Sly Stone Announces Memoir, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

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Sly Stone, the elusive soul icon behind Sly and the Family Stone, has announced his memoir. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) is out October 17 via Auwa Books (Questlove’s new publishing imprint in the United States) and White Rabbit Books in the United Kingdom. The book will include a foreword from Questlove and was written with Ben Greenman, who has previously written memoirs with George Clinton and Brian Wilson.

“For as long as I can remember folks have been asking me to tell my story, I wasn’t ready,” Stone said in a statement. “I had to be in a new frame of mind to become Sylvester Stewart again to tell the true story of Sly Stone. It’s been a wild ride and hopefully my fans enjoy it too.”

Sly and the Family Stone had multiple hits in the late 1960s, including “Dance to the Music,” “Everyday People,” and the song behind the new book’s title, “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).” In 1971, the band released what’s considered to be its dark masterpiece, There’s a Riot Goin’ On. The band’s sound was a hybrid of funk, soul, psychedelic rock, and pop. 

News of his memoir may surprise fans who have waited decades for scraps of news on Stone’s whereabouts and wellbeing. For years, he largely receded from the public eye after earning a reputation for substance use, sometimes arriving late or failing to show up for concerts. He made a belated entrance for the band’s 1993 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction speech. Just as Rose Stone said, “As usual, it’s just us,” Sly walked on stage and gave a 15-second speech culminating in “see you soon.” He briefly performed at the 2006 Grammys with Aerosmith, donning a giant mohawk. In 2010, Sly and the Family Stone reunited at Coachella for an hours-late performance where Stone interrupted songs to speak about his legal troubles. It was later reported that he was living out of a camper van.

After the band was prominently featured in Summer of Soul, Questlove revealed he was working on a documentary focusing exclusively on Stone. On the Oscars red carpet last week, Questlove said, “Sly was a genius from the Bay Area that totally transformed music, and we’re going to get deep into the mind state of people, when they get success, why does the temptation to ruin it come into play. It’s going to resonate with all of us.”

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