Monday, September 28, 2009

Sly and the Family Stone

Sly Stone was always one of the most interesting characters of the 60's musical revolution. He was a brilliant composer and multi-instrumentalist (a Mozart-like genius, in my opinion) but when he got into cocaine and heroin, things hit the slides big time. 

His performance at festivals like Woodstock made him into a legend. He also had the guts to resist all calls to make his band 'less female' and/or 'less caucasian', despite stupid political oppostion.

Here he is in 69, before he got real bad, doing a medley of hits.

Things did get so bad within the band that Sly once arranged for a group of his goons/bodyguards to give a real hiding to super-bassist Larry Graham, who was having an affair at the time with the wife of Sly's brother - Freddie (who is playing the beautiful Gibson on this). Also Sly resented Graham for getting more female attention than he was getting at the time.

Anyhoo, one of their roadies got wind of the plan and managed to spirit Larry and his girlfriend away down a hotel backstairs on the night in question, to save them from Sly's posse.

Larry Graham left to do his own thing after that and ended up years later playing bass with Prince. Sly kept sinking and sinking, but he's still alive, albeit in in really poor health...

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