Michael Hampton a.k.a. Kidd Funkadelic
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Michael Hampton a.k.a. Kidd Funkadelic

Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE | AFM

Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Solo Rock Funk




"Interview at NAMM convention 2015"

January 25, 2015 by Valerie Milano
My best interview of the day was with Michael Hampton, veteran lead guitar player for George Clinton, the insanely wild funk man of the 70’s and founder of the group Parliament-Funkadelic. Mike joined the group when he was 17 and has mostly played with Clinton throughout his career. For a lead guitarist, Mike spoke quietly and was a bit shy. Although his nickname, Kid-Funkadelic, distinguishes him along with his electrifying loud guitar solos on One Nation Under Groove and Be My BB….ath. “I joined the group in1974 and have playing guitar funk ever since. “ - The Hollywood Times

"Dutch Guitarist Magazine Interview"

Michael Hampton Interview Dutch Guitarist Magazine: ‘Guitarist June 2010’ http://www.gitarist.nl/index/editie/8344/gitarist-231-juni-2010
Translated by Pascal Cloudt

He was only 17 years, when he joined Funkadelic forces. Right now he’s 53 n still tears the roof off on stage with the P-Funk and Funk Master George Clinton.

When Eddie Hazel left Funkadelic in 1974 to do session work with Motown, Michael got his chance, the story says that George was so impressed by Kidd Funkadelic, hearing him play note for note the Eddie Hazel solo in Maggot Brain, Michael himself tells us that ‘No not note for note, but it was good and no one could say , hey you missed one, you made a mistake, at this time I still create little changes in the solo, changes I never played back in the days’.

Clinton heard Michael’s solo at an afterparty, backed up buy his cousin and current P-Funk Bass player Lige Curry. ‘We had some equipment in that house, because we practiced earlier that day, just to jam, to learn how to play, the Band members heard that I did Maggot Brain, two weeks later they asked me to do some shows in Maryland’.

Michael doesn’t want to refer to Eddie as a great example, he explains ‘To be honest mostly I didn’t know who played on a record, I never red the sleeves, but I did some of the guitar players, but I got more influenced by the records then the guitar players on them’.
This could helped Hampton in an early stage to a style of his own, but Michael doesn’t look at it like this. ‘Back in the days, I just tried to play licks, most of the time I didn’t knew what style it was, I think that styles in that period got mixed up somehow. Afterwards I practiced note bars, and tried new things, I had a guitar teacher, he was a jazz musician, and he had a big influence on me, he helped me a lot with my pick skills , and opened my eyes for different Guitar players and styles’.
New styles were not that important to Michael, ‘I don’t want to do stuff, because others do it already, there is plenty enough what I can’t play, but I don’t have to, if I don’t use it’.

Soundcheck as rehearsal.
Back to Maggot Brain, still one of the high-lights of a P-Funk show, Hampton loves to improvise during the solo.
‘I think it’s a bit fifty-fifty situation, the taste and the feel I want to keep, but I want to add some of me, the first 32 notes are close to the original, we even don’t know how long it’s gonna be, but if we have a short time span, we stay close to the original, but it can extend sometimes very long’.
Live the P-Funk’s on stage with sometimes 5 guitar players, the solo’s are mostly Michael’s or Ricky Rouse, who plays kinda like Hendrix. But there’s no competition. ‘I am not into playing better then the rest, Rick is very musical and plays a lot longer then I am, and I don’t want to be that much in the spotlights, I know there are people who watching me, but I am not a big entertainer. Everybody does where he’s good at, as long as it fits in and play the licks unisono, because that causes some problems sometimes. We never practice, everybody has his own idea about the song, some of the songs we play for an eternity, but we jam all the time, Back in the days Garry Shider, Boogie Mosson and I practiced the guitar parts more regularly, nowadays the sound checks are our practice skills.
Hampton changes a lot from guitar, the last years he plays a Randy Rhoads-model from Jackson, but that one doesn’t go on tour anymore, ‘currently I play an old PRS Custom, I like the fact that you can change between the groovy rhythm sound and the lovely distortion of the Humbucker, I think that it has way more possibilities then the Jackson, which is a real rock guitar.
Recently I bumped into a 100 watt amplifier of Hughes & Kettner with effects, and I use the top of it right now. It sounds awesome, for the real Funk sound you probably have to look for the old Mu-Tron or Octavia, but a bit Wah and a good Fuzz works also’..

3 Times Michael Hampton.

Funkadelic – (Not just) Knee Deep. 1979
One of the most well known & Dance-able tracks of the P-Funk, After exact 7 minutes Hampton’s solo kicks in for 3 minutes working his way to an awesome climax.
Live it can last much longer.

Funkadelic – Who says a Funk Band can’t play Rock ? 1977
As the title says, a rock guitar orientated track, by the way one of the few songs Hampton co-written, Michael’solo is all on the track and sometimes it feels like Michael Hampton and Garry Shider try to riff each other of the record.

Michael Hampton – We’re just Funkers 1993
Hampton at his Soulpeak. With a healthy dose of fuzz he plays with the violins, a track that could come of one early works from Isaac Hays or a Motown record from the early ‘70’s, Good example of the solo of the melodie, a thing where George always gave compliments to the guitar player..

Interview by Kevin Pasman. - Guitarist Magazine

""Heavy Metal Funkasson" Michael Hampton"

'Acappella Unsung Love Song(Sloppy Metal)' starts with George Clinton's unmistakable lead vocal.Mike's guitar soars through space,as Roger Parker bangs on the traps. "WORDS ROLL OFF MY MOUTH LIKE WATER OVER THE CLIFF OF A GREAT FALL" The sound is as spellbounding as a soundtrack from a dream.But, "NOW THAT I'M SINGING THIS SONG IS REAL" A song of love not sung?Yet manifest from a region that sings as if to be real on a level beyond the normal concioussness? Things aren't so pretty on the next track as Mike is a shredder straight from the gate! He sounds like a one man AIR RAID!Fasten your safety belts! 'Me Anti?' has some monster licks that just plain kick ass. It amounts to all the guitar attack that Mike hasn't had a chance to play on records that put his guitar playing in a "baby mix"underneath the vocals.These instrumentals are nothing but "TURN IT UP AND LET IT RIP!" On the cut 'Tryin' To Get Out Dis World Alive' Mike takes the metal theme across the bridge,and then doesn't forget that rhythm guitar in the middle.It has the Parliament/Funkadelic feel.

Leaving the metal guitar flavor of the other tracks for a minute. 'Comebacksly' is a great song that features Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band on keyboards and lead vocals,along with George Clinton,Belita Woods.This is some funk for your rump!The beat ,and vocal hook are irresistable.It reminds me of some of the P-Funk that was done in the late 70s.The keys,and funky beat are enough to make you turn on your flashlight and put on your sunglasses. Where is the metal club you can go to when you want the music to be a fusion of great nonstop guitar riffs?Why,'Club Metalfunkadelamack' of course.Where guitars run wild screaming of the open road. 'Cracked Up Soilder' is a ghostly rendition of the riff from Funkadelic's 'Funk Get's Stronger Pt.1'from the cd 'The Electric Spanking Of War Babies'.It recreates the sound with a wider scoped harder edge to it.It sounds off like a march through a wasteland. 'Wrongsidius'is a string stretching finger bender that has Mike go all the way to the edge playing solos and then even a step further.

'Chronic Reggae' is funk/reggae as it always seems to filter through the P-Funk Mob.Much like 'Shockwaves' from Funkadelic,it has the reggae feel,but something about it won't go all the way in it's imitation of reggae and it still has the unmistakable Funkadelic vibe. 'Time To Get Up' is a ripped out hard driven jam.It has licks that are much like the long version instrumental of 'One Nation Under A Groove',converted to hard rock background music.This song was also a part of many live performances by the P-Funk Allstars,and has Mike reaching for what sounds like his bread & butter selection of guitarisms.And this idea is further employed on the next cut 'Duh Kidd Funkadelic Anthem' on which the Kidd revisits his own guitar parts that are the Hall Of Fame Licks. Sampling is NOT how he does it!He is still able to reproduce all those licks at any given time that will send a Funkadelic fan's memory banks into funky overdrive.A little bit of 'Funkadelic's'(Not Just)Knee Deep',and to another beat ,and Micheal's guitar seems to tell stories past ,present and future.

'Girlz Of Duh World' is hardrock with a loose vocal that sounds like the Kidd himself. This song has an end all attitude and amplitude that are amplified! It'll make some question what in the world are the feelings we are even after.Along with his cousin Lige Curry they play loud and scream, "EVEN IF WE DON'T GET PAID,.... WE'LL FIGURE OUT SOMETHIN' ..SISTA".... This cd is some fun for a guitar player jack!
~~Review By Noted P-Funk Historian/Robert"Maggot Minister"Ward - Review By Noted P-Funk Historian/Robert"Maggot Minister"Ward for Raw Funk Records




Michael Hampton (born in November 15th 1956 Cleveland OH, United States) is a guitarist, composer and musical director and a Rock 'n Roll Hall of fame inductee with the band George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic in 1997.

He joined the Parliament Funkadelic tour at the Capitol Center in Landover MD 1974 after he was asked by one of the band members, Tiki Fullwood, to perform at their after party, where he impressed George Clinton by demonstrating his skill as a fresh out of high school guitar prodigy.  As the original lead guitarist Eddie Hazel's on and off presence, Hampton's performances became fixture of their concert over the years.

He started to teach himself picking up various numbers from the radio with a guitar given to him when he was 10 years old.  During high school he took lessons from a Jazz guitar player, who taught him technique, from various scales to “ghost noting” which rooted deep into his signature style, simultaneous “melody-chord-speed”. This training helped him to establish his musical versatility and complexity to this day. While Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Albert King, Wes Montgomery were some of the biggest influence to him, he was receptive to many different genres and players.

Hampton's first studio recording was Bootsy's Rubber Band's “album "Stretchin' Out In”" (1976). As he built his unique solo style with precision and groove, George Clinton described him “"Perfected the concept to play solo with melody of the song."” He has recorded solo on Parliament Funkadelic's classic hits and well known numbers on their live performances, such as “"Maggot Brain”" “"Red Hot Momma”" "“Cosmic Slop”" "“Knee Deep””" "One Nation Under A Groove", as well as Clinton's side project Brides of Funkenstein's hit "Never Buy a Texas From A Cowboy", co-written "Mr. Wiggles" "Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?" "Adolescent Funk" "Funk Gets Stronger", Clinton's Solo "Stingy" as notable credits.  He is also a multi instrumentalist including drums, keyboards, synth programming as credited on Funkadelic's album "The Electric Spanking of War Babies".

Besides being a main member of P-funk, Hampton has been playing and recording on various projects.  In the best acclaimed P-funk spin off band, 420 Funk Mob, starting back in 1997, Deee Lite, along with Bootsy Collins, he went out to world tour (1994), also appears on Bill Laswell's various projects with Bernie Worrel, recorded with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Too $hort's album (1992 & 1996) and worked on his studio project, co-written Digital Underground's single "Wussup Wit the Luv" (2003).

Hampton recorded his 1st complete solo album, “Heavy Metal Funkason” (1998) which emphasis on a rocker side of him. He created his own world featuring heavy fuzzy guitar with psychedelic and earthy atmosphere from Funkadelic and straight rock groove. A solo live DVD & CD "Live in San Francisco" have been released from Planet P records. 

Currently Hampton is working on several solo projects as well as his own Kidd Funkadelic Band and planning a tour on 2015 to 2016.