TIR 35: Funkadelic Still Flickers in Heart of Ex-PR Guru Tom Vickers

Tom Vickers (right) recently visited with his former boss from during the height of Parliament-Funkadelic popularity (1976-80), George Clinton.


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in this two-part series: Music consultant and career coach Tom Vickers, who among many other things served as George Clinton’s Minister of Information during the peak 1976-1980 years of the Parliament-Funkadelic empire. Not long after college he left a short stint at Rolling Stone to accept Clinton’s personal invitation to take on a role that included coordinating placement of publication articles, serving as liaison to five labels the good Dr. Funkenstein had acts signed to, and overseeing artwork and marketing.

Subsequent to that Vickers has staked a long and productive music career in PR and A&R for major record labels like A&M, Capitol and Mercury Records. Among likely in excess of the 100 artists he has been connected with are The Police, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Al Green, Phoebe Snow, B.B. King, Def Leppard, Jonny Lang, ZZ Top and so many others.

Having spent parts of five decades behind the scenes of an industry that has undergone major changes during that time and encountering just about every mover, shaker, charlatan, up-and-comer, superstar, overnight sensation, wanna-be, fly-by-night and has-been along the way, Vickers’ is a repository  of record business history.

Just head, we’ll see what knowledge he can drop on us with an especially deep dive into the glorious and chaotic P-Funk years. His stories about George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and the rest of the U.S. Funk Mob camp are like none other.

Recorded December 2017


Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.