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Happy 70th Birthday To R&B/Funk Maven Sly Stone
Geeks of Doom ^ | March 15th, 2013

Posted on 03/15/2013 10:33:07 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Happy 70th birthday today to one of music’s true eccentrics and geniuses, Sly Stone, who with his Family Stone, concocted a blend of genres like R&B, funk, light rock and roll, pop, and even psychedelia into one seamless quilt of songs and sounds that are still passionately loved, remembered, and influential to this day, the master songwriter/songcrafter and ultimate showman.

With songs like “Everyday People,” “Dance to the Music,” “Thank You Fallentinme Be Mice Elf (Agin),” “Stand” “Family Affair,” “If You Want Me To Stay,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” “Everybody is a Star,” “I Want To Take You Higher,” and plenty more, spanning albums through the mid 1960s to the early 1970s, when the band experienced a dizzying carnival ride of success before excess made it spin out of control, largely due to its leader, Sly and the Family Stone ushered in a multi-racial, kind of party-esque musical atmosphere that everyone was allowed to metaphorically imbibe on, a rainbow that everyone was able to surf on, an idyllic ocean filled with waves of notes and good vibes.

They weren’t the first band with Caucasian and African-American members, other genres had already notched that, with some of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ ensembles (notably his line up on Kind of Blue, which sported the white Bill Evans on piano) or Booker T and the MG’s with its mix of white and black men, but both aforementioned lineups were pretty much set in their musical ways, Davis firmly rooted in jazz and Booker T in a kind of jazzy organ tinged funk instrumental R&B skein. Sly Stone (born Sylvester Stewart) took a little of what Booker T was doing, but Sly and the Family Stone really rode their magic carpet that was weaved by giants such as James Brown, Otis Redding, Lee Dorsey, and eventually even people and side by side peers of the times like Jimi Hendrix, Parliament/Funkadelic, Issac Hayes, and The Beatles. They acted as the bridge between what was going on in Detroit’s Motown Records, which were churning out records at a furiously fast clip, each of them top ten or higher hits and what was going on in the deeper south out of Atlantic/Stax Records, where there was a little bit more soul fried musical envelope pushing. Put into the blender and thrown into their own snifter, Sly and the Family Stone bridged the polarized audiences of both those hit making record companies together, and even taught them both a few new tricks.

And it was all pretty much helmed from the master mind and soul of Sly Stone. He was like an R&B Shaman, a musical wizard who had an empty canvas in front of him, easily throwing his own paint on time and time again, creating his own musical masterpieces, dressed to the nines in a kind of bizarrely yet charming for him and fitting like a glove kind of apparel. Each album, each song during Sly and the Family Stone’s glory years seemed to have kind of perfection on them, but not of the cold, stark variety that usually works in concert and tandem with the word perfection. On the contrary, the music that came from his pen and piano was a celebration unlike no other, creating a sonic communal atmosphere and influence that ran broad and wide. It really was a marvel to behold and to listen to. Here was a black man, during one of the most turbulent eras of the times in the late 1960s, on top of his game musically, not pigeonholed or tethered by any supposed genre he was supposed to musically portent (even people like Jimi Hendrix had pressures put upon him to stay mired in his own musical boxes that was expected of him time and time again). If anything, Sly Stone created his own tracks, crafted his own musical railroad, and independently went chugging down it into the horizon, free rides for all, because he and the band had the ultimate free ride, their own musical control.

But for Sly Stone, he too couldn’t escape the indulgences that the ’60s had to offer, by way of the supposed freedom of narcotics. As quickly as all he built up around him that was a gigantic mode of success, which arguably was at it’s peaks when the band did a highly memorable set at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, was also just as quickly crestfallen by the usage of drugs that almost killed him; it certainly killed his career and the reputation of the band, which disbanded as the 1970s hit it’s decade midrange. And ever since then, Sly Stone has not been able to get back on the plank of success and adoration that was paved gold when he was in his glory years. For decades afterwards and right up until today, he has manifested a legend and so has his audience, which have thrown urban legends upon him like darts to the skin, of a sort of latter day Howard Hughes proportions; some reports say he is currently homeless, others deny it, he’s made appearances on stage that have lasted no more than 10 minutes, looking physically garish or bombastic, out-of-control in a fashion sense, disappointing crowds globally to the point of them demanding their money back. There’s still no finger that can put itself on the man, the legend, the urban legend, the enigma and complex or possibly not complex man at all, that is Sly Stone.

But the music remains unscathed. The highlight reels of Sly and the Family Stone still aurally shine and project through the global fabric with the same luster as they had when they first came out of the cardboard sleeves as vinyl singles and 33 and a third records all those decades ago. The music is still fun, exciting, urgent, funky, even turbulent and message laden, (especially songs from the adventurous and critically divided political There’s A Riot Going On album) but above all, they are songs of get down, get loose and party style music of the highest order, raised to the highest level within its genre. Although the artistic works of Sly Stone have not been at that level for decades now, for arguably over 40 years, he still created an indelible stamp on the music world and community. Bands like War and Earth, Wind and Fire and even Santana took the baton after he carelessly and unfortunately dropped it and created their own Sly sounds, yet originally done with their own styles and musical fabrics as well. The influence Sly Stone had on that type of music is immeasurable (and even indirectly on the hip hop/rap genre, which have been sampling elements of classic Sly songs and sounds endlessly), even if the man himself was not able to sustain that kind of influence.

So dance to the music today, stand, and let Sly and the Family Stone take you higher. It’s a family affair indeed, and you and me and everyone are always going to be part of that family. He asked once, on a Sly and the Family Stone monster hit, from what seems like another time altogether, if you want him to stay. The answer to that is, Sly Stone, man, we wish you never would have left. But thanks for dropping off those great tunes in perpetuity for us when you didn’t stay, even though we wanted you to. Have a Happy 70th, wherever you are, you genius you.

Anthology, a 20-song Sly and the Family Stone hits collection, is currently on sale for only $5 in MP3 format.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/15/2013 10:33:07 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Everybody is A Star...


2 posted on 03/15/2013 10:40:38 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (PRISON AT BENGHAZI?????)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
"Everybody is A Star...

Bop, pa-ba-bop-bop-bop, bop, pa-ba-bop-bop-bop-bop...

3 posted on 03/15/2013 10:48:02 PM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: nickcarraway

Who?


4 posted on 03/15/2013 11:14:14 PM PDT by BigCinBigD (...Was that okay?)
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To: Slump Tester

Bop-bop bah-bah-bahhh woooo hoooo hooo hooo hooo hoooooo...


5 posted on 03/15/2013 11:15:01 PM PDT by Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America (PRISON AT BENGHAZI?????)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
“It's a family affair, it's a family affair.....”

Loved that song...can still hear it in my head, and the body starts a moovin’........

6 posted on 03/15/2013 11:34:52 PM PDT by itssme
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To: nickcarraway

Last I heard he was living in his van on the street in Santa Monica. Got money and mental problems. Really sad.


7 posted on 03/15/2013 11:46:52 PM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: nickcarraway; shibumi

BOOM! Ah laka laka laka! ping

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am04NZL8pA4


8 posted on 03/15/2013 11:48:48 PM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: itssme

Now I’m in a mood.

Parliament

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjKFCYzqq-A

Back when ‘black music’ was fun!

[rap ruined everything]

:(


9 posted on 03/15/2013 11:53:45 PM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: Salamander

>>>Headphones!<<<


10 posted on 03/15/2013 11:58:40 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Salamander

I notice Sly used a Hammond (guessing?) B3.

Hammond organs sound like no other. Synth can’t compare.


11 posted on 03/16/2013 12:03:26 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Salamander
Graham Central Station!
12 posted on 03/16/2013 12:16:29 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: nickcarraway

One child grows up to be,
Somebody who just loves to learn

And a-a ~

‘Nother child grows up to be,
Somebody you’d just love to burn

Ma loves the both of them,
Ya see it’s in the blood...yeah...

Both kids are good to Mom,
Blood’s thicker than the mud - it’s a family affair...


13 posted on 03/16/2013 12:22:01 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Salamander
Parliament

Rev up your Motor Booty, baby! On the one!

14 posted on 03/16/2013 12:23:28 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: shibumi

Hey Larry what’s-his-face,
Said he’d teach me how to play the bass...

Since we got a little time to waste,
We might as well get it on...


15 posted on 03/16/2013 12:25:21 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: shibumi

Cerwin Vegas full blast!


16 posted on 03/16/2013 12:28:42 AM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: fidelis
Last I heard he was living in his van on the street in Santa Monica.

Here's a recent street interview with Sly:

Exclusive: Sly Stone Talks Rehab

17 posted on 03/16/2013 12:28:45 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: shibumi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jejadhR_m9w


18 posted on 03/16/2013 12:31:00 AM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: shibumi

I confess...I never missed Soul Train every Saturday when I was a kid.

You’ll love this shocker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8u8mODGOlg

:)

[play that funky music, pasty white boy]


19 posted on 03/16/2013 12:34:39 AM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: Windflier

George and Bootsy were the best.

They don’t make glam like that any more.


20 posted on 03/16/2013 12:35:33 AM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: Salamander
One of my favorite P-Funk jams:

The Freeze - Parliament

21 posted on 03/16/2013 12:37:01 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Salamander
Betty Davis first album was produced by Greg Errico, Sly's drummer, and had Larry Graham on bass, and included many other notable musicians. (Not the actress, she was married to Miles Davis for a year)
22 posted on 03/16/2013 12:39:42 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Salamander

That Bowie clip is like watching one of those “Barbie Doll” women and their porcelain painted .....

Very Uncanny Valley.


23 posted on 03/16/2013 12:39:53 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

Music is the closest thing we’ll ever have to a time machine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2hu2EwCm-k

Who can’t close their eyes and remember a place or a person?


24 posted on 03/16/2013 12:43:14 AM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: Windflier

You’d be shocked at what I have on my iPod, probably.

I know I get some pretty weird looks when it’s blasting through the Harley sound system through town.

:)


25 posted on 03/16/2013 12:45:18 AM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: Salamander

About the Hammond and it’s famous users -

I saw Booker T perform live on the main street (Broadway) of Gary Indiana in 1963. They were hired to do a department store promotion.

The store specialized in “trendy” fashions - lots of sharkskin suits and pointy toed shoes.


26 posted on 03/16/2013 12:45:43 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

I was 2 years old so I missed all that.

:P


27 posted on 03/16/2013 12:51:27 AM PDT by Salamander (We're all kinds of animals comin' round here...occasional demons, too.)
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To: nickcarraway

I grew up on this...13 when they first won that tv show competition

Watched with mom and granny

Nobody really thought of them as a so called black band

Just a psychedelic funk band with afros and jew fros

I saw them several times....loved them

Rare Earth came later....similar

Sly banged Miss Audrey.....now that is an odd pair

And i know her granddaughter today


28 posted on 03/16/2013 12:54:05 AM PDT by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: Salamander
George and Bootsy were the best.

Damn straight. I'm still trying to find the Funkadelic track that first introduced Bootsy to the funk world. Searching...

29 posted on 03/16/2013 12:57:39 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Salamander
You’d be shocked at what I have on my iPod, probably.

I bet I wouldn't. I grew up during the 60s and 70s, and partook of all the best the music world had to offer during those years. My music collection blows a few minds too :-)

30 posted on 03/16/2013 12:59:52 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Salamander
Found it.

Funkadelic - Be My Beach

31 posted on 03/16/2013 1:19:10 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier
I love R&B, but jazz is timeless, timeless...Quincy Jones, Grover Washington, Jr., Stanley Turentine, Eddie Harris, Charles Erland, Miles Davis. And I've left out so many. Did I say timeless?
32 posted on 03/16/2013 1:28:39 AM PDT by itssme
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To: Windflier

P-Funk, Off of America Eats It’s Young:

Biological Speculation

{G Clinton, Ernie Harris}
We’re just a biological speculation
Sittin’ here, vibratin’
And we don’t know what we’re vibratin’ about

And the animal instinct in me
Makes me wanna defend me
It makes me want to live when it’s time to die

Y’all see my point?
I don’t mean to come on strong but I am concerned

I believe in God
Though I know that law and order must prevail
Oh, if and when the laws of man
Is not just, equal and fair
Then the laws of nature will come and do her thing

Oh, she does not think
She just rectifies
She comes and balances the book
Y’all see my point?
Y’all see my point?

We’re just a biological speculation
Sittin’ here, vibratin’
And we don’t know what we’re vibratin’ about

And the animal instinct in me
It makes me wanna defend me
It makes me want to live when it’s time to die

Y’all see my point? (y’all see my point?)
Some of you, you might not be aware
That some of us don’t eat
Some of you don’t, you don’t even care

Oh, if and when the system
Creates hunger and hate
Then the laws of nature will come and do her thing
Oh, yes, oh!

She does not think
She works by instinct
Survival is her thing
Do y’all see my point? (ohh!)
Y’all see my point?


33 posted on 03/16/2013 3:21:43 AM PDT by Third Person (Do the Strandski!)
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To: Obama_Is_Sabotaging_America
Here's Pee Wee Herman snd the Jelly Doughnuts doing a medley of Sly and the Family Stone hits

This was part of a 1981 HBO Special. Someone from the Sly camp must have bitched, because it was left off of all the reprints.

34 posted on 03/16/2013 6:02:13 AM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: nickcarraway

Wow!!!
He’s still alive?
Ah, his stuff is the music of my youth...they don’t make it today like they did then....boomers still ROCK the best, folks!


35 posted on 03/16/2013 6:10:42 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: BigCinBigD

Oh, OUCH!


36 posted on 03/16/2013 6:11:13 AM PDT by matginzac
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To: itssme

Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Oscar Peterson, Kenny Burrell.....

I know, I know, but we’re talkin’ ‘bout the P-funk!


37 posted on 03/16/2013 7:24:08 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Third Person

“Good Thoughts - Bad Thoughts”

Travel like a king
Listen to the inner voice
A higher wisdom is at work for you
Conqering the stumbling blocks come easier
When the conqueror is in tune with the infinite
Every ending is a new beginning
Life is an endless unfoldment
Change your mind, and you change your relation to time
You can find the answer
The solution lies within the problem
The answer is in every question
Dig it?

An attitude is all you need to rise and walk away
Inspire yourself
Your life is yours
It fits you like your skin
The oak sleeps in the acorn
The giant sequoia tree sleeps in its tiny seed
The bird waits in the egg
God waits for his unfoldment in man
Fly on, children
Play on

You gravitate to that which you secretly love most
You meet in life the exact reproduction of your own thoughts
There is no chance, coincidence or accident
In a world ruled by law and divine order
You rise as high as your dominant aspiration
You descend to the level of your lowest concept of your self
Free your mind and your ass will follow

The infinite intelligence within you knows the answers
Its nature is to respond to your thoughts
Be careful of the thought-seeds you plant in the garden of your mind
For seeds grow after their kind
Play on, children

Every thought felt as true
Or allowed to be accepted as true by your conscious mind
Take root in your subconscious
Blossoms sooner or later into an act
And bears its own fruit
Good thoughts bring forth good fruit
Bullshit thoughts rot your meat
Think right, and you can fly
The kingdom of heaven is within
Free your mind, and your ass will follow
Play on, children
Sing on, lady

- George Clinton


38 posted on 03/16/2013 9:08:26 AM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

I stand P-funk corrected! ;)


39 posted on 03/16/2013 12:46:20 PM PDT by itssme
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To: nickcarraway

IMHO they put on the best performance of all at Woodstock.


40 posted on 03/16/2013 12:47:34 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

That’s not surprising.


41 posted on 03/16/2013 2:25:46 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: wardaddy
Nobody really thought of them as a so called black band

I don't think they were intended to be a black band. There were black and white members. Stone (Stewart) was a DJ before, and was involved in both soul and rock. He produced the Beau Brummels, a white folk rock band, including their biggest songs, Laugh, Laugh, and Just a Little.

42 posted on 03/16/2013 2:30:41 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Windflier
Awwwww yeah....


43 posted on 03/16/2013 3:59:01 PM PDT by Third Person (Do the Strandski!)
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To: matginzac

“Ah, his stuff is the music of my youth...they don’t make it today like they did then....boomers still ROCK the best, folks!”

Remember: The next time a boomer tells you his generation invented rock music, remind him that that’s of course bogus and that it was Elvis and the other Depression babies who did that (boomers were just the kids buying the records)


44 posted on 03/16/2013 4:31:43 PM PDT by Strk321
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To: Third Person
I used to love artist Pedro Bell's psychedelic portraits of the band. He crafted an out-of-this-world persona for them that added almost as much to the mystique as their music did.

Pedro also wrote all of the bizarre liner notes for their albums, from 'Cosmic Slop', forward. It was a perfect artistic combination. I still have a letter he wrote to me, which is embellished with his usual crazy artwork and space opera psychobabble.

45 posted on 03/16/2013 4:42:59 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: Windflier

Very cool. Straight from the Mothership...

From Sly to Clinton, it got me thinking about Arthur Lee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk_9LXsWwcU


46 posted on 03/16/2013 5:05:47 PM PDT by Third Person (Do the Strandski!)
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To: Strk321

No way, Jose....
Elvis borders on pop rock...
Zeppelin, Stones, Sly, The Who, Santana, Hendrix...totally rocked....
Case closed.


47 posted on 03/16/2013 6:43:26 PM PDT by matginzac
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