If you’re wondering how this could happen a to man who’s music is played almost every single day on radio stations and iPods across the nation – the answer has a lot to do with overindulgence, substance abuse and mismanagement of funds. A bad case of paranoia seals the deal as the former Soul superstar told the New York Post that he’s wanted by the FBI and assassins hired by unnamed enemies.
Up to 2009, the creative force behind hits like “Dance to the Music,” “Everyday People” and “Thank You,” lived in a home fit for a music legend. His previous Napa Valley abode was vast with enough space to park his multitude of cars, and possessed its own vineyard. Stone, 68, told the NYP that during that year, his financial situation took a turn for the worse: His royalty payments stopped. According to the acclaimed Funk pioneer, after he accused his manager, Jerry Goldstein, of fraud, he ceased to receive royalties. Allegedly, he was tricked into signing a rotten contract with Goldstein in 1989, which gave the manager control of his finances in exchange for a weekly salary. In 2010, Stone sued Goldstein for $50 million, to recover 20 years of stolen payments. In addition, the piece alleges that in 1984, Sly Stone “foolishly sold his valuable music-publishing rights to Michael Jackson for a reported $1 million.”
In his heyday, the hit-maker inhabited a lavish 5,432-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion that was home to his countless automobiles and star-studded parties where the likes of Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis were commonplace. Today, Sly Stone resides in his white van, with the words “Pleasure Way” tattooed onto its side. The camper is parked on a residential street of LA’s Crenshaw neighborhood. A local retired couple provide the icon with food and allow him access to their bathroom. Their son acts as his assistant and driver.
Commenting on his current living arrangements, Stone claims
“I like my small camper… I just do not want to return to a fixed home. I cannot stand being in one place. I must keep moving.”
The Funk/Soul master admitted that although he’s written new music, his lack of trust for the music industry prevents him from wanting to sign a record deal – if offered one. However, he did tell the Post that he’s eager to get back on the stage once again.
“But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job, play my music. I’m tired of all this s–t, man.” “But, with new energy, it will feel good to step on stage. I see all the guys playing those old songs. Let these guys know, like Lady Gaga, let me come in, just let me come in and pay me if you like it.”