ABOUT THE BOOK I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly & the Family Stone (Hal Leonard/Backbeat Books, 2008) is the first biography of Sly and the band based on author interviews with Sly and others connected with him and the Family Stone.
The book traces the roots in North Texas of the boy born Sylvester Stewart, and follows him and his siblings from the family's move to Vallejo, California and their first childhood recordings of gospel music, through their growing up with rock 'n' roll in the 1950's, Sly's high school doo wop group and romances, and his precocious success as a record producer and radio deejay.
The Family Stone band, which included Sylvester, Freddie, and Rose Stewart, is followed from its formation in San Francisco on to national and international fame, seemingly celebrating the '60s rebellion against racial, sexual, musical, and behavioral conventions. Along with the memorable music, the rewards and temptations of fame are examined, as are Sly's ensuing alienation from his fellow bandmembers and his public and his years as a notorious but legendary recluse. The story concludes with Sly's recent reemergence to the hopes of his public and the abiding devotion of his family and friends.
Where to buy the book.
By all means visit your local bookstore, especially if you can make one of our readings. Here are some online sources for I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly & the Family Stone: