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Eddie Hazel
Birth: Apr. 10, 1950
Brooklyn
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Death: Dec. 23, 1992
Plainfield
Union County
New Jersey, USA

Guitarist. He was a charter member of the influential and iconoclastic 1997 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame band "Parliament/Funkadelic". He was voted as Number 43 in Rolling Stone's "Most Influential Guitar Players Of All Time!" with his signature song, the 10-plus minute psychedelic funk-rock opus, 1971's "Maggot Brain" voted as Number 60 in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame's "Top 100 Greatest Rock Songs Of All Time". He was born in Brooklyn, New York, but as a small child his mother relocated the family to nearby Plainfield, New Jersey where she felt her children would not be influenced by the evils of the New York City streets. By the age of 9 or 10, he had been introduced to his instrument of choice, the guitar, by his older brother as a Christmas present. Inspired and influenced by Jimi Hendrix and blessed with his own prodigious creativity, he began to play all around the tri-state area with some established R&B acts by the age of 15 and 16. By the age of 17, at the urging of a childhood buddy named Billy "Bass" Nelson, another P-Funk charter member, he was introduced to George Clinton, whose do-wop group "The Parliaments" had just scored a big summer of 1967 hit with "I Just Wanna Testify". Clinton was impressed with Hazel and wanted him in his back-up band, but Eddie's formidable mother, Grace Cook, was not so convinced that she wanted her then 17 yr old son traveling the country with "this bunch of knuckleheads". After some cajoling from Clinton, Nelson and Hazel himself, she finally relented and he became a member of the band. By 1969, the whole dop-wop thing had fizzled and due to some legal conflicts with the name "The Parliaments", George Clinton, inspired by Hendrix, Sly & The Family Stone, Cream, Vanilla Fudge, and The MC5, had the genius stroke of vision to retool his group into a funky-rocky-anti-establishment juggernaut by the name of Funkadelic, and Hazel, Nelson, new drummer Tiki Fulwood and brilliant keyboardist Bernie Worrell were the center of this new band. From their debut album "Funkadelic" in 1970, followed by "Free Your Mind & Your Ass Will Follow", also in 1970, and what has become the zenith of the early Funkadelic output, 1971's "Maggot Brain", Eddie Hazel's inventive guitar work was the dominant force throughout. Musical folklore has said that George Clinton put Hazel in the middle of a bunch of Marshall amps in the studio, gave him a hit of acid, and told him to "play like your mother just died!"; "Maggot Brain" was the result. After 1972, Hazel and Nelson left the band after disputes with Clinton over money, but would return sporadically to participate in later Funkadelic and the rehashed Parliament albums. Hazel and Nelson also worked with other musical acts like The Temptations and others during this time. Hazel had developed quite a drug habit during these years, and had been jailed on possesion charges as well as for allegedly assaulting an airline stewardess in 1974. He was again a dominant force on P-Funk songs like "Cosmic Slop" (1973) as well as 1974's Funkadelic album "Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On" where he did alot of the co-writing under the psuedonym of G. Cook (his mother's name) to avoid contractual issues with publishing. During another run-in with the law, George Clinton, ever resourceful, came across another 17-year old guitar prodigy named Michael Hampton, who played Hazel's signature tune note for note from his head and hired him on the spot. Hazel did his last notable playing on Funkadelic's 1976 "Hardcore Jollies" album on a song called "Comin Round The Mountain". In 1977, with P-Funk rising up the charts and selling out concert arenas, Clinton was able to hustle up Eddie a deal with Warner Brothers Records, and along with help from fellow P-Funk players like Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Glen Goins, Garry Shider and others, he created what is now considered a guitar opus and collector's item..."Games, Dames & Guitar Thangs". It briefly charted with Hazel's remake of the Mamas & Papas hit "California Dreaming", but not very high. It was soon forgotten in it's time. After that, Hazel worked sporadically and slipped in and out of addiction to alcohol and drugs as his health began to decline throughout the 80's. He did make a few appearances with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars however, and glimmers of his former brilliance shone through! He died of liver failure and internal bleeding at his mother's home at the age of 42. "Maggot Brain" was played at his funeral. Posthumously, he has been heralded by musicians from Dave Navarro to Lenny Kravitz to Steve Vai for his soulful and free-flowing flights of guitar creativity. (bio by: Darius Diamante) 
 
Burial:
Hillside Cemetery
Scotch Plains
Union County
New Jersey, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: PastorVal
Record added: Nov 26, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12512846
Eddie Hazel
Added by: Darius Diamante
 
Eddie Hazel
Added by: PastorVal
 
Eddie Hazel
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Mark Alexander Oliver
 
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for one of the greatest RIP
- Anonymous
 Added: Nov. 2, 2014

- Lance
 Added: Aug. 24, 2014
What a talent; gone toooo soon. I'm listening to "Maggot Brain" as I write this---R.I.P.
- BigFrench
 Added: Jul. 19, 2014
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