"Shady as a lady in a mustache, feelings camouflaged by groans and grins, secrets have a special way about them, moving to and fro among your friends"... SOMEBODY"S WATCHING, SLY! US!!!
Last Saturday night, my fellow Sylvester Stewart devotees and myself made what can best be described as a pilgrimage to... Anaheim... the House of Blues in Anaheim to get a glimpse of who is, for us the most important living writer of popular music in America (and I am only somewhat equivocating and shouting USA! out of respect to Sir Paul Macca...). The universality of Sly- the fact that you can hear ONE SONG and say- I KNOW THAT GUY!- is magic... you get the feeling- THAT FEELING!- when you here Sly- and when you get it like that... well, you'll go anywhere to support- even Anaheim on a Saturday night.
That's me, Paranorm, Ian, and Zoe. Well... we got a glimpse. What can I say... It was better than the show at the Las Palmas Theater in 1987. How about that? (Chris Willman, myself and 25 other people know what I mean!) It was kind of a baby step- if you can call it that in 19+ years... sort of like when Brian Wilson got up with the Beach Boys in Anaheim (why do all comebacks start in Anaheim)... it was surreal- as you might expect. It was a major step up from the Grammy travesty- Sly really seemed to be into it... but it only last a brief nine minutes (according to the OC Register).
We were standing real close- say three people to the stage between us (that's my photo at top)- and the band included Rose, Pat Rizzo for a few numbers and Little Sister Vet (giving Sly a hug in the pic) singing... along with some other guys who were faithful and serviceable- and when they play the songs, you kept getting excited that Sly MIGHT come out... which he eventually did after tune #10 or so... when he awkwardly was announced and came out and gave the peace sign and told us he would take us higher... Sly then came back with two different daughters. and this is where it got fun... er, PHUNNE... as his daughter, PHUNNE came out to play some Mozart on the Yamaha Motif.
Well, anyways, Sly liked that a lot. Then he brought out another daughter to rap and he played a clavinet part behind her- and that seemed to stun the band- but they rolled with it, and she did that for a minute... then he walked off to more people begging him to stay. Sly came back once more and asked to take us higher- and he did. Sly seemed to be in good spirits- and I don't think he looked as hunched over as I was led to believe he is- although he is not exactly ready to put back on the jump suit and do the ham-bone down the aisle either.
And so I have been listening to his music today- and it is still magnificent. The lyrics are the most uplifting, forceful, loving, honest, biting, warming... truthful we have seen in the rock era.
Fun (Phun) story... When I first met my pal Ian- we started talking music... and I gave him the above thought about how important, truthful blah blah blah Sly's music is... Ian let me go on... then lifted his shirt to reveal the following tattoo. It was love.