Currently I'm sitting here listening to Eddie Hazel's cover of California Dreaming
. Damn he was good. Lemme find a bio...
Here ya go:
Lifted whole from http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/1nationpfunkbios/eddiehazel.html
by Alex Campbell with additional info from Melissa A. Weber.
Edward Earl Hazel (April 10, 1950 - December 23, 1992)
While there have been more technically flashy players in the ranks of the P-Funk guitar army, Eddie Hazel is considered by most (including this writer) to be the greatest
guitarist to be involved with the Funk Mob. Why? because of his unique ability to turn a funk tune on its head, always playing beautifully emotional yet unexpected patterns that
challenged all sense of normality.
Born on April 10, 1950 in Brooklyn, he grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey where he sang in church before joining local R&B band the Boyce Brothers. He taught himself how to
play after his brother bought him a guitar for Christmas while his family was still living in Brooklyn.
It was in Plainfield that Eddie forged his lifetime friendship with Billy ?Bass? Nelson, Funkadelic's original bassist. Nelson says "Eddie and I automatically had a sound together.
He taught me everything I know about music; we had such a tight connection it goes beyond words. I can?t tell you how much it hurts that he's not here anymore. I?ve played
with some true guitar greats over the years, but nobody had anything on Eddie".
Billy encouraged Eddie to join Funkadelic in 1969 eventually getting Funkadelic leader George Clinton to persuade Eddie's mother to allow him to join the group and tour.
Funkadelic's self-titled debut album was released on Westbound Records in early 1970 and featured Eddie's playing on songs such as "I'll Bet Ya" and "Qualify & Satisfy".
Eddie's unique fusion of blues, acid rock and funk is all over this album.
Eddie is also heavily featured on Funkadelic's 1971 album Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow. The title track features Eddie in wicked form that is continued throughout
the album. However, it was the 1971 album Maggot Brain which proved to be Eddie's tour de force.
They played "Maggot Brain" at Eddie Hazel's funeral on New Years Eve 1992 in Plainfield, New Jersey. It was a fitting farewell to a true guitar hero. More than any other
song in the P-Funk arsenal, the stirring minor-key anthem will forever be associated with Eddie Hazel.
The song was created when George Clinton asked Eddie to think of the saddest thing he could possibly think of (his mother dying) and play it through his guitar. The resulting
one take, 10 minute long solo guitar piece is, in my opinion, the greatest piece of electric guitar ever recorded. Eddie takes the listener through every emotion known from fear
to lust, pleasure to pain, serenity to anger, love to hate and turns them into one of the most tear jerkin and gut wrenching performances on tape.
Eddie's influence began to dwindle form this point within Funkadelic due to excessive drug and alcohol problems and financial disputes with Clinton. He was sent to Lampoc
Prison after a teeth assault on a plane where allegedly he bit an air hostess when he was high on Angel Dust. However he returned with bang for the 1974 album Standing on
the Verge of Getting it On. He co-wrote every song on the album (songwriter's credits are given to his mother Grace Cook) and is in fine form on the guitar.
Eddie left P-Funk in 1974 to work as a Motown guitarist/composer, most notably playing on the Temptations' albums (A Song For You, 1975, and Wings of Love, 1976) and
serving as musical director for Bonnie Pointer and Chairmen Of The Board before returning to the P-Funk Mothership in the early 80's. However, he did release a solo album,
Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs, in '78 on Atlantic records that featured the entire P-Funk Mob. It remains out of print and is a highly sought-after collector's item.
Penniless and homeless the last year of his life, Eddie moved back to his mother's Plainfield home. He had been suffering from chronic stomach problems for years, and finally
he succumbed to internal bleeding and liver failure on December 23, 1992.
Ironically, he had recently begun planning several projects, including a power trio date with former Band of Gypsys members Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, as well as an original