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P-Funkers of the Past

Published: 6/18/2010
The death this week of Garry Shider – variously known as “Star Child” and “Diaperman” during his long stint with Parliament Funkadelic – brought to mind some of the other musical greats from this legendary band who are no longer with us.

Glen Goins was a vocalist and guitarist who joined the band in 1974, contributing to the well-received Mothership Connection album, which yielded the classic "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” the group’s second Top 10 single.

Goins left the group in a dispute with founder George Clinton, but would die of Hogkins Disease in 1978 at only 24 years of age. He was inducted with 15 other members of Parliament Funkadelic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Eddie Hazel was perhaps the group’s most electrifying guitarist. An original member, his greatest moment came with “Maggot Brain” a song whose ten minute guitar solo allowed him to show off his soulful fretwork. Rolling Stone chose it as one of the 100 best guitar songs of all time and when Eddie Hazel died in 1992, the song was played at his funeral.

Raymond Davis – a.k.a. Sting Ray Davis – bass vocalist, was the only original member besides George Clinton not to leave when the band split in 1977. He also briefly played with The Temptations in the mid-1990s, but left after being diagnosed with throat cancer. Davis died in 2005.

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