A few months ago Sly Stone released the thoroughly dispiriting I’m Back! Family And Friends, an embarrassing mismatch of poorly conceived covers of his own greatest hits and a smattering of okay-ish new songs. Unfortunately, I’m Back! is far from being the most depressing Sly Stone-related news this year: The New York Post recently tracked down the reclusive singer-songwriter, and found him living in a van in the middle of Los Angeles. More specifically, the white camper van (which has “Pleasure Way” emblazoned on the side, just in case you thought Sly lost his penchent for extravagance) is parked in the Crenshaw neighborhood, near the home of a retired couple where Stone eats and showers every day.
The Post story notes that only four years ago Stone rented a house in Napa Valley that was large enough to “be described as a ‘compound,’ with a vineyard out back and multiple cars in the driveway.” Stone has made and lost several fortunes over the years, but he was able to afford the so-called compound thanks to proceeds from a 2007 European tour. A few years later, however, he was again strapped for cash after clashing with manager Jerry Goldstein over royalty payments. Stone accused Goldstein of fraud, claiming he was tricked into giving his manager control of his finances, in a lawsuit filed last year seeking $50 million in damages.
Stone has been bouncing between cheap hotels and the van for the past two years, but Stone appears to have a fairly good attitude about the situation, even posing for a flamboyant photo for the Post. “I like my small camper,” he said. “I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving.” He also claims to have “hundreds of new tracks recorded in his van” that he’s presumably holding until his legal woes are resolved.
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