Funk superstar Sly Stone, lead singer for funk band Sly and the Family Stone has pleaded not guilty to possession of crack cocaine. The driver he was riding with was pulled over for a traffic violation when the officer found crack rocks on the drivers clothes and also Sly’s clothes. Sly has had a major issue with drugs and weapons charges in the past, but his lawyer Peter Kneckt says not this time. “A lot of musicians hang out with people who have drugs,” he told reporters. “You can’t punish a guy for what he did 40 years ago, 30 years ago.”
How the officer even found or saw crack rocks on their clothes seems strange to me in the first place. How careless would they be or how much do you have to have in your possession to just have crack rocks all over their shirts? Not that bizarre behavior is outside of the norm for Sly. His first appearance in decades occurred on the 48th Grammy Awards back in 2006 where he slinked out on stage during a tribute to him, hammered out a few chords on the keyboards, sheepishly sang a few lines and then left before the song was over. Then more recently he made an appearance at Coachella where he stumbled onto the stage, fell slumped into a chair, stopped the music and began rambling about being kidnapped. When he finally breaks into song, it’s so off kilter that the band has a tough time following along. He then has a meltdown about a keyboard malfunction and was very obviously lipsynching as he was switching mikes and the vocals were still going which eventually led to him being booed off stage. The entire show was embarrassing for the band who did their absolute best to divert attention away from his horrendous refund-worthy appearance.
While we have nothing but the utmost respect for Sly Stone and his contribution to funk music, his performing days are effectively over if he can’t perform a few of his hits coherently. People don’t have patience for these types of antics and this isn’t anything new according to many reports from funk fans that witnessed similar performances from Sly on and off since the 70’s. We hope that he gets his act together enough to release the album that he’s been working for decades now. Better yet, we’d love it if he’d reach out to us and tell us what we can expect in the near and distant future. We’d love to hear it, but not this way.