EXPIRED: 08/06/10 – Phelps “Catfish” Collins, 66, was the older brother of Bootsy Collins, who frequently stole the spotlight. But there was hardly a better funk guitarist than Catfish.
Known mostly for his work in P-Funk, Collins laid down memorable riffs on many influential records by Parliament, Funkadelic, and records by his brother’s troupe, Bootsy’s Rubber Band.
In 1968, the Bootsy and Catfish, Collins brothers, formed a group called The Pacemakers, along with Kash Waddy and Philippe Wynne. The band was hired by James Brown to back him up when the singer lost his regular band during salary disputes. Collins was with Brown during the recordings of “Super Bad,” “Get Up,” “Soul Power” and “Give It Up.” By 1971, the brothers quit to join joined Funkadelic, touring with the band and working on the album “America Eats Its Young.”
Besides working sporadically with Bootsy, Catfish created the funky, funky rhythm behind Parliament’s 1978 hit “Flash Light,” a song Rolling Stone lists in its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
And where would Snoop Dogg, Black Eye Peas, A Tribe Called Quest, Digital Underground, Big Daddy Kane, 2Pac, Biz Markie, Kurtis Blow, Hammer, and Grandmaster Flash be if it wasn’t for Catfish? They all sampled him at one time or another!
Want to pay homage? Rent the movie Superbad from 2007. He worked on the soundtrack.
RIP – Catfish!