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Eddie Hazel

Biography

Eddie Hazel was born into a good home. His mother, Grace Cook, moved to Plainfield, New Jersey, in order to raise him in a safe, drug-free environment. The professional silk-weaver taught Eddie piety and respect, and was understandably upset when a 17-year-old Eddie told her in 1967 that he was touring with George Clinton and his doo wop group the Parliaments. Four years later, the Parliaments' doo wop had turned into Funkadelic's acid freak out, and Eddie had earned the moniker "Maggot Brain" for his epic ingestion of drugs. While recording Funkadelic's third album, Clinton instructed Hazel to "play like your mother just died." The resulting 10-minute epic, "Maggot Brain," is an exploration in isolation and despair, and is hailed as the one of the greatest guitar performances in funk. In 1974, an increasingly demented Hazel was jailed on drug and assault charges. Dropped from P-Funk, he spent the next few years recording his lone solo album, Game, Dames & Guitar Thangs . Later, suffering from chronic stomach pains, Hazel is forced to move in with his mother. It's Christmas, 1992, and he's dead at the age of 42.

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