"Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth" – 2004

I caught the short documentary on keyboardist Bernie Worrell, Stranger, today as part of MusicFestNW. Worrell was a child prodigy originally on a classical path, when he got involved with George Clinton at the barber shop. He co-wrote many of the great Parliament/Funkadelic tunes, including the classic “Flashlight,” but unfortunately did not get legal & financial credit. He also spent time with Talking Heads in the early eighties.

The doc has a lot of laudatory folks talking about Worrell, including David Byrne, Mos Def, George Clinton, Bill Laswell, and many more. Many of them make the claim that Worrell is a musical genius, and wonder whether he will ever get his due. It appears that he is living out of a hotel these days, and plays only sporadically (Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz appear to be helping get him to a gig). Nice black and while look to the doc, though I would have liked more talking with Bernie himself to tell his story…

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