Rabu, 28 September 2011

SEX MACHINE / Sly and the Family Stone

Sly and the Family Stone launched funky soul in the late 60s with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, and Parliament-Funkadelic. The group hit mega-gold with their 4th LP, STAND and its # 1 hit everyday people. Success was no a friend to Sly. His cocaine habit infected the other band members. He was a no-show at many concerts and passed out at others. Audiences rioted in response and Sly and the Stone had earned a reputation for trouble, but on July 7, 1974 the group headlined an outdoor show at Boston’s Franklin Park.
Richard Pryor opened the day to be followed by Donald Byrd and the Blackbirds, The Hues Corporation, and Tower of Power. 20,000 fans had paid $5.50 to benefit the Elma Lewis School of Arts. Few expected Sly to perform that evening. He had missed a third of his concerts in 1971. My friend AK attended the concert and to this day says that Sly’s performance was unforgettable.I missed the show, because I was working in Cape Ann as a waiter in a gay restaurant over the town line from Gloucester. It was a dry bar. Customers had to bring their own bottles. The owner fed the staff liver and left-overs. I was fired later in the month for eating a an off-limit dessert. I can still taste that pecan pie.Sly’s musical effort dropped down the Billboard charts, although songs from STAND were a mainstay of 60s rock revival radio stations. By the 80s he had vanished from the scene. In 2006 Sly appeared at the Grammy Awards to play I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER. At the end of the song, the once-time superstar walked off the stage and drove off on his motorcycle. Future outings across the world amplified the singer’s embrace of failure. Gone were the money, the mansions, the cars, and the acclaim. Sly was back in the news with the media excoriating his fall from grace.Sly Stone lives in a van. His neighborhood is Crenshaw in LA. Friends support this life style. He maintains that he is happy. 
Straight too.The newspapers reported his present state with joy. Those that can't love nothing better than to see a high-flyer descend from heaven, but only if they come from the masses. CBS and Fox News aren't waiting for the collapse of the banks. They love the rich. But not the nigger rich. They get what they deserve. Da money come and da money go.Sly was no exception, but I'm sure he had a good time. All I wanted now is for him to have a happy ending, because listening to SEX MACHINE is a gas.To hear Sly and the Family Stone's SEX MACHINEPlease go to the following URLhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cffPwrmx6KE

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