The mothership has landed, but you won't find it at Area 51. No, this mothership previously belonged to Parliament-Funkadelic, and it's now headed to the Smithsonian Institution:
The funkiest UFO in the galaxy is about to land in Chocolate City.
The Mothership — the iconic stage prop made famous by legendary funk collective Parliament-Funkadelic — has been acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture where it will help anchor a permanent music exhibition when the museum opens its doors in 2015.
“I’m about to cry!” Parliament-Funkadelic frontman George Clinton said over the phone from his home in Tallahassee on Wednesday. “They’re taking the Mothership! They’re shipping it out! . . . But I’m glad it’s going to have a nice home there.”
It isn’t the original Mothership. This 1,200-pound aluminum spacecraft was built in the mid-’90s — an indistinguishable replica, Clinton says, of the smoke-spewing stage prop he first introduced to slack-jawed funk fans in 1976.
This news made Telstar Logistics smile, not least because it also caused us to flash-back to a hilarious 1997 article in The Onion that envisioned the P-Funk mothership crash-landing at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert:
ROSEMONT, IL—Confusion and awkwardness resulted Monday when the P-Funk Mothership, outer-space chariot of Dr. Funkenstein and the Star Child, accidentally descended upon a sold-out Hootie and the Blowfish concert at the Rosemont Horizon arena in suburban Chicago.
"Thumpasaurus Peoples! You have summoned us through the Groove, and we have returned to refunkatize the planet!" said Dr. Funkenstein, the fur-bedecked, disco-booted Mothership Supreme Commander, moments before the popular South Carolina-based band was about to launch into the song "I Only Wanna Be With You."
Members of Hootie and the Blowfish, whose 1995 release Cracked Rear Viewsold over 14 million copies, were caught off guard by the arrival of the Mothership.
"The man who came out of the spaceship attempted to shoot me with something he called a 'Bop Gun,'" lead singer Darius Rucker told reporters. "Somehow I sensed it would be detrimental to my career as a singer."
Added a visibly distressed Rucker: "He also seemed to imply that if I let my mind go free, something would happen to my bottom."
The Onion piece ends with a comment that has since become a regular fixture of our lexicon:
"I did not wish to get 'funked up,'" said Roger Kleist, 33. "If I did, I would have attended a Dave Matthews Band concert.
PHOTO: The P-Funk Mothership in action