Alec Palao’s Grammy Nominated Stone Flower Liner Notes | Favorite Quotes

“…and then the Woodstock film. Sly with his arms out, wearing a white fringe leather jacket, and right behind him a huge spotlight… the spotlight looked like the sun, and the jacket looked like wings of wax. And I said… My god, it is Icarus. He has flown too close to the sun.” – David Kapralik, Sly’s manager

“As far as I could see, there were people agreeing with me. That can make you feel pretty powerful.” – Sly on the Woodstock era

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“Decades before a computer algorithm was concocted to mimic human touch or inflection, Sly Stone was forcing his equipment to reflect the way he felt as a musician in a tangible fashion.”- Alec Palao

 “Sly’s music was, is, and shall forever remain upbeat. Cock an ear to the overriding lyrical thrust throughout this album. Epigrammatic as Sly always was, the tone is positive and observational, with instructive yet empowering use of the personal pronoun: somebody’s watching you, you’re the one (or conversely, I’m the one), and — most significantly – I’m just like you.” – Alex Palao

“By boiling rhythm down to its very nub, Sly pointed the way forward in a way neither he nor anyone else could have ever known at the time, and it was married to the inclusive philosophy that confirmed Sly Stone’s humility and humanity: he knows how we feel, he’s just like us.” - Alec Palao

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“‘Somebody’s Watching You’ was a playful yet cautionary item from the Family Stone repertoire, with a lyric that blended classic Sly Stone aphorism — ‘the nicer the nice, the higher the price’ – with amused references to the goldfish bowl environment in which Sly now found himself (the line ‘shady as a lady with a moustache,’ for instance refers to Kapralik).” – Alex Palao

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Sly  confessed to his bemused  host on the notorious June 1970 episode of The Dick Cavett Show that, “I look in the mirror when I write – the reason that I do that is… I can react spontaneously before I realize that I’m going along with what I’m doing.”

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“Sly speaks in opposites. He sees things that way. A lot of metaphors, which is not unusual for African-American writers, but I love the way he uses them. Sly is one of those folks who got it. When the world went on and decided it didn’t like nonconformity, he was being so real in many ways that he didn’t make that change. We went as a nation, a society, into a period where it was like the groupthink, and some folks like Sly were not gonna make that transition because they are individuals.” -Tiny Mouton of Little Sister

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The ladies of Little Sister

“The people that intimidated me the most were fourteen, fifteen-year-old white kids, that I saw playing music on the computer. I said, I gotta find out how to do this. Know what I mean? For them it’s normal, that’s just the way they are. Anything that can express your heart, it’s an instrument, man. In the future, they won’t even relate to a guitar, there’s gonna be something else that can do that. It’s not the name of it, it’s how you can get the feel over…” – Sly

“Yeah… shit. I’m not deep. I just look at shit the way it is, because we are — you’re the one, I’m the one, whatever you do is what you do. My songs, as far as I know, they ain’t songs yet until they totally say something to me… I an’t just gonna say nothing. I ain’t just gonna say ‘I love you, I love you’ or something. I ain’t gonna do that. I can’t do that.” – Sly

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“See in the studio, I’m a gangster. I mean, not a gangster… [but] I don’t care, I respect music in the studio, and to hell with everything else. In the studio I feel like I can say what I want to say. Because you know what, it’s not as easy as people think it is, see. You gotta stay focused. If there’s something in there, you better hold on to it. Hold on to that feeling.”- Sly

See part two of the Cavett interview below: