hip hop music

February 7, 2006

Sly Stone Performing At Grammys Tomorrow, Confirmed

First it was ?rypto-Confirmed by ?uestlove, now prince.org has (ostensibly) the official lineup for tomorrow's Sly and the Family Stone tribute on the Grammys. Some of the other names listed are, uhh, slightly less exciting:

PART 1: Tribute
Will.I.AM (Black Eyed Peas) - Dance To The Music [no comment]
Maroon 5 - Everyday People
John Legend & Joss Stone - Family Affair
Devin Lima - If You Want Me To Stay [the abercrombie and fitch dude..no comment]

Musicians to participate:
Nile Rodgers (Chic/ producer tribute CD) - Music Director/Guitar
Joe Perry (Aerosmith) - Guitar
Robert Randolph - Guitar
Steve Jordan (producer tribute CD) - Drums (not confirmed):
Randy Jackson (producer tribute CD) - Bass (not confirmed):
Ciara - Vocals [no comment]
Length: 8 minutes

Never thought I'd be saying this, but I suspect Maroon 5 will be the best of that bunch. I love Joss Stone in theory, but on stage she is plagued by the Oversinging virus. No comment on the others. Not like any of this will matter if the man actually appears:

PART 2: Original lineup Sly & The Family Stone - I Want To Take You Higher

Musicians to participate:
Sly Stone - Vocals/Keyboard
Freddie Stone - Vocals/ Guitar
Rose Stone - Vocals/Keyboard
Greg Errico - Drums
Jerry Martini - Sax
Cynthia Robinson - Trumpet
Larry Graham or Rusty Allen - Bass [?uestlove says Larry's punking out]
Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) - Harmonica
Length: 2 minutes

Today's LA Times describes the scene as Sly arrived to rehearse:

[Will.I.Am] sat at the foot of the stage. Behind him was Maroon5, last year's best new artist Grammy winner, and John Legend, a favorite in the category this year. There was also British soul singer Joss Stone, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, R&B singer Van Hunt and others. Joss Stone was barefoot and flirting with Adam Levine of Maroon5 as the other artists on stage were noodling, comparing chords. Looking out at the Staples Center floor, all the folding chairs had placards with the faces and names of the stars: Tom Hanks was in the front row, and, not far behind him, Tony Bennett sharing a row with the Neptunes.

And the minutes ticked by. Will.I.Am left.

Finally, a voice came over the arena PA: "Security, please clear the arena."

The assembled musicians again ran through their medley of Stone hits and then ... there he was, in a hooded, camouflage rain slicker, matching pants and 3-inch platform boots. He came to a keyboard at center stage and made eye contact with no one. Still lean, but beneath the hood he seemed smaller than he was in the '60s.

The teleprompter told him how to reintroduce himself to the world: (SLY): Ow Ow Ow.

He sang "I Want to Take You Higher," and his voice was robust and clear. Looking straight down, his chin bounced on his chest. His left hand and wrist were in a cast. From under the hood, he peeked at the musicians next to him, grinned ... and then he was gone. Adam Levine stared at the long lost star like was a museum piece. Perry, beneath a black cowboy hat, smiled and shook his head.

Legend gave the first review of the performance: "It was great — I mean, hey, he showed up."

Afterward, John Cossette, executive producer of the show, looked a bit ashen. Stone sounded great, no doubt, but he also looked a bit ... nutty. "No comment. He's not doing this, he's not hiding out for 15 years to do what you just saw."

He was right. Stone came back and did it again. This time, his plastic pants were tucked into his boots and, at the song's close, he stepped away from the keyboard, bobbed his head and beamed. And then he was gone again.

Ehrlich, like a man who wants to recheck his lottery ticket, called for a third run-through. This time, though, when it came to the point where Stone should have dashed out on stage, there was a long lull and empty air. Finally, a crew member jumped up behind the keyboard and played the part of the enigmatic star.

Two out of three is good — unless the third one is live on the air in front of the world. But maybe it doesn't matter. Young R&B star Van Hunt said afterward that, on stage or not, Stone is a presence. "When he came out, I have to tell you, I didn't even look at him. I couldn't. I mean, it's Sly. I was afraid to look. I don't even think the guy is real."

Posted by jsmooth995 at February 7, 2006 5:58 PM

Weblog Archives