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Edward Earl “Eddie” Hazel (April 10, 1950-23 December 1992) was a pioneer and influential guitarist on the principles of funk music in the United States, famous for his I work as the lead guitarist with the Parliament-Funkadelic group. Hazel is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, registered in 1997 with another fifteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1950, Hazel grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, because her mother, Grace Cook, wanted her son to grow up in an environment without the pressures of the drugs and crimes he felt invaded. in the city of New York. Hazel took care of himself from an early age by playing the guitar, which his older brother gave him as a Christmas present. Hazel also sang in the church. At age 12, Hazel met Billy “Bass” Nelson, the 2 quickly became good friends, singing and playing the guitar, before adding Harvey McGee, a drummer to the band.
In 1967, The Parliaments, a band based on the doo wop headed by George Clinton, had a successful recording called “(I Wanna) Testify.” Clinton hired support for a tour of the band, hiring Nelson as the bassist, who in turn recommended Hazel as a guitarist. Hazel was in Newark, New Jersey working with George Blackwell and could not get there. After Nelson returned from the tour, he tried to recruit Hazel. His mother at the first opportunity vetoed the idea saying that Hazel was only seventeen, but Clinton and Nelson worked together to change their decision.
At the end of 1967, The Parliaments toured with Nelson and Hazel. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he met and became friends with Tiki Fulwood, who quickly replaced the drummer of The Parliaments. Nelson, Hazel and Fulwood became the column of Funkadelic, which was originally the backup of the band Parliaments, only later would it become an independent group when the legal difficulties forced the group (temporarily) to abandon the name “The Parliaments “.
Parliaments’ doo wop quickly began to develop a psychedelic Soul style and Hard rock influenced by both Jimi Hendrix and Frankie Lymon. The change to Funkadelic and Parliament is completed with the addition of Tawl Ross and Bernie Worrell (rhythm guitar and keyboards, respectively), meanwhile, Eddie also collaborated in the solo career of Ruth Coperland, a member of Parliament from 1968 to 1973. The albums Self Portait (1969, Ruth Coperland) Funkadelic (1970, Funkadelic), Osmium (1970, Parliament), Free Your Mind … And Your Ass Will Follow (1970, Funkadelic), I Am what I Am (1971, Ruth Coperland) Maggot Brain (1971, Funkadelic) were the first five, released in just two years. The three albums feature prominent and distinctive work by Hazel on the guitar, which would later influence the future of many funk and rock guitarists.
Maggot Brain is perhaps the definitive musical statement of Funkadelic, and the title of the song Maggot Brain contains a ten-minute guitar solo which is Hazel’s final moment and a musical piece which made it legend, in 2008 the Rolling Stone magazine cited it at # 60 on its list of the 100 greatest “guitar songs” of all time. Clinton told Hazel during the recording session “play as if your mother had just died”, and the result was an epic song with different sounds of Hazel’s guitar. The term, “Maggot Brain”, refers to both Hazel and his incredible consumption of various drugs.
Hazel was not the only member of Funkadelic who had problems with the drug. Ross left the group due to a bad experience with LSD. Fulwood also used drugs with Hazel, so Clinton decided to suspend their salaries so they would not spend the money entirely on drugs. Nelson and Hazel officially left Funkadelic in late 1971 for financial disputes with Clinton, although Hazel contributed sporadically to the group over the next few years. In the albums America Eats Its Young (1972) and Cosmic Slop (1973) and the Songs of Parliament from 1970 to 1973 (included later in Rhenium and First Thangs, there are few contributions by Hazel.) Hazel started working with The Temptations ( along with Nelson) appearing on the albums 1990 (1973) and A Song for You (1975).
Hazel acted as a creative force behind Funkadelic’s album Standing on the Verge of Getting It On and on the album of Parliament Up for the Down Stroke. Hazel’s guitar predominates in the first, while in the second he provided accompaniments and singing, as well as co-wrote songs of the two. In “Standing on the Verge of Getting It On” six of all the songs the writer credit were in the name of Grace Cook, Hazel’s mother. (This was a gambit for Hazel, to avoid contractual difficulties with the rights of the publishing industry.The credit of “G.Cook” would appear a few times later in the other Funkadelic albums.), Meanwhile with “Up for the Down Stroke “appears in the songs” The Goose “and” Whatever Makes Baby Feel Good “in addition to his guitar works.
In 1974, Hazel was arrested for assaulting an air hostess, as well as drug possession charges. While he was in jail, Clinton recruited Michael Hampton as the new Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist to replace Hazel. Hampton was hired on the spot after the audition after playing Hazel’s signature song “Maggot Brain.” Hampton was only seventeen, the same age as Hazel when she joined The Parliaments.
In the next few years, Hazel appeared occasionally on the albums of Parliament and Funkadelic, and her guitar work rarely showed up. A song featuring Hazel’s guitar is “Comin ‘Round the Mountain” on the Hardcore Jollies album (1976). He appears on the guitar for the Parliament Live album: P-Funk Earth Tour 1977. He was totally absent from One Nation Under a Groove (1978), the most commercially successful album by Funkadelic. In P-Funk All Stars’ Live At The Beberly Theater (recorded in 1983 and released in 1990) Hazel was at the bottom of the stage during “Maggot Brain” – her flagship song – by guitarists Hampton and DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight, while both worked with George in his solo career until 1985, the work of Parliament and Funkadelic in 1989 and 1992 and the album Dope Dog by P-Funk All Stars, published with Hazel already deceased. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 Funkadelic works were published without an earlier album (like Parliament) in which Hazel appears.
In 1977, Hazel recorded a solo album called Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs, with the support of other members of Parliament and Funkadelic, including the voices of The Brides of Funkenstein, while in 1994 two albums were released, one of Hazel recordings without an album and other compilation.
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