Somewhere under that wig and that Halloween cop uniform there's a wonderful, talented human being named Sly Stone. Sadly, he didn't show up at Coachella this year.
Instead, a 1/3 full Mojave tent witnessed the absolutely sad spectacle of a bunch of hanger-ons pretending everything was OK and doing a protracted sound-check several hours after Sly was supposed to show up. He even had a hype-woman who treated him in the loving yet patronizing way someone treats a senile relative.
Truly awful on the part of the organizers (if they knew what they were getting), and especially awful on the part of Sly's current friends and handlers who let him go onstage like a ranting, raving shell of what he used to be. Many people in the crowd were angry, a few were laughing at poor Sly, but most were appalled at the spectacle.
Sly would sing a few bars of the classics (“Stand,” “Family Affair”) but he'd soon stop and start asking what time it was and how long he had to stay onstage to get paid. He also shared with the audience some of his current legal troubles (at length) and berated his band, a random assortment of instrumentalists decked out in absurd outfits right out of a Eugene Ionesco surrealist drama.
But nothing was more surreal than the spectacle of grown people pretending everything was ok and not removing poor Sly from the stage.
This man needs loving care, not to be paraded in front of a music festival in a costume-shop outfit.
UPDATE: a couple more Sly pictures by Lina “Nightranger” Lecaro.