I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly & the Family Stone
by Jeff Kaliss
Author Jeff Kaliss scored the first face-to-face interview with the reclusive superstar in over 20 years, making this book a must-read for any rock 'n' roll fan. From his anthemic early hits ("I Want to Take You Higher," "Family Affair," "Dance to the Music"), through the moody meditations of "There's a Riot Going On" and beyond, Sly & the Family Stone have left an ind...more
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Backbeat Books
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I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Time of Sly and the Family Stone by Jeff Kaliss (Backbeat Books 2008)(780.92) is a biography of a reclusive former rock star of the 1960's-70's. There were few bigger stars than Sly Stone - he was the king of funk, and then he just disappeared. Is he simply another drug casualty of the era? According to a close friend, the problems began on New Year's Eve 1969 with the introduction of PCP (phencyclidine hydrochloride) into Sly's drug cabinet (p.77). "PCP h...more
Sly's cover on Wax Poetics Magazine introduced me to the magazine, which introduced me to this book, which I then happened across in the public library, and not being one to defy serendipitous encounters, I checked it out and enjoyed the light reading. Overall it was informative, but not what I expected or really wanted. Really I wanted to know the illusive genius behind the lyrics and the sound, and this is why I was disappointed. Beyond rise and descent of Sly's status in pop music, little per...more
This book could have been so much more but still as a love letter to Sly Stone it does a good job. The author reminds you where Sly stands in the pantheon of music legends. It's easy to forget he pretty much created funk/rock wrote a dozen or so classic songs, created the first great integrated large rock band among other achievements all in the space of about 5 very fertile years 67 - 72. It's hard to believe bands such as the Chili Peppers, Earth Wind and Fire and Prince would sound like they...more
I was disappointed by this book because I wanted to read about the messy, crazy Sly, but the author's aim apparently was to be "fair" and "not sensational". As a result, it can be pretty boring and it doesn't help that the book isn't particularly well written. But there's still some pretty good stories and anecdotes, including the time Sly ordered his bodyguards (who were high on PCP and inspired by a recent viewing of "A Clockwork Orange") to attack his bass player's bodyguards at a hotel in L....more
Jeff Kaliss is a San Francisco-based author and periodical writer about rock, jazz, world music, classical music, theater, film, and culture. His biography, "I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly & the Family Stone", is published by Hal Leonard/Backbeat Books. "More about Jeff Kaliss...