William Earl “Bootsy” Collins was born on October 26, 1951 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is one of the all time greatest American funk and R&B bassist, singer and songwriter. Bootsy was instrumental in the Parliament and Funkadelic era. He is known as one of the founding members of the P-Funk sound. He is also credited with resurrecting James Brown’s career in the late 60’s and 70’s, co-writing some of Brown’s of greatest hits.
Though he rose to prominence with the support of James Browns career, Bootsy Collins asserted himself as a driving bass guitarist and vocalist in addition to becoming one of the leading names in funk.
Childhood and Education
Bootsy Collins once asked his mother, “Why he was named Bootsy?” and she responded “Because you looked like a Bootsy and I left it at that”. Bootsy also has a well known brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins who was also a musician. He and Bootsy were once apart of James Brown’s backing band, The Pacemakers.
In 1968, Bootsy, with his brother Catfish, formed a funk band, called The Pacesetters, with Frankie “Kash” Waddy and Phillippe Wynne. In March 1970, after most of the members of James Brown’s band quit over a pay dispute, The Pacesetters were hired as Brown’s new backing and and they became known as The J.B.’s. The J.B.’s played on some of Browns most intense funk recordings, including “Get Up”, “Super Bad”, “Soul Power” and “Talkin Loud and Sayin Nothing”. It is said that Boots y clashed several time with the rigid practice system Brown put in place to discipline the band whenever he felt that they stepped out of line.
Fame & Success
Bootsy's Famous Guitars