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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Living In The Past


Most extraordinary outdoor musical event of the summer has to be Lovebox in Victoria Park. If the posters on the Tube are anything to go by they've got more acts than all the other events put together. Which is fine and I hope the sun shines on them.
What I don't understand is how Sly and The Family Stone get to be top of the bill on the Saturday night. For about three years at the turn of the 60s Sly Stone made wonderful records, but ever since he decided to get married on stage at Madison Square Garden he's been pretty much barking. His appetite for drugs is well documented and he hasn't plinked out a note of consequence since 1973. His behaviour for the last forty years has re-defined "erratic". Promoters in the US stopped using him when Richard Nixon was President because, well, mostly he didn't turn up.
There have been sad attempts to get back to the garden across the years, most recently a Grammy Awards appearance in 2006 where he could only bring himself to stay on stage for three minutes. One can only surmise that the reason some loon has decided to pay him good money to allegedly appear at Victoria Park is because his lack of activity has lent lustre to his legend and, as is the case of Brian Wilson, there are people who will pay to see a casualty provided they can see that casualty through the smoke and mirrors of mystique.
Sly had one brief shining moment at Woodstock. We were all fortunate that the cameras were there to record it. The idea that anyone still believes it will be re-created 40 years later is desperately sad.