Bootsy's Rubber Band / House Guests / Bootsy Phelps and the Complete Strangers /  Pacemakers


Cincinnati, 1968-70, 1971-2, 1973-present

Formed out of James Brown's band, the House Guests as independent band were only around for a couple years, but became the core behind some of the heaviest funk layed down as members of Funkadelic. 

Members of the House Guests had been playing with each other since the late 1960s, mainly as session and backing musicians for King recording artists. The players included William "Bootsy" Collins on bass, his brother Phelps "Catfish" Collins on guitar, Frank "Cash" Waddy on drums, Clayton "Chicken" Gunnells on trumpet, Ralph "Randy" Wallace on sax, and Philip Walker aka Phillipe Wynne  on lead vocals. Originally the band was called the Pacemakers.

In 1970, James Brown fired most of the JBs and hired the Pacemakers/House Guests members to form his new band. They played on many JB classics like "Sex Machine" when Brown was releasing a 45 every couple months and all of them were hits. After a year and a half or, the band parted waus with JB and the House Guests were established, with Rufus Allen as the lead singer.  

The band released three 45s (one including different versions) of heavy duty funk with a psych edge. The label was House Guests, set up by the band and local producer Walt Whisenhunt (who was also producing Gloria Taylor). The first 45 label was originally House Guess - why, we could only guess. They had a fourth 45 credited to Bootsey Phelps and the Complete Strangers (Complete Strangers being the opposite of House Guests?), which was more heavy funk titled "Fun In Your Thang", and like the House Guests records, released as one song over two sides. This record came out on the GAR and the Philmore Sound label.

In addition to their own 45s (must haves for anyone into funk from Ohio or anywhere) they were probably the backing band for a 45 by Ben Starr on the House Guest label.

In 1972 George Clinton asked the Collins brothers to join his Funkadelic lineup, with Catfish replacing the famed Eddie Hazel. They stayed with the P-Funk organization for several years, with Bootsy eventually having his own recording./touring operation, Bootsy's Rubber Band. 

In 1974 another Bootsy Phelps 45 was released, crediting Bootsy Phelps and Gary - probably Gary "Mudbone" Cooper of Bootsys Rubber Band on drums.

Cash Waddy formed 400 Years Of What and joined Bootsy's Rubber Band. Phillipe Wynne joined the Spinners as co-lead singer. Rufus Allen formed and fronted the D.A.B. Express. 

Catfish Collins passed away in 2010.

Discography
What So Never The Dance Pt. 1 / What So Never The Dance Pt 2 - House Guess no #, Sept. 1971
What So Never The Dance Pt. 1 / What So Never The Dance Pt 2 - House Guests no #, R-28205/6
My Mind Set Me Free Pt. 1 / My Mind Set Me Free Pt. 2 - House Guests No # , R-28821/2
Fun In Your Thang Pt. 1 / Fun In Your Thang Pt. 2 - Philmore Sound No #, R-30135/6
Fun In Your Thang Pt. 1 / Fun In Your Thang Pt. 2 - GAR 321, 1972
Together In Heaven Pt. 1 / Together In Heaven Pt. 2 - Philmore Sound no #, May 1974