Sly Stone living in a van

I’m sure there’s a lot to this story but its a damned shame

Ya, I just heard this up here … someone with some $$$ should go to the rescue…

He had a terrible reputation even “back in the day”. He was notorious for not showing up to play major venues. I was once standing in line to get some Sly & Family Stone concert tickets; thinking about that reputation persuaded me to not take the chance. I didn’t have the cash to throw away if he didn’t show up to play, so I left the line and I don’t regret it even now. Bought the album instead. I have since replaced it with a CD, though he might not have seen a penny of royalty on that (the way many labels screwed artists out of royalties on CD sales).

I have a hard time feeling sorry for talented artists (like Sylvester/Sly) that reach the top and then mess it all up with bad habits, not paying attention to business, and carelessness.

Like every online newspaper these days , The Post reserves space for comments after each article. I read the entire article in order to further comment but …WOW! The comments by Post readers reflect an America I’m sorely out of touch with.

There are truly some hard hearted people out there.

I just went back and looked at a few of the comments, since I usually ignore such stuff (and had not read them).

Wish I hadn’t. You are right, there are some poisonous posts. But I wouldn’t necessarily say they reflect “America”. Most of “America” is too busy trying to make a living to write nasty comments in the Post.

In any case, I stand (no pun intended) by my comments above. Love his music. Wish him well. But I’m not going to pity him, and it doesn’t sound like he’d want pity anyway … which is good. I hope he has the gumption to get out playing again. I’d like to hear it.

Can’t say I pity him either. But If he really was swindled then I do feel sorry for him. So many people have such deep sympathy for the victims of Bernie Madoff; this is the same thing to me.Somehow a little old blue haired granny who willingly buys into a “too good too be true” investment gets sympathy when she’s robbed ,but the artist (musician,actor,painter) “should have known better”. (This is not about comments by swamptone)

Again, I’d really like to hear the managers side of it. Also the Michael Jackson estate would be well served to make a goodwill gesture to Sly.

The music-biz is like dancing with the devil, you’d best have a really good shoe-maker in your corner.

It’s a notorious business for swindles and usury. The typical record contract is a stacked deck in favor of the record company, who deals the cards. You need a really good auditor/accountant. And then you need another one to watch the first one. :wink:

No wonder so many successful artists end up impoverished.


I’ve seen him live once, it was a great show. :sunglasses:

It looks like a very nice van though.

Very sad to see the creator of some of my most favorite childhood music in such a situation. Seling his music library in 1984 was a major mistake…

If I list all the ‘pioneers’ who lived their final days homeless you would be suprised… soo. sooo … sooo many…

A few years back I actually spotted a Jazz LEGEND sweeping floors at a shopping mall !


I recognized him from my fathers album collection and asked “Is your name XYZ”

He started crying… and couldnt finish sweeping… and insisted I not tell his co-workers who he used to be.

Very very sad…
My dad got him some local gigs and a band and he was happy again… died broke… but HAPPY ! And that means a lot…

In this article Sly basically invites new pop artists to have him in thier studio… and only pay if they like his work…


Aloha guys,

Just to chime in.

Sly Stone (and all of us) still has one main thing going for himself.

He is still alive. Thank God.

With that one fact the possibilities are endless.
He may one day become bigger than he ever was.

Sending much Aloha.


would that van happen to be parked “down by the river?” :laughing:

I thought that was Buddy Miles?

Anyone who is proud to state for whom they “don’t feel sorry” due to their non-approval of lifestyle/habits/character etc. has a lot to learn about the disease of addiction etc.

And to somehow paint the situation as somehow an affront to you as a faithful fan or audience member is just plain naive and more than somewhat spiritually unevolved.

If you were inconvenienced, then I’m sympathetic. But an overt statement proclaiming your own lack of sympathy for someone, ANYONE who is suffering is just throwing your bitter weight around.

Sly was and remains a gifted artist whose work continues to bring joy, thrills and, not the least of all, messages of compassion, understanding, dignity and equality to the world to this very day and for days forward.

He’s still with us with his immortality all but guaranteed. Perhaps you ought to consider turning the flashlight around and examining your own hoo hoo before casting aspersions on the character of someone you’ve never known, much less worked ever worked with.

Most of the time when someone replies to a forum topic that has been inactive for years (in this topic its 8 years passed) - we usually rant and rave and complain…

HOWEVER - this is a topic that is timeless and worth giving attention to.

While I am across the globe - it is still one of my dreams to record with some of our forgotten idols of the past… Sly - still being one of them.

You know… the adult entertainment industry makes big hoopla about casting “fallen stars” in their titles… would be nice to see the same being done MORE OFTEN in the recording industry for those who were once in the limelight… with or without a vice.

Makes we wish I had taken up Paul Anka on his offer when I met him in my bank as a teenager.

I can still remember the place where I bought his ‘Dance to the music’ album. But not being able to live your life with $1.000.000 in your bank account is not a tragedy. Even if the deal was bad? It’s just darn stupid you didn’t realize you had to adjust your lifestyle before it came to this?

So sorry, I just can’t feel pity for people like that?

He has been living with what looks like about ONE DOLLAR in his bank… not 1 million…

ADDICTION signed his music rights away… not a person…
I have never dealt with addition, but countless people around me have… and they become the ADDICTION… it speaks and acts for them… signing away their lives…

Let us … as musicians… always remember where others went wrong… and make sure we do not fall into that same trap.

remember just a half decade ago - he was awarded millions in royalties… however those millions then went TO THE PEOPLE HE SOLD HIS RIGHTS TO A FEW YEARS EARLIER !!!

So he won… but someone was the legal beneficiary…
Addiction makes bad decisions…

Most recent photo standing in front of his home…


The disease of addiction is clinical, not character based. And although those who bravely start a journey on the path of recovery endeavor to improve by identifying and working to remove them, the defects of character are not the cause of the disease, but manifested results of it.

To admonish anyone for their disease is cold, naive and more or less a proclamation of one’s own defects of character.

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It’s been a while, but somehow I just couldn’t let this one go.

Condoning addiction without perspective of cure is saying you accept whatever they do to you is acceptable just because they have a ‘disease’.

That alone explains that you absolutely don’t know what you’re talking about!

You probably don’t know what your talking about when it comes to addiction and just babbling along about understanding and supporting the addicted!

But let me tell you! I had multiple cases of friends and family where addiction was an issue.

In almost all cases I had to let them go because of their violent behavior and devious ways of just trying to get their fix.

One case is still inprinted in my mind! An addicted friend just had a baby an asked me if I could spare some money so she could buy some food for her baby. I proposed to her we walk to supermarket and go buy the food for the baby.
Then she turned all red and curse at me that I didn’t just gave her the money.

If a mother finds feeding her addiction more important than feeding her baby.
Is it me being cold and naive by drawing the line? Or is it you that just don’t understand what addiction does to people?

You can pretend that addiction is a ‘decease’ but in fact it’s a weakness.

We all have a choices in life. If you choose to be weak and give into your addiction, that’s your own choice.

Just don’t give me that bullshit that addicts are victims!

Like everyone else in this life they had a choice. But they just choose to be weak and give in to their addiction!

Nobody’s condoning addiction here. People are empathizing.

You can say what you would like, but an addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, etcetera is a disease because It changes the brain physically.