Sly Stone was interviewed by Chris Douridas on Morning Becomes Eclectic this morning, and though there were a few missed opportunities — we want to know about his archives and unreleased stuff, and didn't think it necessary to dwell so much on his early years when that part of his life has been so well-documented — overall it made for some fascinating and informative radio. Stone was affable if a little mumbly, quick to laugh and eager to tell stories.
On the foundations of Sly and the Family Stone, and a lesson for youngsters:
Sly Stone: We got together and we rehearsed every day of the year. And that's the main thing I can tell anybody. The most important thing to do is rehearse every day of your life until it works.
On the lyrics to “Family Affair”:
“I just sometimes write …. a daydream or something. It's just something. Something to say, because it seems like that's the way that it is a lot of times.
Chris Douridas: When you're writing a lyric?
Yeah, a lyric or some story. I don't necessarily have to have experienced it like that. I can see it. I can feel it. That's what “Family Affair” was about
On the meaning of the song, “If You Want Me to Stay.”
That's exactly what I meant, what I wrote. “If you want me to stay, let me know. Otherwise, sayonara.”
CD: Some people have tried to read more into it, that you were saying that to your audience.
SS: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. I'm saying that to everybody. Family, audience, everybody in the world. 'Y'all let me know. I'll be at the house, 'y'all call me.'”
On “Spaced Cowboy.”
SS: “I love that song.”
On the intersection of Doris Day, Sly Stone, Charles Manson,Terry Melcher (who was
murderedtargeted by the Manson family), and the song “Que Sera Sera” (which was a hit for Day and a song Stone covered on his album, Fresh.
CD: You were signed to Epic, right? And Terry Melcher was [Doris Day's} son, and an A&R guy at Columbia.
SS: Right. He'd come over and be at my house, and I'd go over to his house. And sometimes Charles Manson would be there.
CD: He was trying to get signed by Terry, right?
SS: Well, he was going to kill Terry. That's what he was going to do.
CD: I don't think Terry knew that yet, right?
SS: Yeah, I think he did.
CD: Really? He was afraid of him?
SS: Yeah, he knew. He knew he was going to do something to him. But I didn't know any of this.
CD: Wow. So you were at Doris Day's house?
SS: Yeah, I started going over there to play songs until this guy'd [Manson] come in, and we'd have a little disagreement — and I'd win. (laughs.) I didn't have any idea who it was — til later on.