This year marked the 43 anniversary of one of the most influential and famous guitar solos of all time. July 1971 saw the release of the album Maggot Brain by Funkadelic. Maggot Brain was also the title of the lead track off the album by the talented guitarist Eddie Hazel. Rumors stated the title of the track was Hazel’s nickname while other sources say it comes from band leader George Clinton’s vision of finding his decomposing dead brother in a Chicago apartment. While high on LSD, Clinton told Hazel during a recording session to play as if he had been told his mother was dead but found out it was not true. What followed was Hazel recording the impressive 10 minute track in one take.
Admittedly, I first heard the song when I was high on weed over 10 years ago. It happened late one night after I had viewed a documentary about Funkadelic One Nation Under A Groove on PBS. The documentary was amazing in itself; however many of the songs played I had heard before, but not Maggot Brain. I searched for the song online, turned my speakers up and was in awe. I wasn’t a fan of rock music but this song instantly connected with me at the time. Maggot Brain is a 10 minute ride of pure emotions.
After a notable career spanning decades, on December 23, 1992, Hazel died from internal bleeding and liver failure. The infamous Maggot Brain was played at his funeral.