Bootsy (born William Collins, October 26, 1951, Cincinnati) is one of the all-time great funk and R&B bassists/singer/bandleader. He formed his first group, the Pacesetters, in 1968, featuring Phelps "Catfish" Collins (his brother; guitar), Frankie "Kash" Waddy (drums), and Philippe Wynne (later of The Spinners fame). From 1969 to 1971, the group functioned as James Brown's backup band and was dubbed the J.B.'s. In 1972, Bootsy joined George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic. Collins and Clinton soon established a lifelong personal and musical friendship. He launched Bootsy's Rubber Band as a spinoff of P-Funk in 1976, the band including his brother Phelps, Waddy (drums), Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson (keyboards), Gary "Mudbone" Cooper (vocals), and Robert "P-Nut" Johnson (vocals), along with "the Horny Horns". (He was sometimes billed alone as Bootsy, and sometimes as William "Bootsy" Collins.)

Collins' inspired, clever progressions and patterns were a vital part of such records as "Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine." The group became the House Guests after departing the JB's, until Collins joined Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelicempire in 1971. He co-wrote "Tear the Roof Off the Sucker" with Clinton and Jerome Brailey and established himself so effectively that Clinton urged him to form his own band. Bootsy's Rubber Band emerged in 1976, a spirited ensemble that included Collins' brother Phelps ("Catfish"), as well as fellow James Brown bandmembers Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker, Joel Johnson, Gary Cooper, Rick Gardner, and Richard Griffiths. (Collins also featured his alter egos "Bootzilla" and "Casper, the Friendly Ghost" as part of the stage act.)

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