City Sound Inertia has a depressing account of the shenanigans behind the scenes at a recent Sly and the Family Stone show in Santa Rosa, California:
The morning of the show, Sly Stone is in Los Angeles. He fires his business manager. Sly tells the promoter that he’s his own boss now, that he’s the one who’s going to get paid at the show, and that he needs $3,000 wired to the bank account of an Iranian BMW saleswoman before he’ll even get on the plane to San Francisco.
And it’s all downhill from there. Except, of course, for the three and a half songs Sly performs before he exits the stage, telling the crowd, “I gotta go take a piss. I’ll be right back.” When he doesn’t come back, a high speed car chase ensues, culminating in stand-off with his band who now never wants to play with him again. Such a shame.
Count the days I’m gone
Forget reachin’ me by phone
Because I promise
I’ll be gone for a while…
Video: Sly Stone – “If You Want Me to Stay” (live, early 80s)
Previously: Sly Stone on the Down Side of Fame; Sly Stone Re-Emerges.
2 thoughts on “Sly Stone: "I'll Be Good, I Wish I Could…"”
Sounds like there could have been one hell of a show there, if Sly Stone hadn’t have sabotaged it so thoroughly. Apparently, he still has it; he’s just too insane to either channel it for more than a song or two, or to trust someone else enough to take care of the details for him. If he had his wits about him long enough to mount a tour, he could make a killing. He’s his own worst enemy.
So, did the Iranian BMW dealer get her cash?
I seem to remember a woodstock story, where Sly tells the promoter he wants more cash just before he goes on, or he’s not playing, and the promoter tells him,
‘there’s 300,000 people out there who think you’re God, and in ten minutes they’re going to think you’re shit, because I’m going to go out and tell them that.’
toujours la meme chose, etc.