Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beware the Ides of March and Sly Stone

Happy 68th birthday to Sylvester Stewart - aka Sly Stone. Sly and his family of funksters were only eclipsed in influence on popular R&B and Hip-Hop by James Brown. The Family Stone included Larry Graham on bass. Larry's slap bass attack has been imitated since he came on the scene. I was lucky to see Sly. His mental demons and cocaine addiction made him wildly unpredictable. He was as likely to miss a concert as perform. On July 27, 1970 Sly and the Family Stone were to appear at a free concert in Grant Park in downtown Chicago. The first band (Fat Water) started playing at 3. The second band came out at about 4. The announcer kept on giving us updates about Sly's progress to the concert. At about 6:30 they announced Sly had cancelled and a riot broke out. 150 people were arrested, 25 were injured including 10 policemen. It was the last free concert of the summer.

Sly's music has stood the test of time. You will notice the tell tale signs of cocaine abuse under Sly's nose in a number of the vids. In true funk fashion, every take is different - often devolving into extended jams.


and even more to remove the specter of Ides:

Free your ass and your mind will follow - George Clinton

1 comment:

Jim Desmond said...

And on and on etc, wow!
This clip is another must see: