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George Clinton: ‘I feel like a child in a candy factory’

“You’re George Clinton? Get out of here!” said Bobbie Mack as she grabbed her phone to take a picture with the sequins-wearing musician who was milling around the music gallery. “You always had outfits that were outrageous.”

Mack, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was humming and swaying as Clinton posed for pictures, and then she started to shimmy down to the ground. Clinton started dancing, too.

“I feel like a child in a candy factory,” he said with the brightly lighted P Funk Mothership behind him. “It took so long, but I’m glad it happened in my lifetime.”

“As President Obama said, this country is our country too. We’re Americans. If this doesn’t uplift you, nothing will,” he said. “This should uplift everyone, not just African Americans but all Americans. To get to the heights we have, with a black president. I’m so proud.”

Eric Ridenhour, brother of Chuck D, was snapping a photo of the mothership and telling his son, Eric Jr., about it when he saw Clinton.

“I saw you at Madison Square Garden in 1970 something,” Ridenhour said.

“’76,” Clinton responded.
“Yeah, it was my first concert,” Ridenhour said. “Me and my best friend went into New York from Long Island. We snuck in. We were too young. Our tickets were in the front row.”

George Clinton, right, in the music gallery. (Peggy McGlone)
The African American Museum opens

Complete coverage from The National Mall, from the early risers to the public’s first impression of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, with all of the opening ceremony’s speeches (8!) in between.