‘Maggot Brain,’ Funkadelic, featuring Eddie Hazel

The cover of the Funkadelic album, "Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12th September 1971."

The cover of the Funkadelic album, “Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan – 12th September 1971.”

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 majestic instrumental 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 and 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 celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.

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