This is Part One of Three.
When Bernie was diagnosed with the cancers and the fundraising efforts were started, some of you (justifiably) questioned “why should I donate money to him. He made lots of money from all those P-Funk albums”. Well, he did not. George stole it all and we will show what he did, not only to Bernie but to all members of original Parliament-Funkadelic.
While on tour in Bermuda with Maxine Brown, Bernie received a phone call from George saying he wanted Bernie to join Parliament-Funkadelic . Bernie asked me to go meet with George and negotiate his “deal” – which I did. It was the first of many contracts/agreements that George would go on to break.
Within a month or two of Bernie’s joining, the group was stranded in Detroit where they’d driven from NJ to do a gig — when George told everyone he didn’t have money to get everyone back and, instead, they would gig in the Midwest and go in the studio. To make this palatable to the group, everyone was a member of Thang, Inc. The deal was that in response to everyone getting little to no money, the understanding was that they were all invested in Thang and royalties, etc. would be forthcoming to all.
This pertained ONLY to original Parliament and Funkadelic members at that time: Parliament: Ray Davis, Calvin Simon, Clarence Haskins, Grady Thomas. Funkadelic were: Bernie Worrell, Billy “Bass” Nelson, Eddie Hazel, Tal Ross and Tiki Fulwood.
Approximately 19??, George told everyone that he’d arranged cars for everyone. This was his idea of a royalty payment as he told the group that he’d gotten a special deal for everyone. While there was some grumbling (“I can buy what I want with my OWN money” – nobody refused. I can’t speak to what was going on in everyone else’s heads but for Bernie, we would buy a car anyway so we accepted and got a Volvo – which was repossessed (along with everyone else’s) a few months later when George neglected to make the payments.
This is one example where payment of royalties under the Thang, Inc. agreement was carried out and the precedent for paying royalties (as agreed) was set.