Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey The Funk Machine Drummer

Jerome “Bigfoot” Brailey has been recorded as one of the most influential drummers in history

His real drumming journey began in 1975 when George Clinton first heard David Bowie play his “Fame” over the radio. Jerome was just a new recruit Parliament-Funkadelic, to whom Clinton turned and asked to remember the beat.

Jerome Bigfoot
jerome bigfoot

As a new drummer, Jerome was focused on making sure the team did not make a mistake choosing him as one of their drummers.  For this reason, he listened to his boss’s voice and recorded Bowie’s sound in his head.

But he did not stop at just internalizing the beat. When he was working on Bowie’s hazy cosmic jive on “Give Up (the Funk Tear the Roof Off Sucker),” Jerome presented his expertise by including the filter style of JB stickman Jabo Starks.

He made sure the music came out as something that has never been heard before, giving rise to a new approach to the band’s music. And he stayed with the team as one of its more important members until 1978. He helped the brand grow from strength to strength, always learning new tricks that would make a difference in the entire market.

Parliament Funkadelic
parliament funkadelic

It was his steady kick drum that drove many of P-Funk’s biggest hits. Many drummers of the time seemed to have an issue holding the bass in the same position. When Jerome went to the stage, he was the mentor who gave his fans something more than just good music.

He brought them along the journey, filling every moment with the right emotion. His shifty hi-hat action echoed every section of the music with incredible fills.

It was his way of ensuring harmony with his gear, even when things looked tough at first. And then he crowned everything with his unpredictable snare patterns. A combination of these moves always ensured there was something new to play in every project he worked on.

It was not until the distrust of Clintons’ accounting techniques brought an end to their partnership that he left to form Mutiny. And now, he had space and freedom to build his style as he wished. Mutiny became widely known for its own funk, which hit hard enough, giving birth to Bigfoot’s name.

Jerome Bigfoot Brailey On Stage
jerome bigfoot brailey on stage

Jerome was indeed the “bigfoot” of the period as he maintained his steady-bass moves. In 2010, he told an interviewer that doing funk is pretty simple. According to him, all it takes is understanding the thrill of time. He stated that funk comes from within.

In his time with Parliament, he did a lot of shows in which he displayed so much of his funkiness that anyone would tell it was in his bones

He always made sure the audience could feel it too, and that they would follow into his line. “It is really hard to just stand there and watch while Bigfoot is behind the drums.” Said one of his fans. “You just find yourself pulled into the action, and you have much control over the level of enjoyment you get.”

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

Terri Lyne Carrington All-Around Jazz Drummer

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