Sly Stone’s story has been pretty sad for a while now, what with the legendary funk and soul frontman going broke, living in a van, and having all sorts of drug problems. While some of how Stone actually lost all his money was public knowledge—again, drugs, combined with some IRS issues—another big chunk of information about where the cash went is only coming out now.
New documents filed in California Appeals Court detail Stone’s claim that his lawyer, ex-manager, Sony Music, Warner, BMI, and dozens of other parties are all complicit in his financial troubles, with the Family Stone frontman claiming that “tens of millions” of dollars of royalties have been misappropriated. It’s a pretty convoluted tale, with arguments of malfeasance dating back to the mid-‘70s, but The Hollywood Reporter has a fascinating rundown of the whole thing, from Stone’s claims that his attorney gave him drugs to control him to detailed accounting of how one debt went to pay another that went to pay another that went to pay another and so on. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that a) being a rock star isn’t easy and that b) even funk superstars have to learn to get their finances straight.