Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
If Wednesday's musically disastrous concert at Constitution Hall had a purpose, it could only be in putting a moratorium on the concept of funk. As expounded by Johnny "Guitar" Watson, the genre has reached its lowest ebb.
Watson used to be a guitar player but now seldom plays as he struts around the stage like a peacock. It's as if he has taken the elements of funk, most notably and nobly laid out by George Clinton, diminished them to the lowest common denominator, and then cut that in half.
Worse, the sound in the hall did a fatal imitation of monaural excess. A better effect would have been achieved by putting a pocket transistor radio to a public school P.A. system. And a word about the back-up band, Watsonian Institute, led by a drummer whose strident spiel belongs in the used car business: horrible.
A saving grace was Millie Jackson, a veteran rhythm 'n' blues personality who comes on like a singing Richard Pryor by way of Mae West. Her voice conjures up Pittsburgh on a hot summer night - it may be rough, but it's real, the only thing so apparent in an otherwise sad night.