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Monday, December 10, 2007

“You Crack Addict—Get Back on Stage! I Paid $100 for This Ticket!”

posted by on December 10 at 10:37 AM


That’s what one disgruntled fan hollered into a microphone left deserted onstage by Sly Stone this past Friday in New York.

As Roger Friedman (the only FOX Newsie I read on purpose, who I came to appreciate through our shared Michael Jackson obsessions) reports:

It only took a few minutes Friday night at BB King’s in New York to confirm the worst about funk and R&B legend Sly Stone. That’s because Stone only made it through five of what could be loosely construed as numbers before announcing he needed a bathroom break. As recent observers have noted of Stone’s failed comeback, needing to pee is code for drugs. And when that happens, the show is over.

Then there’s this:

The show had started ominously. Stone was an hour late, and when he finally sat down at his keyboards he led the audience through a medley of one-line snippets of hits sung first on an altering voice box and then in a whisper.

Making Sly’s dissolution even sadder:

[T]he band is amazing. Former Family Stone horn player Jerry Martini, for example, sizzled on solos as did Cynthia Robinson. As many have noted, the current band is much better than the real Family Stone was in memory some 40 years ago.

Dammit. I’d love to see Cynthia Robinson knocking it out live, and my love for the classic Sly and the Family Stone output has never been deeper. (Confidential to so-called music fans who’ve worn out their copies of There’s a Riot Goin’ On but continue to ignore its lithe and gorgeous follow-up Fresh: Correct your grievous wrong.)

But why would I pay some big-name crackhead $100 to pretend to be Sly Stone when I could get a local crackhead to do it for $20?

(Thanks again to Roger Friedman, who, it must be said, is not immune to the douchey FOX headline.)

RSS icon Comments


My best friend in New york sent me an e-mail when this show was announced.

Alas, deep down inside, I knew it was too good to be true...

Posted by Fill | December 10, 2007 10:50 AM

oy is that disappointing. but pretty predictable.

Posted by jz | December 10, 2007 11:02 AM

Comedian Albert Brooks went through that not too far from us not too long ago. (This story is stolen from a Playboy interview):

"I opened for Sly and the Family Stone in '73," Albert Brooks once recalled of his early days as a stand-up comedian. "At that time, Sly was known to snort large cities... We were in Tacoma, Washington, and it was 7 p.m. and the show was supposed to start at 7:30. His manager came to my dressing room and said, 'How long [a routine] do you do?' I said, 'With this crowd, maybe 15 minutes.' He said, 'What's the longest you can do?' I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Sly is in Ohio.'"

"I was off in eight minutes," Brooks recalled. "I swear to God, somebody threw the top of a beer can and it cut me. I was so upset, right before I left the stage, I actually said to the crowd, 'I'm going on Johnny Carson and telling everybody how bad you are.' As if all these people would immediately stop and go, Uh-oh."

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 10, 2007 1:10 PM

Local crackheads are better anyway.

Posted by trent moorman | December 10, 2007 1:59 PM

Puts Axl to shame.

I thought the section further down in the column regarding the absolute death spiral of the record "industry" was far more interesting. There will be no "industry" to speak of in 5 years.

Posted by laterite | December 10, 2007 2:01 PM

He's pretty notorious for this sort of thing. He claims to live mainly in seclusion down here in the Bay Area, and occasionally appears via dune buggy to retrieve the ridiculous contents of his rider, or something like that.

It's a shame, but it's good someone reported on it. I'd take my chances for $15 maybe, but he's a wildcard, people should be warned.

Posted by Dougsf | December 10, 2007 2:51 PM

His rider? The ads for this New York show said it was his first live appearance in over a decade. So, what contract riders are you a-talking 'bout???????

Posted by Fill | December 10, 2007 4:12 PM

Looks like we wont be getting any new Rambo or Rocky movies. Wait is that a different person...

Posted by Touring | December 10, 2007 4:57 PM

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