I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly & the Family Stone
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(Book). Author Jeff Kaliss scored the first face-to-face interview with the reclusive superstar in over 20 years, making this book a must-read for any rock 'n' roll fan. From his anthemic early hits ("I Want to Take You Higher," "Family Affair," "Dance to the Music") that powered Woodstock, through the moody meditations of "There's a Riot Going On" and beyond, Sly and the Family Stone have left an indelible stamp on rock, funk, pop, and hip hop. The story follows the evolution and dissolution of Sly and the Family Stone, from local favorites to global rock stars whose success was undermined by drugs and self-delusion.
Claps her hands, without a doubt / Has no idea what the song's about. There are reports of other females in Sly's life whom he may have considered more significant. The reunions with his first love, Ria Boldway, are accounted for later in this story. It appears that Anita, Sly's fateful companion from the Pussycat in Las Vegas, accompanied him to New York and on some of the group's early road trips. Stevie Swanigan, known as Stephani Owens when she was later interviewed by Joel Selvin, was
cool-headed, bottom-line management of talent and other enterprises. Having done his best to attend to Sly's future, David decided to shorten his own. He describes the scenario. "One day, I forget what I was on, I was on the whole alphabet at the time, I called a taxicab to take me to the Beverly Hills Hotel. I took two bags, so I could check in. Threw clothes into them.... I'd been going to the Beverly Hills Hotel for years. So there I was at the desk, wavering more than a little bit ... `Good
brand-new $38,000 brown Mercedes limo, one of a dozen cars he owns." Select guests at the reception included New York Philharmonic conductor Leonard Bernstein's daughter Jamie, Judy Garland's daughter Lorna Luft, and pop artist Andy Warhol. Looking back on all the hoopla, Steve now admits that "it didn't do anything for record sales." George, in the New Yorker, drolly closed his piece by noting, "Sly's new album, Small Talk, has picked up some momentum on the charts. Currently, it is thirtynine
of several aspects of this debut disc that wouldn't be repeated in the band's later work. The bonus tracks showcased wild horn harmonies on "Only One Way Out of This Mess" and the aheadof-its-time instrumental fusion of "You Better Help Yourself." Dance to the Music Epic, 1968(1) Dance to the Music; (2) Higher; (3) I Ain't Got Nobody (For Real); (4) Dance to the Medley: (a) Music Is Alive, (b) Dance In, (c) Music Lover; (5) Ride the Rhythm; (6) Color Me True; (7) Are You Ready; (8) Don't Burn
he'd seen." She did find out, by asking, that he'd bought his girlfriend a bedroom heater for Christmas, and she pronounced this act "kind." On the Dick Stewart-inspired junket to Los Angeles, Ria found a legitimate reason to hang on openly and tightly to Sly: it was his first plane trip, and he was scared. She didn't know it at the time, but the hotel on Hollywood Boulevard that put the Viscaynes up was one of the few in the area to accept racially mixed groups at that time. After a late night