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Sly Stone, member of 70’s groovy dance band Sly and the Family Stone has had a rough year, to say the least, and unfortunately for him it hasn’t gotten any smoother. First, his sad performance at Coachella, where he showed up four hours late, forgot his songs and ranted about his legal issues, earning him only the pity of the audience and an expensive slander lawsuit by former manager Jerry Goldstein.
Then, in April, the crack-cocaine arrest. And now, homelessness.
The expensive legal issues, coupled with foolish business decisions–such as selling his valuable music rights to Michael Jackson for a mere $1 million–forced the singer to sell his Napa Valley house. Once the money he received from a 2007 European tour dried up, the singer could no longer afford even cheap hotels, and has been living in his van, paranoid and desperate.
Sly Stone has been channeling his dire circumstances into hundreds of new songs, however, which he records in his van. Ironically, some of his famed 1971 album, There’s a Riot Going On, was recorded in a Winnebago. Sly accepts that the days of selling out shows and being able to give away cars as gifts are over, but the musician is determined to get out of his slump and urges people to buy his music, book him for shows and give him another chance.
Photo: John Chapple