Born « on the Mothership » of Parliament-Funkadelic’s rise to fame in 1978, Garrett Shider
came out the womb wailing for the hand-me-down diaper of his parent’s legacy. Son of P-Funk’s guitarist/vocalist Garry Shider, aka Starchild, aka Diaper Man, young Garrett began his life surrounded by his father’s infamous funk band. For decades, his father continued touring as an accompanying frontman with the band, giving Garrett his first shots at recording on « Pumpin’ It Up » and a feature on Red Hot Chili Peppers song « Brothers Cup » when he was just seven years old. The wild antics incumbent of the band’s live performances and cult followings inspired Garrett to follow in his father’s legacy while proving his own original talent and carving a future for young African American guitarists.
After four decades by the side of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Garrett’s father Garry had played P-Funk’s shows all the way up until his passing in 2010, even against doctor’s orders.
Feeling the great absence of his musical partner, George Clinton invited Shider’s son Garrett to join the band in his place in 2011, continuing in his father’s place on guitar and vocals (while ditching the diaper look his casual collection of superhero t-shirts) and penning tracks on the first Funkadelic album release in over 30 years, Firts Ya Gotta Shake the Gate. While his talents and familiar sound pushed him to the lead the gamut of P-Funk’s tours most months out of the year, Garrett carved out time for writing and recording a solo project. The project would evolve into a legacy project not just by its dedication to his father, but by incorporating three generations of the Shider family, with Garrett’s mother Linda and daughter Bria contributing on vocals, accompanying three generations of the Clinton family as well, including George, his son Trev Lewd, and grandson Trazae. While Garrett’s singing & guitar playing aches with a familiar gravelly haunt, an inherent capability echoing with the legacy of his father, Starchild, Jr.’s fresh material casts him in a class of his own.
In his debut album, Hand Me Down Diapers, the artist reveals his own imaginative songwriting style, i.e. “Sugar Rush” is dripping in candy-melted metaphors, while “Hard Pill” is a poignant and sardonic political song that captures the daily frustration and hypocrisy of our nation in this time of its duress. Starchild, Jr.’s last song on his debut album is a dedication to his father, the story of Starchild Sr.’s upbringing and the journey to stardom and fatherhood, and ultimately to his passing of the torch to the younger Shider.
Some liken Hand Me Down Diapers to the unearthly vibes of Parliament-Funkadelic’s ninth album Hardcore Jollies released in the year before his birth, 1976. That classic album was « dedicated to guitarists everywhere » and indeed heavily influenced Jr.’s earliest understanding of music and the cultivation of the dream to be a guitarist himself. In a relevant effort , the musician is also aiming to « help young African American kids get back into guitar and [is] working on a web series that features different guitarists that could inspire them. »
Garrett’s Regurgitated Youth is « a humorous, satirical album that takes on some social issues while still being good dance music. » On his birthday, May 11, 2019, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic accepted a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.