Going the distance July 26, 2007

I was at a Sly and The Family Stone show in Paris L'Olympia the day before yesterday.
There is so much to say…
First, for frenchies only: I was next to Louis Rego during the show, just behind Sidney, and I went by Jacky Beroyer, Philippe Maneuvre and Romane Boringer…
Apparently, for once, I was in The Place To Be™.

Let’s get back to the main subject (I’m so not interested in People),
Sly has a weird history: for long I even thought he was dead (as I thought of Bill Wither…). You know : the very talented composer, the great voice, who died young over drugs, or in a tragic car accident. Only plausible explanation for not hearing about him anymore.
In fact, he just went rogue (with drugs though) for 30 years. And when he comes back, let me tell you: it’s not pretty.
He looks like a crippled old man, seems completely high, comes on stage for the 5th song, leave after two, comes back after one, leaves again…
Couldn’t be less of a professional.
The band is cool, even very cool, considering the pressure of having to play with such a crazy guy, but not enough to satisfy a very frustrated mob.
But, even then, when Sly is on stage… [sigh] something happens.
He still has his voice, and the talent flows in his veins (along with other illicit products…). The show was pretty expensive (55 €), 70 mn long and 30 (top) with Sly on stage. But that was enough to feel happy.
Of course, I would have prefered a 2h30 set, hearing each and every one of his monster hit songs… but I still have his Family Affair tune in the head - the live one now…
Oh, and what the heck… since you’ve been nice, here is a present.

(Sorry, I did a pretty lousy job recording - I guess I wasn’t expecting much… - but it’s good enough!)

So, in conclusion, it’s hard to see idols fade away.
But even then, there’s a reason if they are idols in the first place: they’re so talented…
We’ve been ill-educated: I’ve seen Ray Charles rocking the stage at past 70, playing Piano with his feet;
I’ve seen James Brown funkin’ the stage at past 70, there was Barry White, Nina Simone, there is Marta High (she was opening for Sly. Wow!), Lyn Collins and so many other…
Every one was/is as good if not better than in their prime.
Sly is not. What a loss.