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Friday, February 2, 2007

Sly Wants to Take You Higher—and He Does

posted by on February 2 at 15:32 PM


Go to YouTube. Type SLY FAMILY STONE in the search engine. Click on every video you see that contains footage of this multi-racial, multi-gender funkadelic soul troupe, preferably from the ’70s. Watch, listen. Get lifted—very high. Repeat as necessary.

I’m a straight male who’s never had man-on-man sex, but when I see group leader Sly Stone in action in these vids, I am overcome with a mad desire to engage in NSFW activities with him. This creative dynamo, this mutton-chopped force of nature, this singing/arranging/keyboard-guitar-playing genius exudes a sensuality and bonhomie that are outrageously magnetic and galvanic. I’m in the throes of an intense man-crush (with the dude’s large-afro’d ’70s persona), and I’m not ashamed to tell the world about it. Confession is good for the soul—and so is Sly & the Family Stone’s immortal music. (Plus, it has the added value of being so much cheaper than a therapist and anti-depressants.)

UPDATE: According to Pitchfork, Sly & the Family Stone’s back catalog is being reissued on March 20. Awesomeness.

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funny story, maybe-
my moms used to work at a studio in hollywood, and one day when she was about to head out there, she asked me if i wanted to meet Sly Stone. I mustve been like 7 or so, and my dumbass thought she meant Sly Stallone. So I got in the car, got into a Rambo-fueled froth and upon arrival, was nonplussed to shake hands with a wrinkly old crackhead. I was stupid like that.

Posted by lar | February 2, 2007 3:49 PM


Posted by segal | February 2, 2007 4:02 PM

my story is so old that i'm old enough to have grandkids to tell it to.. but in 1970 sly stone was scheduled to play a free concert in chicago's grant park as apology to the city for standing the city up so many times - he had a regular habit of sell out/no shows and granerd such the reputation for it that he was constantly in litaigation for it. so on the hottest day in august me and about twenty friends copped jugs of wine and reefer and spent all day camping out in a cloudless near the front of the stage hoping to catch a performance at least as inspired as the one we'd seen in woodstock.. the park was filled with people what maybe 50 to 70 thousand people.. maybe less..but maybe more..the stage was filled with their amps and equipment all of which was white..we waithed for hours.. literally hours and the crowd got drunker and higher until some guy jumped up on stage during a group called fatwater's set and strpped himself naked.. the order of events happening is kind of blurry, but i di remember hearing someone announce that iff all the folks who'd rushed the stage didn't leave sly ' who was supposed to be hovering overhead in a helicopter wans't going to play..the folks on the stage didn't, leave sly never showed, and a full scale riot broke out. one of the scariest riots i'd ever witnessed in any city. serious shit with shots ringing out, chicago police rushing in beating teargassing the crowd, the crowd stampeding and turning over police cars and setting them aflame .
i believe sly was barred from playing that city ever again and they banned anything other than symphonic concerts from that park for a couple of decades.
sly did return to suburban evanston the following year and i scored some tickets to that show.. it still ranks as one the worst shows i've seen, sly was obviously too high to grin but went on anyways and broke the heart of evryone in attendance. and he still owes the city a proper apology..

Posted by riz | February 2, 2007 6:31 PM

great story riz.

I only want to add that I think you meant the band Stillwater instead of fatwater.

Posted by truthseeker | February 2, 2007 9:43 PM

A Sly no-show is certainly a valid reason to riot.

Posted by segal | February 2, 2007 11:46 PM

I saw Sly's performance at the 2006 Grammy Awards and I thought he was strung out and very sickly. He only did a couple of verses of his song and took off leaving everyone bewildered. I even heard he threw up backstage after the performance but I'm not sure if it really happened. He could have also been really nervous since his last live performance was 19 years ago in 1987.

Posted by truthseeker | February 3, 2007 12:54 AM

since the incident happened so long ago i did a google fact check to see if i had the basic facts right (the incident happened in july , august) sure enough the band was called fatwater . i haven't heard of em since. although i was shocked to read that some 90 people were injured that afternoon. sorry about the long link.

Posted by riz | February 4, 2007 9:20 AM

good work riz.

I also managed to find an album by them.

Posted by truthseeker | February 4, 2007 11:41 AM

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