Any list of New Jersey’s greatest guitarists would have to include Eddie Hazel,a key member of George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic bands in the late ’60s and early ’70s whose majesticinstrumental showcase “Maggot Brain” — an epic that starts languidly but builds to a mind-blowing peak, then mellows out, then gets wild again — inspired comparisons to Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. With “Maggot Brain,” wrote critic Greg Tate in the Village Voice after Hazel died in 1992, “Hazel gave Funkadelic its ‘A Love Supreme.’ ”
In 2007, Rolling Stone magazine included “Maggot Brain”on its list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.”
Like most other members of Parliament and Funkadelic, Hazel hailed from Plainfield, and though he left the band in 1971, he continued to contribute to various band projects, off an on, for years, and also worked with other groups, including The Temptations. He struggled with substance abuse as well; his death, at the age of 42, was attributed to internal bleeding and liver failure.
You can listen, below, to a great live version of “Maggot Brain” from Funkadelic’s concert album, Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12th September 1971.
New Jersey celebratedits 350th birthday lastyear. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are markingthe occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.