P-Funk’s Garry Shider dies, former bandmate remembers him
Garry “Diaper Man” Shider, the killer Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist, musical director and songwriter (“One Nation Under a Groove,” for example), called it quits yesterday at his home in Upper Marlboro, Md., dying from lung and brain cancer. This is indeed sad news for any fan of funk and rock ’n’ roll. Shider was 56.
One cannot underestimate the mad contributions Shider made to Parliament and Funkadelic, and later with George Clinton in his P-Funk All-Stars. He did get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
There was a fundraiser for Shider’s medical expenses planned at the Savoy in Ypsilanti on Thursday and Friday, June 24-25. No word on what’s going on with that.
Here, Duminie DePorres, former Garry Shider P-Funk bandmate (from the mid-’90s Dope Dogs era), remembers the late, great Shider:
“God, Garry, so many memories. He made this record Drugs, a sort of P-Funk side-project thing, and there’s this song “Strung-Out,” which is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music, ever. Just timeless; soulful cosmic truth. During the Dope Dogs sessions [’95] we were at United Sound with George and Garry was there. And suddenly Garry starts kicking everybody out, so all the hangers-on are heading for the doors and he comes up to me, like, ‘Excuse me, you have to leave. We have Eli Fontaine coming into to play.’ Eli Fontaine’s the guy who played the opening to ‘What’s Going On,’ but still, I was like, ‘I’m not leaving, I’m here.’ So I’m hanging out in the lobby or something and he sees me still there and says, ‘There is a session in the next room, maybe they have some guitar work for you in there.’ And I’m just real salty as this point from the whole thing and I go in there and there’s a session and I play and I just tore it up.
“So a few days later I’m in my car across the street from United Sound listening to the track and Garry comes over and he’s like, ‘Sorry about the other night. What’s this?’ And I tell him, and next thing I know he’s in my passenger seat having me play it over and over giving me tips. ‘Man you gotta simplify that; cause you gotta play that every night. Now, ya see hear where you did that and then that, you coulda done that four times before you went to that part.’ He actually gave me the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard. ‘Your friends’ll help you into a hole in the ground.’ That’s something I think about everyday. I might not be making a record if I didn’t have someone tell me something like that. Like I said, timeless, soulful, cosmic truth.”