This from Weekly correspondent Daniel Siwek, who barely missed Tuesday night's five-minute Sly Stone Variety Show surprise performance at Little Temple. The secret show, one of a few that the legend has done around LA in the past month, was cut short, however, when the health department came in before the show and shut Little Temple down. Apparently it had something to do with hot water heaters and proper temperature — though rumors that the department was worried about the roof either catching fire or blowing straight off the minute Clinton and Stone took the stage do bear consideration. But the timing was terrible for all involved.

George Clinton at Little Temple: no match for the LA Health Department; Credit: Daniel Siwek

George Clinton at Little Temple: no match for the LA Health Department; Credit: Daniel Siwek

Here's Siwek's take:

“I'm embarrassed to say that the “show” part literally went down in five minutes and it drives me nuts that I wasn't inside. I showed up early, and waited on line to get in. I was told by the door guy and another one of Little Temple's staff that they probably weren't going to let any of us in because the Health Department just showed up. At this time, the DJ was on, and if all went according to schedule Sly shouldn't have hit the stage for at least another hour or two after BabyStone warmed up the stage, and I was ready to hang out until closing. It was really cold and since my car was parked less than a block away I thought I'd check my messages and warm up for a few minutes. I figured that they would either make everyone go home, or I'll walk in ten minutes later when the band were just getting going. But Sly insisted on taking the stage right away, almost in an effort to chase The Man away and partly because he knew they would blame him for the fiasco if he didn't go out there and prove he was “there.”

Perhaps the Health Department was worried that the roof was gonna blow?; Credit: Novena Carmel

Perhaps the Health Department was worried that the roof was gonna blow?; Credit: Novena Carmel

When I got back to the door, people were still on line while the rest were being kicked out. I heard a band playing (figuring it was just the warm-up part), and I asked the door guy to let me in and take pictures but he told me that Sly was upstairs and that the band was about to be cut-off. I quickly ran around to the side alley where I caught up with George who had just come from the front where he was greeting fans. The whole thing went down in no more than ten minutes, and I didn't know that they hit the stage until I saw Novena's FaceBook page.

The “Novena” referred to above is Novena Carmel, Stone's daughter. Siwek caught up with her that night at Little Temple and asked for a statement, but she was too busy. The next morning, she sent Siwek a Facebook message:

We call it the “Sly Stone Variety Show” for a reason. You never quite know what you're gonna get. Last night some fluke venue problems unfortunately shut down the amazing show we had planned, but those in attendance witnessed a short magical snippet of what to expect if they give it another shot and come to the next one – March 15th @ Zanzibar (Sly's birthday).

that's my quote. a pleasure to meet you. we WILL keep the funk alive!

I actually ran into Frosty from Dublab a few nights ago at the Dresden, and as we were talking, he pulled out his iPhone and said, 'Here, I've got something you'll appreciate.” Dublab's offices and studios are above Little Temple, and Dublab had an unexpected guest the night of the five-minute Sly Stone show: George Clinton. Frosty has this amazing picture of Clinton in close up in the Dublab studios.

In all, one of those weird Hollywood moments. Thankfully, Little Temple's roof remains intact.

UPDATE: : Daniel Siwek adds this: “I caught George Clinton outside ( I KNEW he was the special guest!) and he told me 'Sir Nose' was in the house, and that 'they' don't wanna give Sly a chance. He said, 'We rehearsed and everything. This time, nobody was high or nothing, they just don't wanna see Sly do his thing.' There were to be more surprise guests like the Pointer Sisters, Snoop, and I even saw Raphael Saadiq….”

LA Weekly