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Your FIRST P-Funk Show--when, where, and how did it blow your mind.

First off, I was JEALOUS as a M.F. because everyone in my class had stories of PARLIAMENT at the Capitol Center landing the Mothership in '77, a'ight! So, because I couldn't go (this was Pre-Metro, car only), I had to catch whatever TV Snippets there was of the show.

Of course, that was all rectified the following year, when THE MOTOR-BOOTY AFFAIR came to town. The place, The CAPITOL CENTER. The Date, Groundhog Night, February 2, 1979.

Me, my two younger brothers, and the friends who drove us (on that coldass night) made it just as P-FUNK was rocking some acid-jam (on the monitor in the hallway, I saw the hand of the guitarist tearing that solo up). It later turns out (thanks to YOUTUBE Footage some 29 years later from the TAPES TAKEN OFF THE Capitol Center monitors) that we came on at the end of the first song, which was a blistering version of COSMIC SLOP. (Thanks to YOUTUBE, I also discovered that I missed James Wesley Jackson 'voicing' the FUNKADELIC SKULL, to which P-Nut Johnson 'fed' a BLUNT the size of my baby brother to. JWJ said, "Fiiiiiiire it Upppppp!!! C'mon, Fiiiiiiiiiiiire That shit UPPPP!!! Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa.!!!" Missed it by 7 minutes---thank god for YOU TUBE.)

It turns out, the FIRST PART of the P-Funk Headline Show was the "FUNKADELIC" part. George Clinton in '78/'79 was a frightening motha! He would whistle loudly into the mic, and in the Cap Center, that shit carried--and we were way in the Balcony (more on that in a bit). "GOTGOTGOTGAGAGAGA!!!!!" Would be Clinton's shout thru most of the Funkadelic part---especially during some of the "Mothership hits". Man, GC ran the Cap Center like it was boot camp. Now, when they bumped STANDING ON THE VERGE OF GETTING IT ON!!, Clinton was wearing the White Cowboy Chaps outfit he had on the MOTOR BOOTY Album inner sleeve. Pointing the mic to the front row, he asked, "CHILDREN!! YA'LL IN TH' FRONT ROW!! WHATCHADOIIIIIIIIN'? TELL ME, YA'LL!!!"

"Standin' On The Verge Of Gittin' It On, Brotha--Gittin' it Onnnnn!!" ('nuff said!)

Also during that first half, we got Gary Shider and Junie Morrison (both in PIMP Leather), sitting on the edge of the stage, making plenty young girls pussy wet with a slowdown ballad version of "Into You". They harmonized on the chorus part like the superstars they were. Man, the bitches were louder than when The Beatles first got here. I never heard girls scream that loud before. Damn!

They closed the first part with TEAR THE ROOF OFF/THUMPASAURUS PEOPLES!! Jerome Brailey was NOT on this tour---Tyrone Lampkin was. Man, the late Mr. Lampkin had some fuckin' power on the skins. He hit hard as shit, replicating Jerome's intro with power, but that paled when Ray Davis came out over the PA in sensurround!! (well, it sure as hell felt like it--even in the Balcony!!). George and Gary and Ray (in an evil 3-way) coralled the whole place. "SANG!!!"

"THUMPASAURUS PEOPLES" was stronger and louder than on the Parliament Live album. Boogie Mosson's bass was cut all the up to 20---yea, we felt that shit even bounce off the ceiling and right back down. (only wish Bootsy was on the tour--shame he wasn't.)

The "intermission" was 3-part affair. It began with JWJ doing a stand-up routine that had us peeing ourselves. He got on the shit of everyone who was in the balcony:

"Ya'll having a good time? Alright. (he plucks his rubberband juice-harp) I want ya'll to chill out, fire up one if you got it. Oh, by the way, you folks in the balcony cool up there? Ya'll can hear me? (we cheered back) Cool cool. You balcony folks are alright. You had to get 'HIGH' one way or another." (I couldn't sleep that night because I was laughing and grinning all night long.) James Wesley plucked his juice harp again, and said for us to repeat after him:

"A Loose Booty, A Loose Butt". We did. Then, from over the PA, "Sir Nose's" voice came out repeating the same thing, and we rolled!!! James Wesley shrugged his shoulders and said, "Hmmph! Some 'WHITE GUY' backstage trying to fuck us over!" Man, I had to pee real bad after that, but I held it in. So, JWJ gave us the Performers of this evening, and told us to stay tuned for the MAGGOT BRAIN.

Micheal Hampton took that solo straight to the roof. It went on for what felt like 20 minutes (actually, it was close--14 minutes!!). After Mike, we had a 3 minute break, then we were gifted with Bernie Worrell for about 8 1/2 minutes. The brotha's keyboard bank is legendary---must've had 8/10 different 'boards, and he used them all thru the whole night--but on this solo, he closed with Rod Stewart's "DO YOU THINK I'M SEXY".

Then, the stage went black as the curtains were drawn for the "MOTOR BOOTY" change over. The angle was "To Party Underwater Without Getting Wet". Well, it was fantastic. First, Junie came over the PA as "Howard COD-Sell": "HURRY! HURRY!! HURRY!!! Step right up DC, for the MOTOR BOOTY AFFAIR"!!! Then, the curtains parted, and what I saw is what got me working in theater TODAY:

It was the ILLUSION of a FISH TANK, created by blue and green lights with a fog effect (I learned just this year--from some old TOHO DVDS that this is the same technique that Eiji Tsuburaya used to create the Godzilla Underwater Sequences back in the day----and it works great LIVE!!!!). In the corners of the stage, there were tinsel tubes used to create the "oxygen bubbles" effects of a fish tank.

Now, let's talk about the "FISH" (a.k.a. PARLIAMENT!!): we had George Clinton as a WORM MC (Mr. Wiggles--that costume was baddass!!), along with Dawn Silva and Jeannette Washington as Giggles and Squirm (Dawn wore her WORM SUIT well--heh heh!!). Gary Shider, back in the diaper--no BOP GUN or FLASHLIGHT--wearing the Helmet and armor of RUMPOFSTEELSKIN (and Skeet Curtis tearing that bass solo up!!!). Then, the water effects paused for a bit as George told us all to prepare for the National Anthem. Damn RIght, it was (the still NEW) ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE (with Bobby Lewis plucking the hell outta that Banjo in the far corner!!). P-Nut paraded across the stage with the ONE NATION Flag, while behind Tyrone Lampkin was a lighting effect that looked like a red-white-blue election banner.

From there, we got Gary rockin' CHOLLY. And, I think DEEP was tossed into the mix (I probably don't recall), but I do know they rocked the shit outta ONE OF THOSE FUNKY THANGS. Then came the big one:

AQUA BOOGIE!!! Man, we got the BIRD---all 30-feet of it!! My friend later told me that the bird was the SAME SIZE as the Mothership!!! (How they hid that thing in the rafters without us in the balcony seeing it was beyond me, but DAMN!!). The eyes lit up, the bird bobbed up and down, and the huge mouth opened with each "CAW CAW!!" Now, George leaned back and reclined in that thing's mouth while rapping, and also (accidently--but a funnyass memory)the bird 'pecked' Jeannette 'Parlet' Washington on the ass, and she DECKED it!!

After the bird went up, I think they closed with another track (forgot which), then the stage went dark after the whole band assembled onstage. Now, it was 3:30 in the morning, and the whole motha was filing out of the Capitol Center when George punked EVERYBODY----

The MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION started playing, and there was a riot as we tried to get back in. P-Funk rocked that bitch hard, and when they hit SWING DOWN, SWEET CHARIOT, motherfuckers were looking up and all over the Cap Center. Were They Gonna Drop The SHIP Once More? Well, not this time. But, they did end the whole show with the "Parliament Chords" that closed the Parliament Live album, and fire from the stage.

Then, we went home. Our ears, eyes and heads were FUCKED! UP!!

The after effects were even better. Dig: The Sunday after the concert, the United Negro College Fund was having a telethon (the local branch aired live over WDCA TV--Channel 20). Suddenly (no shit! My Father was even there to hear this, and I'm still freakin' over it!) one of the girls monitoring the phones hung hers up, caught her breath and said (QUOTE!), "That was GEORGE CLINTON Of Parliament Funkadelic just now----He is pledging $20,000!!" That was it. Tears still come to my eyes every time I recount that. That is what made GC my superhero, and inspired me for life.

The next after effect came from COLUMBIA HOUSE Publishers. They would do this annual "YEAR IN ROCK" reference book for those who ordered music by mail order. I still have that volume buried somewhere at home (a badass 5-man FORIEGNER Front Line--all AXE!!!--was a Highlight photo). In it (1979 was the volume year), the CONCERT AT THE CAPITOL CENTER was mentioned as the Highest Grossing event at the Cap Center all year, and 3rd Highest Grossing out of the Motor Booty Tour.

Damn. History.

WHEW!!!! Alright, lets all gather our breath!!!

That was how it began for this (then)15 year old Cardozo High School 10th Grader. It literally was magic. That was, what was YOURS? Holla.

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Deep! For me May 20th 1977 Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City, Mo. the P-Funk Earth Tour. Never been the same since. lol
I think I have that concert at home. Do you have it? If you don't I'll hook you up. That was a good show if its the one I'm thinking about.

I'm a bit younger than everyone else so my first P-Funk experience was in 1998. George and The P-Funk All-stars came to CY Stephens in Ames. They tore that place up even though attendance wasn't that great. They rocked it like we had 50 thousand jammed up in there.
LOL That Makes me the baby of the bunch. I am from the classic school of learn about parliament from your favorite rapper. I was a huge NWA and Dr. Dre fan. Even when he dropped the chronic around 92 or 93 I didnt know what the mothership connection was. For me Parliament has been a rediscovery. Being a music producer I learned from a combination of crate digging and reading rap record liners to find the P. Then I went to the music stores and bought everything parliament I could find. I think I own everything released by funkadelic and parliament now. (gotta love that Itunes casue I rebought them again there). So my first P-funk concert was like 2001 at the U.S. Cellular arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Clip would remember the show, it had cameo on it the sugar hill gang and the time. what made it special though was that same night the bradley center had the back street boys and then Prince heard this all was happenning here and booked himself at the arena next door. It was a big night here. P-funk played till like 3 in the morning LOL they finished when they were ready to be finished. I have seen them twice since then.
The SECOND "P-Funk" act I've seen live was ZAPP, on their first tour in '81, and then XAVIER later that year--
both at the Washington Colleseum. That ZAPP show, in particular, was badass (not only because of Larry Heckstall MC'ing them onstage) because the Troutman Clan got Trouble Funk (the headliners--and OWNERS of the 'Colleseum Sound'--I'll explain later)to NOT cut the sound on OFF on them.

Anyways, ZAPP came onstage as a Conga Line, took up positions and proceeded with FUNKY BOUNCE. They did about 4 songs from the ZAPP Album (nothing from Roger's first album--which wasn't even released yet), and also some tracks from their days as ROGER'S HUMAN BODY, which was based in OHIO, and the rest of the nation hardly knew about.

When they hit BE ALRIGHT, the whole place got quiet, and that song came out clear and epic (they rocked that joint for 12 minutes). In the later part of the song, Roger was coming on like a real Soul Man and the bitches went. OFF!!! (I thought the Gary/Junie duet at the Capitol Center was something, but DAMN!! Troutman could sing!!!)

After BE ALRIGHT, ZAPP caught their breaths, Roger waved to the crowd and they started to slip offstage---and we raised our voices, because ONE SONG was MISSING----and ZAPP knew it. So Roger yanked Larry by the shoulder (it was all a part of the act), pointed at the crowd, and Larry waved us off, and they kept walking. (it was all part of the act, but we didn't know and got riled). So, ZAPP huddled like a football team, gave the "Play Clap" like they were gonna run scrimmage on us, came back to the front and started MORE BOUNCE TO THE OUNCE.

When they got to the Jam Part (about 7 minutes in), while Roger was saying all that 'wet, wet' dribble-dribble shit into the vocoder, Larry took off Roger's jacket--he still kept doin' the Vocoder thang. Jenetta Boyce undid Roger's belt and the audience freaked. What killed me was while she was undoing Roger's belt--while he was still singing MORE BOUNCE, Lester, Larry and Bobby Glover pulled that "huddle shit" again, gave a "Play Clap" and then MUGGED Roger!!! Funny as hell! Roger tried to fight all 4 of 'em off (Jenetta joined the Mugging Party!!), but they turned Roger UPSIDE DOWN, threw off his boots and pulled his pants off!!

BROTHA WORE GOLD DRAWERS OVER RED TIGHTS!!!!!!! We laughed our asses off as he did a couple of Freak-Handstands, a booty grind, and then went back to the Keyboard, put the vocoder back on, and attempted to finish the song----

while in the right corner, the "Troutman Gang" pulled another HUDDLE. No Clap--instead, they NODDED, snuck up on Roger and tried to jump him. Roger saw them out the corner of his eye and tried to run, but Bobby Glover tackled him, the whole gang turned him upside down (and, in a FIRST for the Washington Collesuem), STRIPPED!! ROGER TROUTMAN!!! BARE!! ASS!! NEKKID!!!! Man, I threw my hands up and said "WHAT THE FUCK!!! DAMN!!!!!" All the dudes in the crowd laughed their asses off. All the bitches screamed!!! The rest of ZAPP was high-fiving themselves and got back into band positions while Roger ran buttnaked across the stage. Then he grabbed his belt, the tights and the shorts and made something like a TARZAN loincloth, and went back to the keyboard and vocoder. Man, my chest was hurtin!! They finished MORE BOUNCE big as hell, then they all came up front, joined hands and bowed to the crowd, and we went off. Larry Heckstall sent them off with, "ZAPP!!! ZAPP!! THAT WAS ZAPP!!! YA'LL GIVE IT UP FOR THEM!!!"
(and I bet backstage, Big Tony, Reo and the rest of Trouble Funk were peeing themselves with laughter. Probably gave The Troutman Band high-fives on the way back. Damn---I miss Roger Troutman, dawg. Great ass show.)
Cause dig,Dondi here aka Sho nuff Nicety Frontman Founder of the Cosmic Slop Band based in Tucson now.
Iam a funkadelic head fom way back, I first saw Funkadelic around 73 in Fayetteville N.C. They Opened the
show for the New Birth and Headliners Ohio Players! Most of the folks was sitting in their seats the floor in front of the stage had a few people standing. My boys and I with our girlfriends was chillin in some seats off to the side, The stage was dark Maggott Brain started playing, the spot light shone on Bernie on keys, but he was pointing forr the light to go over to where Eddie was Standing soloing.It was a short Maggot Brain that went into Cosmic Slop, the lights came up and Funkadelic came out from both sides of the stage
dancing moving, looking wild and crazy! The joint erupted everyone ran down to the open floor in front of the stage! My girlfriend and her crew didn't they was scared of Funkadelic. They played a short set and tore the muthasucka up! it was a mind blowing experience nobody from our parts had ever saw anything like that before. It change my life forever and thats a mighty long time! Solid!!
Been a PFunk for years...I'm in Rochester NY. & I missed them back in the day when they landed the Mothership so the 1st time I caught them live was in Rochester NY. In 1993.....up to that point they hadnt been here in a while but the crowd was sold out & starvin 4 da funk! They started with Cosmic Slop & had the crowd singng along on every jam.....they played for 4.5 hrs. & not a soul left early... Also Chris Rock was across the St. At the comedy club & at 1:15 he jumped on stage with the P as they do Red Hot Mama...A night 2 remember!
Since I was messing up in school, I wasn't able to attend any of the Mothership shows. My first gig was the Red Parrot in NYC on March 24th, 1983, during the "Atomic Dog" tour. Believe me when I tell you that the place was packed past capacity. Eddie Murphy was also in the house. Bootsy tore "Body Slam" to shreds. Total throw down.
In the past 2 decades, P-Funk has made DC's The 9:30 Club as their "Earth-Landing Base". But I remember the FIRST time they were ever at the Dirty '30---
It was in 1989, at the original spot in the old Atlantic Building located at 930 F St., NW in downtown (now gentrified to death!) DC. That was the first (and only time) I saw EDDIE HAZEL live, and the first time I saw P-Funk since the Motor-Booty Affair at the Capitol Center 10 years earlier.
THAT PLACE WAS TINY!!!!!!! TEENY-WEENY TINY!!!!! You were literally shoulder-to-shoulder/butt-to-butt!!!
And all (at that time) 27 members of Parliament-Funkadelic were squeezed onto a soapbox-sized stage. And, the 'room' could NOT contain the sound--you were able to hear them from in the alley, and from across the street.

The current 9:30 Club now has an international reputation, and part if it is because of P-Funk and others stopping by just once ("SURPRISE!!! AT THE CLUB:---"), and later adopting it. It's also a proud hangout of mine whenever The P stops by. (and when George and crew were touring in support of TAPOAFOM, they jammed that joint to the ground--and it was the first time we saw a then-17-goin'-on-18 SATIVA, rockin' HARD AS STEEL!!!). I love that place. (and all those who go to it to jam!)
I popped my P cherry May 13, 06' at the Fillmore which happened to be my 21st birthday. The day before, I was listening to the radio which is rare and hear "GC an the P-Funk All Stars tomorrow." It couldn't have been a better 21st. They blew the cobwebs out my young mind. Nothin beats that live band energy when everyones in the groove an on tha 1. The Mothership was definitely in the house an I'm still ridin'.
Funny you mentioned a 7-hour show, because P-Funk were the masters of that. Another funny/funky memory (which I posted on the old New Funk Times page some 4 years back, but I'll re-iterate here) was at P-Funk's 1994/1995 New Year's Eve show at the DAR Constitution Hall in downtown DC. George and crew were also celebrating the release of HEY MAN, SMELL MY FINGER!!. I came in, fresh off from work (Arena Stage, where I was the Parking Attendant, just ended it's performance at 10:00 pm), was still able to get in (I mean, hey, I already HAD a ticket for over 3 weeks!), and they were cranking the new arrangements of GAMIN' ON YA'!! (heavy on the clavinet!).
At 11:55, they broke out with Atomic Dog, and when 1995 rolled in, George put the mic to Greg Boyer and Crew (the horns), whom immediately went into AULD LANG SIGN.

And just then, the NEWBIES started to get up and leave (1995 came in on a Saturday). Now, here's where it got wild: Gary stopped the whole show. I mean, he literally to the band to STOP!! (no, really---he shut the shit down!). There was a lot of booing from us OLD HEADS at the NEWBIES for getting up and trying to leave. Gary got on their shit:


George (to the newbies): "HEY!! WHAT'S THIS SHIT!! WHERE YA'LL GOIN'!! UH-UH, I DON'T THINK SO!!! GIT YO' ASSES BACK IN HERE!!" (All us Old Heads started cheering and looking at the newbies, telling whoever was near to come back, 'cause the show ain't EVEN started--even though it was already some 2 1/2 hours in!)

Gary: "LOOK-LOOK!! YA'LL AIN'T LEAVIN' YET, 'CUZ WE AIN'T FINISHED!! If ya'll have to get up and watch cartoons or somethin', or get ready to to go to sleep or somethin', then WE AIN'T HAVIN' IT!!!"

George: "If ya'll THINK that this is some 'end-at-11-band', then ya'll wrong. We don't PLAY that shit! If you just got into the funk, then you'd better learn that we jam ALL!!! NIGHT!!! LONG!!!"
Us Old Heads cheered like hell, and that brought about half the newbies back. Gary laughed and called them something (forgot WHAT, but it was something!! Ha Ha!). Then the band cranked back up (started ATOMIC DOG again right from the top). I think this was also the night where the "Dog Line" was introduced (that's where P-Funk drags girls from the audience to groove on stage with the band during ATOMIC DOG). Needless to say, it went over great!

The band got down to STANDING ON THE VERGE and GOOD TO YOUR EARHOLE (by then, the bulk of the group simmered down and left the stage, leaving a FUNKADELIC-Core of 9: Grady, Ray, George, Gary, Mike, Blackbird, Skeet, Franki-Kash, and Lige) and they jammed on for about another 46 minutes before Constitution Hall's stage manager and one of his boys stood on the far side of stage right, arms folded, trying to get P-Funk to call it a night. George looked at the brothas, grinned, waved his mic, and kept the band grooving for another 40 minutes (hell man, we ain't care!!).
After that, George waved us off and left the stage, while a FUNKADELIC-core of Blackbyrd, Kash, Lige, Skeet and Gary introduced something new: a few snippets of (the still-building) "DOG STAR". Naturally, when I found a copy of DOPE DOGS (the IMPORT) at Tower later in the summer, DOG STAR became my favorite track off the whole album (that, and ALL SONS-OF-BITCHES, which Belita Woods debuted on that New Year's night, as well). Quite a few songs from DOPE DOGS were debuted that night (BABBLIN' KABABIE/LITTLE HO'S ON THE PRARRIE, SOME NEXT SHIT-'One Dingalingy', DOPE DOGS), as well as Trey Lewd's NIGGERISH RAP--which still hasn't found it's way to a CD yet--and Parliament's still-and-never will be recorded now "WON'T YOU DANCE WITH ME". Previously heard on the 5-CD LIVE Box-Set that came out the year before, this time around, DC was gifted with a full 4 1/2 minute completed version. Sharing the mic: George Clinton, Gary Shider, Gary Cooper, Ray Davis and Grady Thomas. I wonder if that show was ever recorded, because you'll have to hear THIS version.

All in all, we finally saw the street at about quarter-to-four in the morning (some nearly 7 hours after it all began), and I actually had the gall (sore ears and all!) to get off my b-hind and go to work at 12 noon. As per P-Funk show (whenever there is a loud version of MAGGOT BRAIN--thanx, Mike!!!), it took the rest of the day for my ears to get back to normal. And, that's the way I LIKE IT!

(I'm still laughin' because we--us Old Heads--put the fear of the FUNK into those newbie 'hipsters' who only got into P-Funk with ATOMIC DOG and PAINT THE WHITE HOUSE BLACK. Those who stayed with us became new Old Heads. Some of them I see at the 9:30 Club on occasion--like the 'Condom-Head' brotha. George looks for slim at every 9:30 stop: "HEY!! Where's The 'Dickhead' at!!" Great times, all.)
It seemed like my whole school at West Charlotte Senior High were true funkateers. I personally have not missed a funk show in Charlotte N.C. since 1976. Like george Clinton said, "if you can remember the 70's, you weren't really there". However my most memerable show was when the tech used the wrong procedure for the fash pot on stage when Bootsy was leaving. He went OK, OK, Bye. The pot blew up like a bomb and the windows of the park center all blew out. I couldn't see for about 30 seconds. The caption in the news paper read the next day, "Bootsy blew the roof of". That was in 76-77. The big thing about a p-funk show is you could not leave or your friends tell you in school the next day, "man you shoud have stayed, George threw down as soon as you left.
I didn't really discover P-Funk until I heard part of Flashlight on the radio in the 7th grade. It must have took me 2 months to finally hear the whole song.
I don't care how old you are or when you were born, if the funk is in your veins as soon as you hear it it will resonate and be with you for the rest of your life.
At the time I was playing trumpet so we would pull out the LP and attempt to blow the horn charts in the marching band. Bop Gun, Sir Nose, etc.
GloryHallaStoopid was my first time experiencing the magic of the P live. Fox Theatre, Atlanta, April 1980. I recall a smoldering version of Never Buy Texas from the Brides, Blackbyrd was the band leader I suspect. Garry Shider led the Mob thru a different kind of arrangement on One Naiton. Band opened with a badass Big Bang Theory. A giant egg landed and out popped a g-stringed Clip.

I don't recall alot of the music, it seemed to run together, I do remember Black Hole (that was our fave horn chart) & Knee Deep the closer. I wish I could have stayed for the 2nd show at Midnight. GC was in semi-retirement. I also wish I could find some of this on audio or video. I think the tour kicked off in Long Beach.

I saw them again the next year Greatest Funk on Earth. They jammed but the crowd up in the rafters was more into Zapp. They lost 'em on Electric Spanking, which the maggots had been playing for a few weeks at this point.
Did not see it again until 1989 and it was a completely different thang because this was my first time actually seeing GC. SInce then I have seen P-Funk 70-75 times & each time they bring somn different.
Memorable shows were Tuskegee Univ. Homecoming 1994 or 95, Sept. 1996 International Ballroom Atlanta & Macon Coliseum, early 1997 Chattanooga, Dec. 1997 Ga. World Congress Center, March 2003 Earthlink Live, May 2007 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, Asheville NC May 2008. These were some of the best shows by the best rock band in history.


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