Jump to content

R.I.P. Garry Shider

Recommended Posts

His habit of wearing a loincloth onstage earned him the nickname “Diaperman.” But there was nothing infantile about Garry Shider’s approach to the funk.

The Plainfield native and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, best known as the musical director of George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic bands, died today at the age of 56, from complications arising from brain and lung cancer.

Like many funk pioneers of the ’70s, Shider got his start by playing in church. As a teenager, he sang and performed in support of the Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Shirley Caesar, and other prominent gospel artists. Years later, singing far-out funk with Parliament, that gospel spirit was still evident in his vocal performances. He was still bringing them to church — only that church was located somewhere in deep innerspace.

Shider met George Clinton in the late ’60s at the famous Plainfield barbershop that acted as P-Funk’s base of operations. Shider’s vocal and instrumental talent impressed Clinton. After a detour to Toronto, Shider was called back to Jersey by the head honcho himself.

Over the years, Shider became one of Clinton’s most trusted lieutenants, calling the P-Funk army to attention with his vocal on “One Nation Under A Groove,” and sailing bravely into the ether on “Cosmic Slop.” He co-wrote some of the band's biggest hits and, as a guitarist, he could be incredibly patient, repeating the same phrase over and over — until he combusted into a fiery solo or a stinging riff. Guitar Player magazine featured him three times.

After playing on Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” Shider joined P-Funk for good in 1972. He contributed guitar and vocals to most P-Funk releases thereafter, including Bootsy Collins’ solo albums.

In recent weeks, friends and fans who had learned about his illness organized a series of benefits on his behalf. One was scheduled for the Multi Media Arts Center in Bloomfield on July 10.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Linda, and mourned by the city of Plainfield and wherever the language of funk is spoken.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...