There was a train wreck at Coachella, and its name was Sly Stone.
While the better part of 75,000 festival-goers were at the main stage watching Gorillaz pull off an amazing combination of live performance and animation, 300 fans of Stone waited in a nearly empty tent across the property. And waited.
Earlier in the evening, the reclusive legend was a no-show for his 7 p.m. set. At 7:05 p.m., a man came out and announced, "Sly Stone's performance has been postponed 'til a little bit later.'" A few in the crowd snickered. This would not be the first time Sly bailed on a gig. "No, no, no," the man continued. "He's gonna funk this place out!"
Shortly after 9 p.m., a text message came from Coachella organizers that read: "Sly Stone 10:30 pm Mojave tent." 10:30 rolled around. 10:45. 11 p.m. The band was soundchecking furiously, but still no Sly. Finally, at 11:10, the diminutive Rock and Roll Hall of Famer took the stage - in a blonde-and-black streaked wig straight out of Carol Channing's wardrobe from "Hello Dolly." A navy cop's outfit (complete with badge) and black sequined smoking jacket completed the ensemble.
Instead of diving into one of his many timeless hits, he launched into a diatribe about his 50 million dollar lawsuit against his former manager, Jerry Goldstein, saying, "I didn't know I was being stolen from," as well as something about now being able to buy his own shoes. Then he sat down on the edge of the stage and sang a preview of a new song - which ended when he rolled back and laid down on the stage.
"Stand." "Family Affair." "Hot Fun in the Summertime." The band and back-up singers soldiered on admirably through what should have been a gloriously funky trip down memory lane. But every time it was Stone's turn to sing, the audience held its breath. He chimed in here and there - sometimes making it through a verse, but never finishing an entire song. There were moments when he sounded like Sly Stone. There were other moments when he sounded like that guy who sang "Pants on the Ground" on "American Idol." It didn't help that he was experiencing technical problems with his keyboard, or that the microphone kept feeding back when it wasn't flopping in his face.
The performance was utterly heartbreaking and entertaining for all the wrong reasons - yet it was impossible to look away. Was the 67-year-old entertainer wasted? Mentally unstable? Was it all an act? Even Chris Spellman, who booked the Coachella appearance for Stone, couldn't say.
Things started looking up when Stone got through most of "Dance to the Music." Then his keyboard when awry. The band immediately kicked into "I Want to Take You Higher." But after a couple of "boom chaka laka lakas," he disappeared. Did he jump into the crowd? Did he walk to the side of the stage? No one really saw him leave, but he never came back.
After a bizarre 30 minute performance, Sly Stone was gone. But in a lot of ways, he never really showed up.
This morning, Spellman released a statement: to CNN saying, "Sly's a composer, as he's a performer - and on stage, in the moment, his shows combine the two."
Check out photos from day three of Coachella »
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I never got to see Sly when he was at his peak. I wish I would have gone to 1 of his concerts.I don't know why any0ne would be bold enough to go to 2 or 3 of his concets especially now. For one he is burned out on drugs and 2 , he is almost 70 years old. From some of the concerts I seen posted in his heyday, they were awesome. Sometimes it is the bigger dogs that get these celebs started on the drugs. As far as Sly making a come back. I don't think it will happen because the music has changed and hiphop is very popular now.
Sly has been in rehab so many times and he still goes back to the drugsonce he gets out . Rehabilitation can only take you so far. Then God has to take you the rest of the way ....only if you let him and want him to
It's not about Jehovah's Witnesses, Church Of God & Christ, or any other organized religious group or cult. Sly Stone was indeed a musical GIANT! A pioneer in FUNK, one of the first musicians to successfully produce psychedelic soul music, one of the first musicians to successfully form a fully integrated (race and gender) band and successfully produce a sound and vibe that shaped an entire generation of people. I'm a 54 year old black man, born in Mississippi and raised in California. I remember being 10 years old a getting a lot of negative critisim from members of my own family because the only music that I listened to was by white recordings artist...The Beatles, The Animals, The Rolling Stones, Dave Clark 5 etc.. Not until I heard "Dance To The Music" did I spend any of my precious allowance money (that's right, black kids in the '60s got allowances too) on an artist that was black, not that I was racist toward my own people, but until then, the brothers just didn't put out anything that I really dug. Anyway, because of Sly Stone's influence in music and American culture as a whole, I opened my mind and soul to Parliament/Funkadelic, Earth Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, The Bar-Kays, Cameo, The Gap Band, Rick James & The Stone City Band, Prince and so on and so on, scooby dooby dooby. Now (to fast forward to 2011), to say that Sly Stone is a train wreck is an absurd understatement of gigantic proportions. Sly was the musical guest on the Dick Cavett Show back in 1970 (or was it 1971?) and after performing "I Want To Take You Higher", the host thought that it would be a good idea to sit Sly down and interview him. I remember how my older brother and I laughed about how 'loaded' Sly was. This was actually the very first time, that we had ever seen someone black of superstar status being 'himself' and the fact that he was visibly 'under the influence' of something that was not alcohol and clearly more potent than marijuana made the interview more than entertaining...it was truly a moment in history! Unfortanely, this was also a moment that marked the decline of the legend that was Sly Stone. I was blessed to catch Sly in concert during his prime, 1969 (The Los Angeles Forum) and 1970 (The Long Beach Arena and The Los Angeles Forum) and when Sly was at his best, there was no one better!
You said it brother!
I think it's great to read all the "get well" wishes. I wish for the same but unfortunately, Sly's been like this for over 40 years. And to my great embarassment, (time for the old heads home), I did remember that I saw Sly at Woodstock which of course was a legendary performance.
I can't believe this. I'm flashing back to the "70's. Not once, not twice, but three times I went to a Sly concert, or various artists festival, that he did not show up for. I tried once more. He did show up but just like at Coachella, he sucked and was gone in about 30 minutes.
to get away
ha! ha! ha! ha!
you're wearing out your shoes..
hmm. still sounds better than gorillaz.
Very sad. Sounds like a lost soul. Not to pile on, but I hear George Clinton isn't far behind. I guess he can still hold it together for a gig, but about six years or so ago my friend was working the door of a theater in Portland and George tried to come right through the front entry, oblivious to the fact that he was lighting and smoking a crack pipe (!) as he walked. And no, it wasn't weed in a "one-hitter"- it was rock in a glass pipe; my friend could smell it. Talk about a waste.
The Irish Goodbye!
...don't lump Chuck Berry into the "has been" pile...he plays once a month here in St. Louis and the shows are generally great...the show at the Pageant last month was cool also. If you have any doubt that Chuck can still play, read the latest Rolling Stone, which lists him as the #9 reason why you should still be excited about music and the RS writer who was at the show complimented him on his playing...in the alternative, check out some of the numerous YouTube clips from Chuck's recent shows...some are good, some leave a lot to be desired, but a few are absolutely amazing...yes, the cat can still play his ass off when he gets ready, even at 84 years of age...
Thank you for letting me be myself again
Don't waste your money on something that once was, but isn't any longer. Getting ready to die.
Drugs or mental illness. Either way...NEXT!
You might die first – you never know smartass!
I met sly while working on a camera store on 42nd st. every time when he came to the store went to the men room and "did his thing" and came out singing he had then and israeli body guard and i used talk to him.Once in NYC stop in the middle of a song and said"wait a minute,we just play that song before" and while in jail they ask him if he promise no to take drug again they will let him go free he said "i cannot promise you that' he was a very nice person and talk to us all the time but he can not shake that demon out of his system .
I saw him at the Coliseum in Jackson, MS in 1973. It was my first concert – I was 13. He didn't come on stage until 11. He was wearing a chrome suit and he was fantastic! Sad to hear he's not doing so well. Perhaps an intervention is in order.
Just Nothing but a Shame. I was going to see him a few months back at BB King's in NYC but I guess My Guardian Angel was looking out and I forgot all about it. Way back in the late 60's very early 70's, Sly was the "Prince (or Artist Formerly known as)" of that era. I hope he gets it together sometime in the very near future....Although I may just Keep my Impression in my Head and Not Ruin it by actually Seeing/Not Seeing him Live. Seeing Your Idols in Person will more often than Not be a BIG Letdown. I Wish Sly, the Family & the Band the Best.
It's better to just listen to his music and reminisce.
Sly is almost 70 man....old people should give it up. Dave's JW "facts" leave out the FACT of most of their teachings being loosely based on bible verses from their own doctored translation and heavily based on the word of the men who govern the organization. wanna know when a cult is being led by men? they keep prediciting the end of the world and change the dates everytime it doesnt happen. (1874,1914,1918,1925,1975 etc... ring a bell Dave?) they dont take blood but they do take products made from blood? cults are hilarious
It seems that the word "legend" is being used too freely these days. Sinatra, Garland, and Streisand are legends (as well as some few others, but you get the point). Sly Stone had some wonderful hits way back when, and insulted this audience in the worst way possible.
^^ Streisand is a legend like hermans hermits are legends
Jehovah's Witnesses ... nor are they a dangerous cult.
Sure the heck are (was 'one' for 25 years). CULT – go read the definition. The only (small) difference with J – DUBS and the definition is they spread 'the power' across 13 old farts rather than 1 ideologist fool.
JW's – CULT indeed. Buyer beware.
Sly Fans – Do what I do and keep listening to your recordings-Sly as a performer has been MIA forever-It's hopeless at this point: his addictions and the resulting damage have taken their toll, and the only thing left for them to take is his life. It's sad, because his fans still care about him, but Sly hasn't cared about his audience for almost 40 years now.
@Jeff Garra - You're very much mistaken, Sly Stone was never a Jehovah's Witness. You've confused him with Larry Graham who was the bass player for Sly and the Family Stone who did become a Witness after the Sly and the Family Stone disintegrated due to Sly Stone's drug addiction.
Additionally Jehovah's Winesses aren't a cult. Cults almost with exception, venerate a person or an ideal and engage in rituals and ceremonies usually considered out of the mainstream. JW's are well known specifically because they DON'T do any of the above. Also anybody can walk in off the street and attend one of their meetings. If you're looking for some type of secretive society, you're barking up the wrong tree entirely.
It's ok to dislike a group for whatever reason, but you should try to be accurate. If they're really as bad and dangerous as you say, then it'll be apparent soon enough.
I saw them in 1973 at Madison Square Garden and he showed up about an hour and a half late. But when they came on, they were awesome, brought the house down, everybody dancing. Sly is a shell of his former entertaining self, years of abuse on his poor body have left him in such a dreadful state. It's a shame, really, because as a band they had such a sweet sound.
Don't blame Sly Stoned, blame the idiot Spellman that booked him.
the jerk didn't show for my one chance to see him in little rock....DOA did a 4 hour show to cover for him....jeeeeeez, thos were the days.
With Sly he might just take you higher. And then again he might take away your whole evening instead, on account of not showing up or being profoundly late. I have a soft spot for Ol' Sly though. Price has yet to top "Miceelf" in the category of endearing, idionsyncratic mispellings.
Great!! I've got Sly in the Deathpool 2010 here at work!! Looks like a winner!!
sorry, that is over 7.6 million bible studies each month, and also all of Jehovah's Witness meetings are open to the public.
Steve said "Perfect example why concert promoter's shouldn't book people like Sly or anyone over 60 years old".
I also disagree with this comment. I regularly attend concerts of 60+ artists. Bands such as the Moody Blues, Eagles, Chicago, to name just a few are all still great performers and very professional. They start on time (or close), play for 2+ hours and really give the crowd their money's worth! Quit making blanket statements – you don't know what you're talking about!
here are the facts if you want to know the truth: the Jackson Five were not Jehovah's Witnesses. Their mother was one, but as for the rest of the family, they never became one. Do, Jehovah's witnesses have bands? Well, most enjoy wholesome entertainment and music, and many are talented musicians who may play together for fun, but practicing Jehovah's Witnesses do not seek worldly fame and fortune. They take very seriously the Bible command to preach the Good News of God's Kingdom, and dedicate themselves to to this work because of their love for God and neighbor. Sly Stone was once a Witness, but has lost the love he had at first. Perhaps he will find it again. Definition of cult: Follow teachings of a man. Secretive soceity. These do not fit Jehovah,s Witnesses. They follow only what is written in God's word the bible and have no doctrines from any man. And they are not secretive at all. In fact, they spend over a billion hours each year, conducting over 7 million bible studies, sharing their beliefs with any and all who will listen.
MacAndrews – I'm a boomer and if you think there is no good music today, you must be listening only to the radio – got to dig a little deeper than that these days. I agree 60-70s music was great, but don't diss today's music. There are still alot of creative people putting out imaginative music – you just don't hear it through Clearchannel.
The dude's almost seventy – do you really think he's going to rock the place? Only Jagger can do that. Is this some kind of festival? Then maybe folks can't get a full refund. Not surprised.
Sly may be "the Mozart of Funk", but this cat is f***ed up bad.
Do yourself a favor Sly, get some help.......asap.
This is yet another reason why I don't go to old head concerts.
What is amazing is there are still people out there that will pay to see this piece of dung. I don't understand why people feel for this dude. He has had so many chances and has blown everyone of them. There are too many people out there that would give anything to have a chance at getting back on the right path, but will never get it because of cost, etc. This guy tells someone he needs some money so they book him and he does junk like this. Worthless.
I was one of those 300 suckers waiting and hoping. I left after I realized it just wasn't going to get any better. I'm sorry to hear I missed his greatest moment of the night, which must have been when he *almost* made it all the way through one song.
This was my ninth year at Coachella, and between my friend and I, we've seen literally 1,000 bands. This was, by far, the WORST moment in either of our concert-going histories.
I think Sly's entire dance and wardrobe are dictated by his main mission: stay out of jail. I think there are police who are looking for him and so he moves the stage location, moves the time, shows up in disguise, leaves the location to avoid them by not ending the show on stage or leaving the way he came in. He can ditch that costume and be a different person to get back to whatever motel he is currently hiding in. He needed to get paid, the band needed to get paid so they stayed and played. He was able to get shoes. He seemed to still have his teeth from the pictures I could see. Imagine if you could not buy shoes.
It doesn't matter if he's still getting high or not. The brain damage is permanent. Don't blame Sly. He may not be capable of putting on a show any more. At least's he's doing better than Syd Barrett.
He came out of the late 60s/early 70s. Why would anyone expect him to be coherent? That entire generation of rock performers were into an array of drugs. That's why music of that time sucked.
I sense some real hostility from these younger types toward us boomers. Gosh, sorry for Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Pete Townsend, Steve Winwood and on the tail end of this golden age of music U2. Of course you have violent gansta rap on your side (oh sorry lI meant to use the "Hip-Hop" euphemsim ) and who can argue with that. And of course I'm sure that no one under 40 is getting high at Coachella. Spare us, little ones.
Im in my late 30's, so Im far from being a child. However, as a hip hop head, I resent people outside of the culture speaking negatively about something they know nothing about. And for MACANDREWS, hip hop is not a euphemism for ganster rap. They are two entirely different genres. Socially conscious rap artists would be very offended by their music being classified as gangster rap. STFU if you dont know what you are talking about.
It's really too bad that it's come to this.
I feel really fortunate that I saw Sly (many, many times actually) when he was just starting to make it big. It was 1966 and '67 and he had just put the Family Stone together. They would play regularly at a small club on the El Camino Real in either Redwood City or San Mateo. The place would stop serving at 2:00 AM but would stay open all night serving soft drinks. It seemed like the band used it as a weekly practice session. Often they would be playing to only a hand full of people. One night (or should I say, morning) the band was playing along and Sly stopped them mid song. He then asked the few of us in attendance if it would be OK if he tried something new. He said he had a tune running around in his head and wanted to see what he could do with it. He then went around to all the band members and either played a few licks on his guitar or played their instrument. After about ten minutes the whole band played the new song. Looking back, I know now that I was witnessing the birth of a new "sound".
They don't call it dope for no reason. The commercialization of drugs by the music industry is disgusting. Been going on since the 60's. Sobriety is the real high. Sly and The Family Stone was a pioneer of Rock and it is sad that Sly was victimized by the messages being put out by the industry. Let this be a lesson to everyone. By the way, I'm not a prude, just been there and done that and I know from experience. They is no hope with dope.
I was so psyched to see Sly. I had actually waited all weekend for him to cancel, what with the volcano leaving many acts stranded. So as we waited, close by the stage, I actually thought, 'he gonna pull this off'. Alas, you are a sly one. Our weekend deflated rapidly. This is the sound of Sly's brain on...
He needs to get off drugs.
PS Chipstakkah, There was at most 250 people there. Most left in digust. You are right Gorrillaz were playing...to a crowd of 60,000 people. I am a Sly fan through and through, but this was about something else
I was there last night. Saw the whole thing, have footage of it. The problem went beyond drugs, Sly is obviously far gone. HIs mind is shot. It was sad and twisted. Exploitation?
I'm sorry Sly, too bad for the fans.
M.Mckee- thanks for letting the Woodstock generation know what you think,,,we were bornwell after that concert on a farm and didnt get the chance to know America as they did. We are so leveraged out npw as a generation thanks to a disfuctional social security system(the biggest ponsi in the history of mankind) and the spending of fake dollars by the current administration...by the way- do you think, you as a person, can spend your way out of BK? Boomers just enjoy it because you got the best that America had to offer(1950-1963)..the music, the pensions-damn, even the cars!...give us younger generation a break because we are paying for you and your kids until you pass...think about it that way before you put us down for not being old or cool enough for Woodstock~
Hey Mark McKee! I can tell from your rant that you were NOT at Woodstock. Either because you were too young or because YOU JUST DIDN'T BELONG THERE! Tough toenails buddy.
Sly Stone put on one of the greatest shows of all time! EVERYBODY in that crowd (including me) got up and DANCED! Better luck next life!
the man is in BAD shape. he's also very disrespectful.
FIRST: he needs professional help.
THEN, he needs to do some serious soul-searching.
Oh and to all you Sly haters (present or not last night) F*OFF!!! I'm sure you have acomplished as much with your life as he has, writing countless hits. Naturally you must be playing Coachella next year. Let me know then okay?
Time takes it's toll, it's just sad that we had to witness further proof of his demise.
As for SLY himself: I hope you get help, take a long rest and get back on stable feet. People the world over love you man (me being only 1) and we are all pulling for you!
I was there. Right in front. Beyond excited. Utterly Heart broken!
I have loved Sly since I could crawl and despite being happy I at least saw him... It was very sad and extremely hard to watch.
Not so much disappointed as embarrassed for him, his daughter, the 3 original Family Stone and all the rest of his entourage. It hurt but his music will ALWAYS live on!!
He should have quit making movies after the first Rocky movie (or certainly after Rambo First Blood). I could even tolerate him until Demolition Man (Wesley Snipes rocked btw). Hell, I didn't even know he sang. Give it up Sly!
that was 0ne 0f the m0st entertaining sh0ws ive ever seen ,,,, sly is a true ledgend and at 67 its a miracle hes even 0n stage ,,, pe0ple sh0uld appreciate even seeing him ,,, haaaaa at least he sh0wed up ,,, he was hired f0r the gig and that was his perf0rmance ,, like it 0r n0t ,,, there were 0ther stages f0r pe0ple t0 g0 t0 if they didnt enj0y his sh0w ,,, i mean the g0rillaz were playing and sly still had a great cr0wd ,,, he still has fans get it thru y0ur heads
dammit i read this article thinking Sly Stone was Slyvester Stalone!!!! damn these old people trying to make music or relive the 50's 60's 70's or whenever the hell they thought they were cool!!!!!!
and speaking of Woodstock trivia, did you know that all the famous bands hid out in the tents behind the stage because they were afraid of the crowd? Only one artist actually went out and mingled with the crowd, while the rest cowered backstage. Who was that crazy artist? Only the top act and the greatest guitarist of all time, Jimi Hendrix. You never hear about stuff like that in the romantic revisionist boomer controlled history of Woodstock, which was really a bunch of spoiled, middle to upper class brats, gathering in a stinky, paranoid and macabre gathering that really didn't "change the world" at all. They grew up, took over Wall Street from the previous generation of establishment pigs, elected Reagan, and currently lord over the worst version of America since the gilded age of Rockefeller. There's a reason Frank Zappa wasn't invited to Woodstock. Suck on that, boomers! Ever notice that Grace Slick's current home overlooking the Pacific is eerily similar to Nixon's San Clemente home? Hippie is short for Hypocrite
Stone is washed up- too bad cause he used to jam but now..dont waste peoples time(who actually paid to see you) like you wasted your golden years!
Sly has pulled this stuff for his entire career. Having worked many tours with other bands in the 70's I can verify that he has a penchant for not turning up, or turning up appearing mildly brain damaged.
Someone should start writing the obit
I adored Sly and the Family Stone when I was a young teenager. I saw him perform in Portland, Oregon in 1971. It was rare then that he actually showed-up and he was FABULOUS. Definitely one of my first artistic crushes.
To Valerie...you have NO idea of the magic this man performed and how much better he was than any of the current "legends" you listen to. Rent a DVD of Woodstock and watch and listen to his magic. If you don't get up and dance to his music, you must be dead!
Get some help Sly and bring back the magic.
sly stone and the family at his (sly's) best was the synthesis of an era..they rocked and funked madison square garden like no other..everyone hand in hand dancing in a circle around the upper tier..now (and for a while now) he reflects another image that , unfortunately , same said era represents...at least he's not like the other revival bands..just cashin' in on boomer bucks
Man comn Sly please get off the dope brother... The 60's and 70's are over bro.... Put the pipe down and get back to performing....
This self-indulgent fool has dumped all over his fans like this for the umpteeth time. One of these days, Sly Stone is going to be torn to pieces by an infurated mob for pulling one of these idiotic stunts in front of a very frustrated crowd. On that day, I will snicker.
i was thirteen in 69 when sly didnt show in chicago. he hasnt done a full show since. the promoters know this and yet book him, and the people who paid are the ones who get screwed......
would have loved to see the gorillaz.....
I don't know why anyone shows up to see this loser. He pulled these stunts back in the seventies when I went to see him in Seattle. Made some great recorded music. Live , he sucks to the max.
Hope he gets some help . . .
Thats really unfortunate!
Nothing new....twice in the 70's I went to festivals where he was supposed to play, and Sly never showed up for his gigs. And of course...no refunds from the promoters. Huge talent....huge problems.
There is nothing even mildly interesting about Sly anymore, let him enjoy the obscurity that he so richly deserves.
I don't care if you think I'm sad and pathetic, I'd have paid $100 to have caught those couple glimpses of Sly.....
aqaba- I play my Woodstock cd every anniversary of yasgur's party. Thank you Sly. Now please stay home
I most strongly disagree with the second part: +60 has nothing to do with entertainment and professionalism. As a 53 year old artist, you would have it that I must retire in 7 years, and I ain't goin' down without a fight!
As far as Sly ... he missed the last elven ship with Frodo. Maybe Annie Lennox will carry him to a Western shore.
cocaine is a hellava drug(in dave chappelle voice) lmao~
I have seen Sly many times in '60, 70s. Yes he was very good. the best!!!
Brain injury is also part of the drug experience; tell your children!
Lets thank all the boomers for their drug culture. When will these idiots die off???
Sounds like he has been taking lessons from Axel Rose. That jerk was 3.25 hours late for the G n R show a few years back.
WAY back in the early 70's, I went to a free concert in Chicago to see Sly. It was so exciting for this 14 yr. old rock fan! But the guy never showed up, the crowd got crazy, and a riot ensued. My friends and I got out of there before police cars were burned and people were hurt... The result was the not-so-funny joke name of his next record: "There's a Riot Going On", and the photo on the front cover of the LP was from said riot. Too bad he hasn't changed. We have his hits, and the film footage from Woodstock, and that's about it. No revival for this guy. it's heartbreaking, but that's the way it is....
What idiot would book him for a concert, especially if you had to pay him in advance?
If Whitney cancels too many more concerts she may fall into this category too.
Sly once ran me off the road in LA in the early 1970's. He was driving a very large, purple Rolls Royce, with a leopard skin roof. I know it was Sly cause of the "SLY" license plate, the hugh afro sticking out the window, the jewlery, etc. He may have been late goin to one of his concerts cause he was doin about 75 down town, half on a sidewalk.
Sly Stone WAS Woodstock. He had all 500,000 people on their feet!
Same old Sly! He actually came on stage this time for a whole 30 minutes?!?
I can't tell you how many times I have seen Sly come on stage sing " I'm gonna take you higher....play a few chords and BOLT! Even George Clinton thinks Sly gets too high...LOL...Thank Goodness I have the albums.
Wow, some of you are totally misguided here... Regardless of what went down last night (which despite all its madness, did have some good moments... I mean, when he actually sang, he sounded great), Sly Stone is one of the great geniuses of rock, soul, funk or whatever genre. Not only were they perhaps the first truly integrated (black/white, male/female) band, but Sly's songwriting and production style had a huge influence on everyone from George Clinton to Miles Davis to Prince. For anyone who wants to dismiss as some guy who just had a few good hits, I seriously suggest you listen to any of his albums from 1967-1973 or so... honestly, STAND, THERE'S A RIOT GOIN ON and FRESH are just as vital to music as anything the Beatles did.
ZekethaFreak...the only thing he takes higher now is himself!
Surprised he lived this long. He needs to quit scheduling "comback" tours!!
anyone who said he was high on coke has obviously never tried it.
i would bet my money on acid.
don't eat the blue acid.
Did any of you see the shark man. That dude was awesome. He didn't care that Sly couldn't play. He kept dancing anyway. All night long.
sorry, but he should sit @ home and wait for his royalty checks!
Why would anyone hire this egomaniac moron who obviously thinks he is above everyone.
He was late when I saw him 30 years ago but when they finally played, it was magic. Its too bad he disrespects his audience in the way that he always had. Because that is exactly what it is.
GENIUS? Really? Yeah he is a real Einstein.
A wasted old rocker who couldn't handle his fame or his money...too bad
I saw Sly and the Family Stone at Boston College in the early 70's. The concert was supposed to start at 8:00 PM but the group didn't appear on stage until 11:00 PM. In those days everything had to shut down at midnight so we all felt cheated that we only had one hour to listen to an absolutely fantastic concert! What a rocking show it was. It appears that nothing has changed in all these years. What a shame.
It's not the first time he's pulled this. Anybody remember a particular awards show on television? I think nobody will hire him from now on, though.
Chica-Hate to be the one to break the news to you. The Jehovah's Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Born Again Christians and any other group that thinks Morgan Freeman really is going to listen to their now I lay me down to sleep BS are a cult . In fact they are gangs without guns. They just bash you in the head with their memorized piece from the book of fairy tales and want you to live your life according to their cult/gangs teachings. Child Please
Who say's that because you were great once, you'll always be. Everyone thinks that because you did some great songs and performances in the past, that you can still do these things. How many Elton Johns, or Beatles , or even Tony Bennett's are there? Sly Stone had his heyday, and most of what came after just plain sucked! Having a rep for not showing up for your own concerts is disrespect at it's lowest. He is famous for this, and a first class jerk to keep doing it. Wanna listen to old Sly records, cool! But this idiot has had too many chances so save your money instead of going to see this idiot!
Sly was up to the same old sh^t 40 years ago. I recall waiting for him to show up at a concert for hours. Scheduled to go on at 9PM pm, I recall it was about 11:PM before he took the stage acting like the audience owed him the priviledge of being late. The opening act was comedian David Brenner who tried to ease the crowds frustration by extending his routine and extra hour, but took a terrible verbal assault from many in the audience..I felt sorry for Brenner. But I have to say that when Sly did take the stage, he was GREAT and the audience soon forgot the delay.
PS Chica: Jehovah's Witnesses don't have bands ? The Jackson 5 were JW's ! You need to get YOUR facts straight.....Shambo, Weee hooo.
I'm with Valerie! Sly was and still is a drug addict and the people who booked him should have known that this was going to happen. Why they keep booking him for gigs is beyond understanding.
And people say drugs are cool.
Perfect example why concert promoter's shouldn't book people
like Sly or anyone over 60 years old, they book these people
because their "name" still sounds good and their " name " draws
money, and the promoter doesn't give crap as long as he got his
I was at the Long Beach Blues Festival one year, Chuck Berry was
a DRUNKEN SLOB... he was hanging all over Lucky Peterson on the
stage, saying he was sorry for who know's what, the stage band
couldn't even play along with him.
I like to see performers who have come full circle and are
professionals who aren't just as stoned as the crowd.
Steve, Don't bundle all 60 year old musicians into Sly's category. Been to a Bruce Springsteen concert lately? 3 hours of superb music and song selection. Pretty much all of the E-Streeters are 60 or older. Not too many young groups that can out-perform them. The list goes on and on. Great musicians from the 60's and 70's can still hold their own. Clapton, Jeff Beck, etc. etc. And yes, there are the Sly's that simply need to stay out of the public limelight if this is the best they have to offer.
Part 2) His band never broke from being professionals! What happened at the end is that he got down from the stage and seemingly was going to interact with the audience. But he kept walking to the edge of the tent performing with microphone in hand, and kept walking until he disappeared unbeknownst to his band. He never came back! A few other mentionalbles: during his legal woes tirade he claimed he was kidnapped. And it appears CNN forgot to mention his continual use of racial slurs. When he got mad at band members he called them the N word. And at one point he was so mad he said "N* and flies, n* and flies. The more n*s the more flies." Of course being that this is politically correct CNN they would conveniently forget that.
Good Lord Who cares!
It is 2010, in case you old folks haven't noticed. It Geritol time, get off your computers!
Part 1) From the beginning he said "F* rehearsal" and it showed. He kept hitting the wrong buttons on the modern keyboard causing it to loop sounds and other unwanted effects. That was his main problem of distraction. They should have given him a keyboard from the 1970's, it would have solved allot of issues. Also, what was up with all the microphone feedback? The mic feedback was unfortunate for him. He started the performance wanting to perform his "new song" but the band wasn't aware of what that was so they played music for something else and it infuriated him. Instead, he rapped the lyrics of the new song lol. He then said "now with music" but the band still didn't know what was going on which infuriated him more. But he got his groove back playing his classic tunes with one awkward transition between songs after another.
I get the feeling that Sly Stone doesn't want to perform anymore, but his handlers and various other people keep pushing him to get back on stage. I say, he's made great music, let's let his past shape him and not keep forcing him or talking him into performing anymore. Let him stay retired.
Pulled the same thing on the crowd at a concert I went to almost 40 years ago. At the time the speculation was heroine. So see, he has changed.
I was there and he was a disgrace. No respect at all for the crowd. Seven minutes in I started booing and walked over to Gorrilaz. I wish the crowd booed him of the stage. Really, the crowd was too nice. Sly should never get hired again. I feel sorry for the rest of the band that they had to put up with this fool. I agree that he was similar to the "Pants on the Ground" guy. Funny insight and good review.
Sly will end up like Rick James very, very, soon!
Ronster64 said it perfectly.....'When Sly was good, he was great" It's so unfortunate to see such a musical genius loose his gift to drugs...and a lot of the younger set don't know that he and many others from his time were the basis for many of todays musicians work....I went to a PRINCE concert once and he had Larry Graham as a guest and during the show they gave much appreciation to Sly Stone...a young girl sitting behind me stated she'd never heard of these nobodies....Larry Graham and Sly Stone!!! Wow!! I did school her on who these 'nobodies' where from and why Prince talked them up!!!
Ben Greenman did a great job discussing Sly's set at the New Yorker.
Jeff Garra, where do you get your information?? Sly is NOT a Jehovah's Witness and Jehovah's Witnesses do not have bands nor are they a dangerous cult. Get your facts straight.
How sad! I'm embarrassed for him and anyone that had to sit and watch the train wreck. Sounds like rehab is overdue. I feel sorry for all the fans that were gyped.
Jeff Garra- Get your facts straight. Sly was raised a follower of the Church of God in Christ, which, I doubt has anything to do with how he is acting now.
i saw him perform at the fillmore in san francisco in 1987 at 1960's reunion show and he was awesome !!
What a nut...wish I had been there...JW you say...what he heck does that have to do with it....Sly was always a little mysterious, but great writer and performer...sorry to see it get to this point. I would just die if McCartney ever pulled something like this....not that Lennon didn't, but John also "colored outside the lines" sometimes. I digress, but I do feel odd at the moment givin its a bad way to go out for anicon of an eara.
When Sly was good, he was great. Now, let's just pray for him to "wise up". It's time...
Eddie Van halen is right behind him, unfortunately.
The brown acid is bad! Stay away from the brown acid!
No longer a legend. Moving right along...
wake up. the dream is over. as much as we all loved him back in the day, he's a dead man walking.
man he was great once tho eh?
I was there. I was in the photo pit for the show, and he almost landed on me when he jumped off the stage. He was in bad shape. They should show a video of the set to kids to warn them about the dangers of crack cocaine.
i see he is still no better, too bad he needs help.
he played one nite a decade ago here and was to impaired to play and did not know the words to his own songs and then basically passed out on stage.. there was a refund.
so sad for a legend ,and the price we pay to see them perform today that is not fair to the fan, even if you get a refund after such a let down.
Jeff Garra –
Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, Roman Catholics, Born Again Christians...What difference WHAT dangerous cult he belongs to? They're all the same. It's not like he was getting across any message other than "I have the same grasp of reality as Glenn Beck," right?
Either he's mentally ill like the other post said or Sly is an unprofessional jerk of the highest order. Either way, I wouldn't waste time & money in his future.
Now the old stuff...always worth picking up a greatest hits CD.
I saw his band at least 10 times in the 60's and 70's. He was always late but played and jammed for a decent set. Once the hangover from Woodstock took hold he lost his focus. Doesn't his management/family see his state? There is no way they should let him perform publicly. I still listen to some bootleg concerts from the Fillmore in 1968. That's the Sly I want to remember.
Let's not forget this once-awesome band belongs to a DANGEROUS CULT namely, Jehovahs Witnesses and deserve all the bad press they get.
Saw Sly at the Paramount in Seattle in the mid-70s. He and the band played about 45 minutes. Loved the show but too short. First concert I ever paid $6 to see. Thought I got taken but sounds like it might have been one of his better shows.
Sly IS INDEED a living legend, regardless of his antics as of the past 3 decades or so. We should consider ourselves blessed that he's even STILL around. He helped paved the way, so lets not diss on him, b/c he's not current. The fact that he's eccentric, leave smuch to be desired, b/ it's NOT for me to judge. I'll continue to enjoy his musical contribution, as long as I have ears. FUNK IT!
I was stunned that Corrine Bailey Rae was at the event over the weekend – she has talent oozing out of every pore.
Loved his music in the past. What a waste of talent.
Not surprising to me. Saw him here in Wichita in the early '70s. When he finally got on stage, the show was over in 45 minutes.
This sounds a lot like Chuck Berry's "concert" at the Pageant Theater in St Louis on March 27. Some mumbling, some shuffling, some riffs on his guitar. What a waste of money! Sounds like Sly was taking a page from Chuck's play book.
My theory is that he's got undiagnosed high-functioning autism, and that's the real root of his drug problems and his reclusive existence.
He needs a lot of help. I wish he could get help, because his uplifting, idealistic music helped change my world when I was young and for that he deserves a happy life.
as sad as it is, Sly seems to have taken the WRONG hit of acid!
It was actually really hilarious, I mean once you get passed the fact that you went to see an amazing man perform and all you got was someone whom dribbled around the stage like an unprofessional kid at their first gig. My favorite part though, I must admit , was when he jumped off the stage and started wandering around. The back up singers and band were spot on though, they made it entertaining, and it would have been a complete and utter disaster if they weren't there to pump everyone up and keep us entertained.
were shaynee and lolly on stage?
That honestly sounds like an awesome show. 30 minutes of pure madness is better than an hour of planned monotony. We wouldnt be talking about Sly right now if he did a normal performance :)
This guy has so many demons inside of him. I remember when he was it his best–I hope he finally gets the help he needs.
Same thing happened at a concert I saw in 1975. That was the last time I spent money hoping the "real" Sly Stone would show up.
Please go to rehab my friend–you are way overdue.
Legends don't owe you peole anything.
Sly is a good example of what you get when you give a loser a million bucks.
A sad but predictable testament to one of pop music's greatetst one-time geniuses.
It seems that the word "legend" is being used too freely these days. Sinatra, Garland, and Streisand are legends (as well as some few others, but you get the point). Sly Stone had some wonderful hits way back when, and insulted this audience in the worst way possible.
cocaine is bad mmmmkay!!
He took em higher.
Wow, what a pity. This guy has had more chances than should be allowed, but they are. And next year or next week when he announces his NEXT come back I wonder what fan fare that will receive? He hasnn't written a good song, that I have heard, in 30 years. But he has done a lot of dope.
wow....what a, um..... surprise? How is this any different from any of his other 'comebacks' in the last couple of years? Sad, but he's had more than ample chances, and pretty much blown them all. Coke – it's a helluva drug.
So sad, too bad. We boomers have the glorious memory of Woodstock.
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