Sly Stone on the Down Side of Fame

Greg Kot talks to Sly Stone about hanging skeletons on his door, packing guns and his improbable comeback:

“My dad used to tell me, ‘If you work for it, you will have good consequences,’ ” Stone says. “So I thought what I was doing could be kinda big. And for a little while, the fame was what I expected it to be. But I soon realized there were other things involved in it. There was a down side, and the down side caused me to be very willing to just get off the scene. You get further down than you realize. Jimi [Hendrix], Janis [Joplin], and on and on. I’d see that kind of stuff [and their premature deaths], and I’d go, ‘Whoa.’ I’d start looking at the circumstances and realize I had to back off.”

Stone is vague about what happened next. But he insists he never stopped writing songs, hundreds of them.

I love Sly and the Family Stone. My mom once told me the story of how she first realized that my dad loved her. He drove her all the way to Detroit to see one of her favorite bands, Sly and the Family Stone. But the concert got cancelled at the last minute. The make-up concert was held a week later, and my dad once again drove my mom across the state. According to my mom, that proved he loved her.

Years after I first heard this story, I did some math with the dates of their wedding and my birthday and came to the conclusion that it is extremely likely that I was conceived after the concert. Which explains why I’m so damn funky!

7 thoughts on “Sly Stone on the Down Side of Fame”

  1. I really wish that Sly had stayed retired. This tour can’t result in anything good. I know that is fairly pessimistic, but somehow I just can’t imagine him recapturing even a fraction of his past glory.

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