Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins
Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins, 2009
Background information
Birth name William Earl Collins
Born October 26, 1951 (1951-10-26) (age 60)
Genres Funk, psychedelic soul, rhythm and blues
Occupations Musician, record producer
Instruments Electric bass, guitar, drums, vocals
Years active 1970–present
Labels Westbound, Ace, Warner Bros., Casablanca, Shout, Columbia, P-Vine
Associated acts Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy's Rubber Band, James Brown, Axiom Funk, Praxis, Material, Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg, Deee-Lite

William Earl "Bootsy" Collins (born October 26, 1951) is an American funk bassist, singer, and songwriter.

Rising to prominence with James Brown in the late 1960s, and with Parliament-Funkadelic in the '70s, Collins's driving bass guitar and humorous vocals established him as one of the leading names in funk.[1] Collins is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic.




With his elder brother Phelps "Catfish" Collins, and Kash Waddy and Philippé Wynne, Collins formed a funk band called The Pacemakers in 1968.

In March 1970, after most of the members of James Brown's band quit over a pay dispute, The Pacemakers were hired as Brown's backing band and they became known as The J.B.'s. (They are often referred to as the "original" J.B.'s to distinguish them from later line-ups that went by the same name.) Although they worked for Brown for only 11 months, the original J.B.'s played on some of Brown's most intense funk recordings, including "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine", "Super Bad", "Soul Power", and "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing".

It is known[by whom?] that the young Bootsy clashed several times with the rigid system Brown used to discipline the young band whenever he felt they stepped out of line.

House Guests, P-Funk, Rubber Band and Sweat Band

After parting ways with James Brown, Bootsy returned to Cincinnati and formed House Guests with his brother Phelps Collins, Rufus Allen, Clayton "Chicken" Gunnels, Frank Waddy, Ronnie Greenaway and Robert McCullough. The House Guests released two singles on the House Guests label as well as a third as The Sound of Vision on the House Guests label.

Collins next moved to Detroit, following the advice of singer and future Parliament member Mallia Franklin. Franklin introduced both Collins brothers to George Clinton, and 1972 saw both of the Collins brothers, along with Waddy, join Funkadelic. Bootsy played bass on most of Funkadelic and Parliament's albums through 1980, garnering several songwriting credits as well.

In 1976 Bootsy, Catfish, Waddy, Joel Johnson, Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, Robert Johnson and The Horny Horns formed Bootsy's Rubber Band, a separate touring unit of Clinton's P-Funk collective. The group recorded four albums together, the first three of which are often considered to be among the quintessential P-Funk recordings. The group's 1978 album Bootsy? Player of the Year reached the top of the R&B album chart and spawned the #1 R&B single "Bootzilla".

Like Clinton, Bootsy took on several alter egos, from Casper the Funky Ghost to Bootzilla, "the world's only rhinestone rockstar monster of a doll", as parts of the evolving character of an alien rock star who grew gradually more bizarre as time went on (see P-Funk mythology). He also adopted his trademark "space bass" around this time.

Bootsy also released a 1980 album, Sweat Band, on George Clinton's Uncle Jam label with a group billed as Bootsy's Sweat Band.

1980s and later

In 1984, Bootsy collaborated with Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads to produce "Five Minutes", a dance record sampled and edited from Ronald Reagan's infamous "Five Minutes" speech. The record was credited to "Bonzo goes to Washington" (also referenced in the 1985 Ramones song "Bonzo goes to Bitburg", derived from Reagan's starring role as Professor Peter Boyd in the 1951 comedy film Bedtime for Bonzo).

In 1990, Bootsy collaborated with Deee-Lite on their massive hit "Groove Is in the Heart" where he contributed additional vocals. Although he also appeared in the music video playing the bass, the bassline in the song is actually a sample of a Herbie Hancock song called "Bring Down the Birds". Bootsy's Rubber Band became the defacto backing musicians for Deee-Lite during a world tour.

In 1992, Bootsy joined with guitarist Stevie Salas and drummer Buddy Miles to form the funk-metal fusion group Hardware. The trio released one album, Third Eye Open, before disbanding.

Bootsy collaborated with bluegrass legends Del McCoury, Doc Watson and Mac Wiseman to form the GrooveGrass Boyz. They produced a fusion of bluegrass and funk.

In 1994, Bootsy contributed extensively to the Soup Dragons' last album, Hydroponic.[2]

In 1995, Bootsy played in the remake of Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9," for Axiom Funk, a Funkadelic-like one-off supergroup produced by Bill Laswell and featuring (Funkadelic members) George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, (the guitar of the late) Eddie Hazel, Gary Shider and Bill Laswell. The group released only one album, and the song also appeared in the soundtrack of the movie Stealing Beauty.

Bootsy has collaborated extensively with Bill Laswell and made appearances on two Fatboy Slim records, as well as reading a poem at the end of FatBoy Slims's release in the LateNightTales DJ mix series. Bootsy provided "vocal spice" on the TobyMac album Welcome to Diverse City. He also appears on Nicole C. Mullens' latest album, Everyday People. He has also worked with the Lo-Fidelity Allstars on the album Don't be Afraid of Love, with Praxis, and with Buckethead on several occasions, for example on Buckethead's first album, Bucketheadland. Bootsy was featured in the 2002 film Standing in the Shadows of Motown. In 2004 he appeared on Snoop Dogg's Rhythm & Gangsta album and on the cover of "The Joker" on the Fatboy Slim album Palookaville.[3] He also performed a cover of "Power of Soul" on Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix'.

In 2005, Bootsy Collins added vocals to fellow bassist Victor Wooten's album Soul Circus. He also served as "Heineken's Amsterjam 2005" curator and master of ceremonies on Randall's Island, New York, and appeared with Madonna, Iggy Pop, Little Richard, and The Roots' Questlove, in an American TV commercial for the Motorola ROKR phone.

In October 2005, Collins co-wrote a song celebrating the resurgence of his hometown team, the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League called "Fear Da Tiger" which features "raps" written and performed by several Bengals players, including defensive end Duane Clemons, offensive tackle Stacy Andrews, and center Ben Wilkerson. An edited version of the song was made into a music video which features cameos by many other Bengals players. It has garnered tremendous local airplay and is viewable on Additionally, Cincinnati Bell is offering "Fear Da Tiger" as a free ringtone for its wireless customers in both polyphonic and MP3 formats. Collins appeared with Little Richard, Bernie Worrell, and other notable musicians as the band playing with Hank Williams, Jr. for the Monday Night Football opening during for the 2006 season. Collins was the only all star to return with Williams for the 2007 season.

He also sings "Marshal Law", the theme song of the Cincinnati Marshals indoor football team. He debuted the song on April 29,[year missing] at halftime of a Marshals home game against the West Palm Beach Phantoms.

In 2006, ABC Entertainment / A Charly Films Release released a DVD/CD from Bootsy Collins and the New Rubber Band's concert at the 1998 North Sea Jazz Festival. In the same year, Collins split from long-time friend and guitarist Odhran "The Bodhran" Rameriz, citing creative differences as the reason.

Also in 2006, Collins recorded music for the animated television series Loonatics Unleashed. Collins also voiced the character Bootes Belinda in the episode The Music Villain.[4]

In April 2007, Bootsy announced plans to begin a restaurant/club with Cincinnati area restaurateur Jeff Ruby called "Bootsy's." The venue operated 2008-2010 before closing. It featured live musical acts, a museum dedicated to Bootsy's musical career and Spanish, Central and South American cuisine.

In June 2007, Bootsy Collins, along with Phelps Collins, Clyde Stubblefield, John "Jabo" Starks, and Bernie Worrell, participated in the recording of the soundtrack for the movie Superbad.

In July 2007, Bootsy also told Billboard magazine that he was working on a project by the name of Science Faxtion and an album called Living On Another Frequency in which he serves as bassist and co-producer along with his lead vocalist Greg Hampton. The band also features guitarist Buckethead and drummer Brain.[5] The album was released in November 2008.[6]

Bootsy Collins and Fatboy Slim, 2008

Collins promoted Rock the Vote for its 2008 campaign together with Buckethead.[7]

Bootsy produced Junkyard Waltz by funk band Freekbass from Ohio came out October 27.[year missing]

Bootsy has been mentioned in the song "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club in the line "Clinton's musicians such as Bootsy Collins raise expectation to a new intention", while "Got more bass than Bootsy Collins" is a line in the song "Rumble in the Jungle" by the Fugees. His influence in popular culture is seen in that he has been referenced by a number of television series. In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Sooooooul Train", Geoffrey sneaks into the Soul Train tapings posing as Bootsy Collins, while in The Mighty Boosh episode "The Legend of Old Gregg" an alien creature named 'The Funk' lands on Bootsy's house, giving him his ability to play the bass guitar "like some kinda delirious funky priest", as well as the ability to see around corners. His song "I'd Rather Be With You" was featured in the movie Baby Boy and on January 26, 2007, Bootsy, a native of Cincinnati, gave the commencement address at the graduation ceremony at The Art Institute of Ohio - Cincinnati. Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, who cited Collins as one of his primary influences, appeared in unmistakably Bootsy-esque clothing in the video for RHCP's "Dani California", and Bootsy's "What's a Telephone Bill?" was sampled for 2Pac's "Str8 Ballin'" track off the THUG LIFE album.

In 2009 Collins collaborated with Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek on the track "Internet Connection".[8]

In October 2010 Bootsy was awarded a Bass Player Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award at the Key Club in Los Angeles.

In March 2011 Bootsy and his wife visited Franklin L. Williams M.S #7's Little Kids Rock program.

On 15 April 2011, Bootsy appeared on Later... with Jools Holland, performing a memorable snippet of funk with Jools.

In June 2011 Bootsty played the 10th Annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN.

In the Fall of 2011, Bootsy began being featured in a TV commerical for Old Navy, in which he is making "boots", made by boots, made by Bootsy" to be sold at Old Navy.

Bass guitars

Bootsy's original "Space Bass" and its replacement (before recovery after theft) was made in Warren, Michigan by Larry Pless of Gus Zoppi's music store. The first Space Bass had a mahogany body and maple neck, white finish and mirror pick guard. (This is the Space Bass on the cover of 1976 album " Strechin' Out In Bootsy's Rubber Band)[9]

Collins' current signature instrument is a custom-built star-shaped bass guitar he calls the "Space Bass", built for him by Manuel "Manny" Salvador of GuitarCraft in 1998. In 2006 Collins made an agreement with Traben to make a signature Bootsy Collins model bass called the "Bootzilla". During the 2010 NAMM Show, Collins' new signature bass guitar was released by Warwick, a customized Infinity Bass called "Bootsy Collins Black Star Signature Bass" or "Bootsy Collins Orange Star Signature Bass", depending on the color of the stars on it.

Bootsy Collins' Funk University

In July 2010, Collins, in partnership with former child actor Cory Danziger,[10] launched Funk University ("Funk U"), an online-only bass guitar school in which he also serves as curator and lead professor. Funk University offers an intense curriculum tailored for intermediate to advanced bass players as well as anyone interested in a deeper understanding of funk. The curriculum is based on bass theory, history of funk, and Collins' own musical history given by Collins himself, augmented by lessons and exercises in bass and rhythm from guest bassist professors such as Les Claypool, Meshelle Ndegeocello, John B (Williams) and Victor Wooten. Enrolled students gain access to the virtual campus which, in addition to the multimedia lectures, includes a comprehensive subject library containing audio and multimedia music files, tablatures, and articles. Students participate in interactive questionnaires, polls, competitions (including track submissions), and are subjected to regular reviews by faculty members, who have designated "office hours" during which students can ask questions. Students and faculty can post or reply in the university's online forum (the Cafeteria).[11] Eventually, the curriculum will be expanded to include other instruments.[12]



Year Band Album title Record label
1976 Bootsy's Rubber Band Stretchin' Out in Bootsy's Rubber Band Warner Bros. Records
1977 Bootsy's Rubber Band Ahh... The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! Warner Bros. Records
1978 Bootsy's Rubber Band Bootsy? Player of the Year Warner Bros. Records
1979 Bootsy's Rubber Band This Boot is Made for Fonk-N Warner Bros. Records
1980 Bootsy Collins Ultra Wave Warner Bros. Records
1980 Sweat Band Sweat Band Uncle Jam/Columbia Records
1982 Bootsy Collins The One Giveth, the Count Taketh Away Warner Bros. Records
1988 Bootsy Collins What's Bootsy Doin'? Columbia Records
1990 Bootsy's Rubber Band Jungle Bass 4th & Broadway
1992 Praxis Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) Axiom
1994 Bootsy's New Rubber Band Blasters of the Universe Rykodisc
1994 Zillatron Lord of the Harvest Rykodisc
1994 Praxis Sacrifist Subharmonic
1995 Bootsy's New Rubber Band Keepin' Dah Funk Alive 4-1995 Rykodisc
1997 Bootsy Collins Fresh Outta 'P' University WEA/Black Culture
1998 Bootsy's Rubber Band Live in Louisville 1978 Disky
2001 Bootsy's Rubber Band Live in Oklahoma 1976 Funk to the Max
2002 Bootsy Collins Play with Bootsy WEA International
2006 Bootsy's New Rubber Band Live in Concert 1998 ABC Entertainment/Charly Films
2006 Bootsy Collins Christmas Is 4 Ever Shout Factory
2008 Science Faxtion Living on Another Frequency Mascot Records
2009 Bootsy Collins The Official Boot-Legged-Bootsy-CD Bootzilla
2011 Bootsy Collins Tha Funk Capital of the World Mascot Records


Year Song title Peak chart positions
U.S. R&B Singles
1976 "I'd Rather be with You" 25
"Stretching Out (In a Rubber Band)" 18
1977 "Can't Stay Away" 19
"Psychoticbumpschool" 69
"The Pinocchio Theory" 6
1978 "Bootzilla" 1
"Hollywood Squares" 17
1979 "Bootsy Get Live" 38
"Jam Fan (Hot)" 13
1980 "Mug Push" 25
1981 "F-Encounter" 51
1982 "Body Slam!" 12
"Shine-O-Myte (Rag Popping)" 78
"Take a Lickin' and Keep on Kickin'" 29
1988 "Party on Plastic (What's Bootsy Doin'?)" 27

Promotional videos

  • Party on Plastic (What's Bootsy Doin'?) (1988)
  • Undacova Funk (feat. Snoop Dogg) (2002)
  • Play With Bootsy (2002)


  1. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "Stretchin' Out in Bootsy's Rubber Band - Bootsy's Rubber Band". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  2. ^ "Soup Dragons". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  3. ^ Misty Thomas (2004-10-04). "Fatboy Slim — Album: Palookaville". JIVE Magazine. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  4. ^ Epstein, Daniel Robert (2006-10-10). "Bootsy Collins interview". SuicideGirls. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  5. ^ Up for Discussion Jump to Forums. "Collins Looks To Future with Science Faction". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  6. ^ "Bootzilla Productions". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "‪Reflection Eternal - Internet Connection 2009 NEW!!!‬‏". YouTube. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  9. ^ The Creation of the Space Bass by Larry Pless
  10. ^ O'Neal, Sean. "Bootsy Collins establishes first-ever Funk University, declares himself "Professor Bootsy" | Music | Newswire". The A.V. Club.,41456/. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  11. ^ "Bootsy Collins Funk University - Online Bass Guitar School". 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  12. ^ Braiker, Brian (2010-05-24). "Bootsy Collins Launching Funk University - ABC News". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bootsy collins — William Collins Alias Bootsy Collins Naissance 26 octobre 1951  États Unis (Cincinnati, Ohio) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bootsy Collins — Chartplatzierungen Erklärung der Daten Singles …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bootsy Collins — William Collins Surnom Bootsy Collins Naissance 26 octobre 1951 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bootsy Collins — (born 1951 as William Collins) American funk musician and performer, co founder of the band Parliament/Funkadelic …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Bootsy's Rubber Band — was a P Funk band led by pioneering bassist Bootsy Collins. It also included his brother, Catfish Collins, Kash Waddy, Joel Johnson, Robert Johnson, Gary Mudbone Cooper and The Horny Horns. The group was formed in 1976 and was the most prolific… …   Wikipedia

  • Collins (Familienname) — Collins ist ein englischer Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Der Name kann patronymischen Ursprungs sein („Sohn des Colin“) oder auf inselkeltische Namen zurückgehen. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bootsy? Player of the Year — Infobox Album Name = Bootsy? Player of the Year Type = studio Artist = Bootsy s Rubber Band Released = 1978 Recorded = 1978 Genre = Funk Length = 45:32 Label = Warner Bros. Records Producer = Bootsy Collins, George Clinton Reviews = *Allmusic… …   Wikipedia

  • Bootsy — Chartplatzierungen Erklärung der Daten Singles What s Bootsy Doin ?   US 21 08.12.1988 (11 Wo.) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Collins (surname) — The surname Collins has a variety of likely origins in Britain and Ireland: Anglo Saxon: A patronymic surname based on the name Colin, an English diminutive form of Nicholas. In England, Collins usually signified son of Colin. Irish: cuilein =… …   Wikipedia

  • Collins — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sommaire 1 Patronyme 2 Toponyme 3 …   Wikipédia en Français