Funk guitarist Garry Shider dies at 56

Garry Shider, a legendary funk guitarist who played with Parliament and Funkadelic, has died. He was 56.

Garry Shider, a legendary funk guitarist who played with Parliament and Funkadelic, has died. He was 56.

Shider died Wednesday at his home in Upper Marlboro, Md., of brain and lung cancer, according to his son, Garret.

A native of Plainsville, N.J., he moved to Toronto with a friend at age 16 to escape the violence of New Jersey. Both had backgrounds as gospel singers, and they founded the Toronto band United Soul.

That led to a connection with George Clinton, band leader for Parliament and Funkadelic. Clinton produced several tracks by United Soul, including the songs I Miss My Baby and Baby I Owe You Something Good with backup from Funkadelic.

Then Clinton convinced Shider and fellow band member Boogie Mosson to move back to the U.S. to join Funkadelic in 1972.

He became one of Clinton's most trusted lieutenants, co-writing and providing vocals on some of the band's biggest hits — including Atomic Dog, Cosmic Slop, Can You Get to That and One Nation Under the Groove, which was one of the band's biggest hits.

The guitarist was known as "Starchild" and as "Diaperman" because he wore a loincloth on stage during his performances.

After Parliament and Funkadelic disbanded in the late 1980s, Shider remained a member with the P-Funk All Stars. He was one of 15 members of the funk group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Shider had a career as a session player for other bands. He also wrote songs for films such as PCU,  The Night Before and Bad Boys. He was a Grammy nominee in 1997 and 1978.

With files from the Associated Press