Although he may be known as "The Man Who Put Bass In Your face", Bootsy left more faces with surprised and stunned looks than you could shake a drumstick at. And no, ladies and gentlemen, I'm not referring to anything from KFC.
The show at Turfway Park Racetrack in Florence on New Years' eve, also known as 'Bootsy Collins New Years' Eve Funk Bash', was definitely memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. To start everything off, party goers paying upwards of $125 per ticket waited almost an hour for funk master and his wife to show up. Staff members of Turfway, who asked to remain anonymous for this article, stated that Bootsy's manager was observed on the phone pleading with Bootsy and his entourage to get to the venue.
When Bootsy did show up for his own party, the music and overall feel was less than what attendees hoped for. Seemingly hurried, uncharismatic and obviously on his own schedule, Collins made it through his set until the ball was about to drop. However, when the magical moment came, Bootsy started his own countdown as if oblivious of the planned synchronization that Turfway had prepared with the videos, lighting, balloons and more. Stating, "Well, it's that time!", Bootsy began counting down while the rest of the event staff frantically attempted to catch up.
Making matters worse, as soon as the ball dropped.....funk-master Collins became Harry Houdini and was gone! I'll give credit where credit is due, however. And to this reporter, the real stars of that event was the staff of Turfway who not only had a beautiful event setup with lighting, a deluxe buffet that rivaled anything in the Cincinnati area, and an atmosphere that made even the most 'de-funked' party-goer forget all about the performance and party like it was, well, 1999.
At the end of the night, two things were very evident. First, the days of Bootsy Collins being a star appeared to be over. And secondly, Turfway Park saved that whole event from being the shipwreck it could've been. To Turfway, kudos. Bootsy? The funkiest zero I can afford.