Keepin’ Sweat Out Your Eyes! (The Uncle Cliffy Mix)


In honor of my favorite headband player of all time, I present the Sweat Band’s Sweat Band on this sunny Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday.  Yesterday, I took in all four NBA playoff games, including the last two with a fellow hoop fiend.  It is always a joy discussing basketball with a fellow junkie.  It allows you to reminiscence over the more obscure players of the past and really talk the game.  Cliff Robinson was one of the masters of the head band from his first days in the league when headbands weren’t very popular.  A pioneer through and through, Cliff’s visionary ways weren’t just limited to style.  Granted I am a young, so my NBA historical scope is limited but I don’t remember hearing of many 6’10 players of past generations shooting 3s and avoiding rebounds.  Until Dirk surpassed him, Cliff had been the tallest player to hit over 1,000 three pointers.  So Cliff is responsible not only for the headband, but also the 6’10+ player standing on the perimeter bombing 3s.

According to this person (, the Trailblazers were the trailblazers (lame humor, I know) of the NBA when it came to headband style.  The historical legacy of the Trail Blazers to the headband goes even deeper than that.  Bill Walton during his days as a Blazer rocked a sweatband style garment.  Check out the above link, the dude give a nice rundown of current headband styles and their practitioners.  This NYT’s piece ( Cliff’s experience as an innovator and the headband trend.  And one more last NBA headband link (, which has some other styles.


The first official release of George Clinton’s short-lived Uncle Jam record label, Sweat Band’s Sweat Band (1980) was really a Bootsy’s Rubber Band record; however, Bootsy lost the name of the group to a folk group, so Sweat Band was used.  Sweat Band was released the same week as Bootsy’s Ultra Wave, which was Bootsy’s fifth record for Warner Brothers.  Uncle Jam’s releases were distributed through CBS.  Even though it is a Bootsy record, his voice rarely registers few notes.  His bass, drum, and guitar skills are fully present though.

Opening with the instrumental “Hyper Space,” which features Michael Hampton and Razor Sharp, the Sweat Band goes Funkadelic.  Pumping a hard dance beat complete with heavy bass and complemented by party atmosphere vocals “Freak to Freak” starts strong.  It only gets better as Bernie and Bootsy do their respective thangs on the keys and space bass.

Latin lounge infects “Love Munch,” which is a showpiece for Maceo.  Still, “Love Munch” has flaccid moments that go on too long.  Maceo’s horn blowing acts as Spanish fly providing the necessary turgidness to envigorate the song.  Stick through the slow moments, for Parker’s horn makes sweet love to your earhole.  Short, but lively “We Do It All Day Long” brings some more energy with the soulful singing and horn blowing.

Bootsy’s bass is in full effect on “Jamaica,” which also some Bootsy singing.  “Jamaica” is an interesting song with filtered vocals and strange sounds.  On “Body Shop” the Rubber Band hit a more standard groove, which is no bad thing.  There is more solid vocal work on this one.  Building up to the climax, they take a brief moment to rest before an orgasming guitar spews funk juices all over the place as Bootsy’s pops off on the space bass.  “Body Shop” keeps going and going while maintaining freshness.  “Body Shop” eventually winds down.  “We Do It All Day Long (Reprise)” finishes the record off in fine fashion.  The instrumental part of the briefer version is expanded upon.  With laser noises bounce around the mix, “We Do It All Day Long (Reprise)” takes a minute to really get into the swing of things.

Sweat Band is a very solid Parliafunkadelicment Thang effort that mixes a lot of the different elements of the P, although not the sociopolitical.  Focused on moving your booty, one reason Sweat Band works so well is the rhythm guitar work, which helps ground the chaos.


Track Listing:

Hyper Space {Joel Johnson, W Collins}  4:40
Freak To Freak {Carl Small, Jeanette Washington, Garry Shider, W Collins}  6:50
Love Munch {Maceo Parker, W Collins}  6:48
We Do It All Day Long {G Shider, C Small, W Collins}  2:19
Jamaica {M Parker, Robert Johnson, W Collins}  5:32
Body Shop {G Shider, W Collins}  7:19
We Do It All Day Long (Reprise) {G Shider, C Small, W Collins}  8:27


Producer: Bootsy Collins
Executive Producer: George Clinton
Arrangements: Fred Wesley & Bootsy Collins
Guitars: Mike Hampton, Garry Shider, Bootsy Collins
Keyboards: Joel “Razor Sharp” Johnson, Bernie Worrell, Maceo Parker
Space Bass: YSTOOB?WHO
Percussion: Carl “Butch” Small, Bootsy Collins
Drums: Bootsy Collins, Jerry Jones, thanks to Andy on “Jamaica” & “Munch”
Horny Horns: Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Richard Griffith, Larry Hatcher
Vocals: Ray Davis, Linda Shider, Garry Shider, Carl “Butch” Small,
Larry Hatcher, Robert Johnson, Bootsy Collins, Lloyd Bridges, Philippe’ Wynne,
Jeanette Washington, Shirley Hayden, Janice Evans, Dawn Silva,
Jeannette McGruder, Sheila Horne, Michael “Clip” Payne, Patty Walker,
Ronnie Faust


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