Sunday, January 6, 2008

"sock it unto others as you would have them sock it to you"

I've managed to turn what was a fairly productive day into an evening of procrastination.

The reason?


First, my girlfriend gave me the Sly and the Family Stone boxed set for Christmas. So I've been happily digesting that for the last two weeks.

Then earlier this evening, I was forwarded this article from Vanity Fair. It's a well written article with a little bit of history, a bit of a recent interview with the man himself, and hope for a full blow return in the not too distant future.

While his Grammy appearance a few years ago was less than stellar, it was nonetheless incredible that he came out of seclusion. I then heard over the summer that he was doing some limited dates in Europe with a reformed Family Stone (although not the full blown original lineup). Via the Vanity Fair article, I learned that the Europe one-offs were preceded by a show in Vegas on 7-7-07 - the same day as Prince's return First Ave. What a day for funk!

You can check out footage from the Vegas and Europe shows on You Tube (the Europe shows are pro shot). Verdict: Surprisingly good! Not 100% spot on, but far better than I would have expected. I keep saying that I'm not going to any more of these arena reunion shows, but somehow I keep doing it. Anyhow, I wouldn't even question seeing a reunited Family Stone, particularly if we're talking original lineup.

I was intrigued by the article's mention of a Dick Cavett appearance, which I've found:

Entertaining for a bit, but ultimately depressing, not unlike that James Brown news interview from a few years ago. But an interesting piece of history nonetheless, and of course, Cavett handles it all perfectly.

To clear the air, here's a nice little version of one of my favorites, "If You Want Me to Stay" :


greatwhitefunk said...

Dude....NO. NO FAMILY STONE -NO SLY - NO!!!! NO MEANS NO. He looked like he practically needed assistance to get to the stage on that Grammy performance. It is depressing. George Clinton is depressing. I want to remember them as great, not bloated or decrepit.

Gonzo said...

I feel you Bill. Reunions are incredibly risky business. I admit I was not blown away by the Police, one of my top ten bands of all time.

But I feel like Sly and the Family Stone could pull it off. Maybe that's optimistic, and maybe it's too late. His JW leanings aside, Larry Graham has his chops. Check out the clips on you tube from the 2007 North Sea show. Physically, he's definitely not at the top of his game. But his voice is still pretty good - probably as good as it would be without 20 years of hard drugs.

I watched the whole show last night and I'm led to believe that they can do it. However, your mention of Clinton is apt. Not that Sly's band played for something like 30 minutes before he came on stage, took a break mid set, etc.

In short, I welcome it with open arms if done right. But if not - yes - it could be VERY disheartening.