep ♪

♪ When she did the freak with me ♪

♪ She did the jerk, it didn't work, no ♪

♪ I did the moose, oh no, not the moose ♪

♪ Monkey wasn't funkin', chicken wasn't pickin' ♪

♪ But she was not just knee deep ♪

♪ When she did the freak with me ♪

♪ And she turns me on, hey, oh

♪ Hey, oh

♪ Oh

♪ Hey, oh

♪ Oh, she's the freak of the week ♪

♪ Something about the way

♪ Something about the way

(vocalist scatting)

♪ Something about the way

♪ She's the freak of the week, she's the freak of the week ♪

♪ She's the freak of the week, she's the freak of the week ♪

♪ She's the freak of the week

♪ She turns me on and on

♪ Ooh

♪ She's the freak, won't you do the freak with me ♪

♪ Won't you do the freak with me ♪

♪ Hey

♪ Funky no more

♪ Girl never misses a beat

♪ Oh, not this again

♪ She was a freak and won't you do the freak with me ♪

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh, she's the freak of the week with me ♪

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ From my soul

♪ And from my heart, music from the earth ♪

♪ Music from my soul

♪ And all of my friends

♪ Singing this song called love ♪

♪ That we take you back again

♪ Taking it from my brothers and all of my world ♪

♪ Taking it from my mama, children of the earth ♪

♪ I'm taking it from my children, all of my friends ♪

♪ Singing a song called love

♪ 'Cause we take you back again ♪

♪ Oh, one day, I'm gonna take a bit of yours ♪

♪ I'm gonna spend a holiday here ♪

♪ I'm gonna take a little bit of yours ♪

♪ I'm gonna make a memory

♪ I'm gonna take a little bit of yearning ♪

♪ I'm gonna take my holiday

♪ I wanna take a little bit of yearning ♪

♪ I'm gonna make a memory

(vocalists singing quietly)

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Let me tell you, let me tell you ♪

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ Can I take you

(vocalist scatting)

♪ Oh

♪ Ooh

♪ Yeah

♪ She's the freak of the week

♪ She's the freak of the week, she's the freak of the week ♪

♪ Hey

♪ Oh

♪ Hey

(crowd applauding)

- Okay.

The first time I played live with George Clinton,

trial by fire.

As I said, I came in to record on One Nation on a Tuesday.

I had been playing a session with Bernie.

It was maybe Johnny Taylor, Bobby Womack.

I don't remember.

And Bernie said, you know,

"George would really like to have you do some stuff."

So called me in on a Tuesday.

So One Nation was sort of sketched out,

which gave me room to put four tracks of percussion on it.

So I did, and I came into the control room

and they're just loving it and going crazy.

And as I said, I didn't know George from Bootsy.

The only one I knew really

in the room were the engineers and Bernie.

So I'm like, "Wow, you guys really dig that.

And you guys don't even have a percussionist

out on the road?"

George looks at me.

He said, "You want to leave Thursday?"

Now I don't know these guys.

I don't know any of their songs.

And my engineer buddy, Mike Acapelli, gives me the nod.

Like, you know, this is big stuff.

So I agree.

I go to the airport.

George says, "Bring your percussion."

I have it in cases.

We get it there.

We fly to Providence, Rhode Island.

And George, big limo pulls up for George,

and they rent a car for me

and I've got my trunk hanging out the trunk of the car

and my other stuff packed in there.

And we pull up and it's the Civic Center

in Providence, Rhode Island.

I don't know if it's 20,000 seats or whatever.

Now remember, I know none of these songs.

It's the end of the Flash Light tour.

Well, they just make room for me to the left

of the drummer, stage left, and plop me down there.

And as I said, it's a Parliaments tour.

So there's a 20-foot car with pillows coming out

and all sorts of, it's spaceship.

So I'm not sure whether I'm trying

to play the tunes as well as what,

in the middle of this circus that I'm in. (laughing)

So that was my trial by fire and being just plopped

into the middle of it and go for it.

And that's as I said, how George let's you

sort of do what you do.

- It was an opportunity to have full self-expression

in a world that was oppressive and suppressive.

So to get out on stage and to hear that music, you know,

it was like hypnotic.

It was, it was,

I mean, it took you into another realm spiritually,

you know, and earthly.

And it was so wonderful to have the point of view

as from the stage to the audience, because that was where,

I mean, this, we didn't know who was causing who,

who's, you know, was the audience causing us,

or were we causing the audience?

(upbeat funk music)

♪ So wide you can't get around it ♪

♪ So low you can't get under it ♪

♪ So high you can't get above it ♪

♪ So high, so high

♪ Yeah, doo doo doo doo doo doo ♪

♪ Yeah, doo doo doo doo doo doo ♪

♪ Oh, doo, doo, doo, doo doo

♪ This is your chance

♪ To dance your way out of your constrictions ♪

♪ We're gonna be addicted

♪ Move your body

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah

♪ Move your body

♪ Yeah, yeah

♪ Ready or not here we come

♪ Gettin' down to all the funk of it ♪

♪ Gettin' down to all the funk of it ♪

♪ Hey, one nation under a groove ♪

♪ Nothin' can stop us now

♪ Here's your chance to dance our way ♪

♪ Out of your constrictions

♪ We're gonna, we're gonna gonna do ♪

♪ Feet, don't fail me now

♪ Feet, don't fail me now, hey

♪ The funk, the funk, the whole funk ♪

♪ Nothin' but the funk

♪ Do you promise, do you promise the funk, funk, funk ♪

♪ Ready or not here we come

♪ Getting down on the world which we believe in ♪

♪ Hey, oh, yeah

♪ Out of our constrictions

♪ Hey

♪ Oh

♪ Oh

♪ One, two, three, hey

♪ Come on

♪ Feet don't fail me now

♪ Funky, funky funk

♪ Come on

♪ Feet don't fail me now

♪ Do you promise to funk, do you promise to funk ♪

♪ Do you promise to funk, sway

♪ Ready or not, here we come

♪ Getting down on the world that we believe in ♪

♪ Good God

♪ Dancing away

♪ Oh, we're coming fast

♪ Out of our constrictions

♪ Our constrictions, baby, hey

♪ Feet don't fail me now

♪ The funk, the funk, the funk

♪ I said feet don't fail me now ♪

♪ Do you promise to funk

♪ One nation under the groove

♪ Getting down just for the funk of it ♪

♪ One nation and we're on the move ♪

♪ Nothin' can stop us now

♪ One nation under the groove

♪ Gettin' down just for the funk of it ♪

♪ One nation and we're on the move ♪

♪ Nothin' can stop us now

♪ One nation under a groove

♪ Gettin' down just for the funk of it ♪

♪ One nation and we're on the move ♪

♪ Nothin' can stop us now

♪ One nation under a groove

♪ Gettin' down just for the funk of it ♪

♪ One nation and we're on the move ♪

♪ Nothin' can stop us now

♪ One nation under a groove

♪ Gettin' down just for the funk of it ♪

♪ One nation and we're on the move ♪

♪ Nothin' can stop us now

♪ Hey

(crowd applauding)

(bright electronic music)

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