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Funkmaster Sly Stone Homeless On The Streets Of Los Angeles

Greg Asciutto |
September 25, 2011 | 11:54 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


The music industry has changed a lot since 1969. The likes of the Archies and Creedence Clearwater Revival are ghosts in the shadow of social media, just ask Justin Bieber if he’s “ever seen the rain.” Mick Jagger still reigns the charts (technically), but for funkmaster Sly Stone, Father Time has not been so kind. 

Reports surfaced this weekend that Stone, whose ’69 hit Everyday People once dominated radio airwaves, is living on the streets of Los Angeles. Stone, 68, sleeps in a van parked in Crenshaw, one of the city’s more infamous neighborhoods. 

Throughout his personal and musical career, Stone has been haunted by substance abuse and financial mismanagement. The 1984 sale of his music-publishing rights to Michael Jackson for an underpriced $1 million is commonly viewed as a prime example of Stone’s financial incompetence. In April, the singer faced charges of cocaine possession in Los Angeles. 

The former Sly and the Family Stone front man blames his monetary woes on Jerry Goldstein, his former manager. Per the New York Post, Stone claims Goldstein manipulated him into a contract which paid out a weekly paycheck; Goldstein managed the rest of the artist’s assets. Stone filed a $50 million dollar lawsuit for fraud and stolen royalties last year.

The man who once hosted the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin in his Beverly Hills mansion now finds comfort cutting tracks in his white van. Stone, who released his first album in nearly thirty years last month, expressed to Post reporters that his distrust of the record industry is preventing the release of his new, van-made material. 

Though he claims he still has “millions of dollars,” Stone is begging for work. “Please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music. I’m tired of this sh-t man,” Stone lamented. Unfortunately for Sly, the phone isn’t ringing. Alone on the streets of LA, the legend of funk waits  for his internal demons to finish destroying an illustrious musical career. 


Reach reporter Greg Asciutto here

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