Sept. 4, 2008
-- Sly Stone and the Family Stone – Back on the Road Again?
After forty years of anticipation in three historic sets, over as many days, Sly and the Family Stone made their first ever historic appearances on the island nation of Japan. Masterfully led by the ever gregarious Stone himself, the band comprised of no less than four of the original Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members (Sly Stone, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini) began the assault on August 31st when they knocked out fans at the Tokyo International forum to close out the 2008 Tokyo Jazz Festival and then later on September 2nd reappeared for two more intimate shows at the famed Tokyo Blue Note club.
It was reported by the promoters that fans of the band showed their earnest support by snatching up the thousands of tickets offered for all of the performances in a reported twenty minutes after they went on sale.
Reminiscent of the Beatle’s era, many Japanese fans were moved to tears and adulation during the bands landmark Blue Note club performances and at least one fan passed out from shear excitement and anticipation as Sly Stone himself took the stage. One fan stated that it was the culmination of “a forty year dream for Japan” and that “For many Japanese to see the legend in person is the greatest musical experience of their life”.
The impressively reworked Family Stone is creatively rounded out by the addition of Musical Director/Guitarist Tony Yates, Singer Lisa Stone (Sly’s Niece), Bassist Pete Yates, Drummer Stefon “Spider” Dubose, Keyboardist Tony Stead and Trombone player Mike Rinta.