George Clinton mostly used the counterfeit money to pay for recording studio time.
George Clinton first revealed his story of purchasing over a million dollars in counterfeit money in his 2014 autobiography Brothers Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?, and since then the topic comes up every now and then during interviews.
Such is the case in a recent interview the Parliament-Funkadelic bandleader did with HAPPY, where he recalled how he ended up with $1.2 million of fake money. While Clinton was still working at a barbershop and making music with The Parliaments, two white kids came into the barbershop wanting to get rid of some counterfeit money they had. Clinton ended up paying them $1800 for the money.
“…we were using it everywhere,” Clinton said while noting that he mainly used it on recording sessions. “We were using it so much in that town, that it started coming back to the barbershop. We were saying ‘we can’t take this…it’s no good.'”
And as for how he used the money for recording sessions: “I’d say ‘I’ll give you a couple of hundred dollars for the session, or a thousand dollars in counterfeit money,’ and most of ’em took the counterfeit money.”
Around this time, Clinton encountered an undercover cop who warned him about the counterfeit money.
“He wasn’t looking for the money, he was looking for drugs,” he said. “And we were always teaching kids music at the neighbourhood centre, so he kind of felt sorry for us, and he gave us a warning. He said, ‘if I was ya’ll, I’d be getting rid of that money.’ That was all he had to say to me.”
As noted in his autobiography, Clinton used the money to record music for The Parliaments. Shortly after getting rid of the fake money, they had their first and only major single released, “(I Wanna) Testify.”