Sly Stone is famous for a lot of things, chief among them his reclusive nature and tendency to flake on the rare scheduled gig. Which made last night’s unannounced appearance at Silver Lake hot-spot the Little Temple Bar, his second public showing in Los Angeles in one week, all the more shocking. But being a family man, Sly apparently couldn’t pass up an opportunity to come out in support of his daughter, Novena, and her band, the appropriately named BabyStone. Sly also brought along an old friend, fellow funk legend George Clinton.
But as is typical in Sly world, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as planned. He arrived at the bar at the same time as the fire marshal, who came to investigate a water leak. Soon after, it looked like the place was going to be shut down, but Sly was adamant about going onstage. The bar’s management tried in vain to dissuade him from doing so, and it wasn’t long before the two funkateers launched into “I Want To Take You Higher,” kicking off with a rap by Clinton. Both were in great spirits, with Sly decked out in a purple velvet pimp suit, and the crowd responded in spades, singing along enthusiastically to every word. Sly kept the party going with “Stand,” then passed the baton to Clinton who jump-started a rousing rendition of “We Want The Funk.” And that was all they wrote. Three songs and out.
At Saturday’s Clive Davis-hosted pre-Grammy party, Sly also arrived with zero warning and, once seated, was bombarded by starry-eyed admirers like Will.I.Am and Barry Manilow. We learned later that night that Sly had expressed interest in performing on the bill as well, but given that the annual soiree did not plan its usual all-star finale — instead, Whitney Houston made her much anticipated comeback — it was not to be. Still, all signs point to what could be a concerted comeback effort from Sly — for real this time.