Friday, July 25, 2008

"I Want To Take You Higher..."

Sly & the Family Stone: 'I Want To Take You Higher' (live at Woodstock, 1969)

Just watched again the concert film Woodstock, on the biggest counter-cultural event of 1960s. The worst excesses of drug-driven lifestyle and rampant commercialism ever more affecting the "underground" had clearly taken their toll by this time and some performances appear no more than self-indulgent hippie dross now; the film's sole highlight for me being Sly & the Family Stone's energetic live take of their 'I Want To Take You Higher', showing the band still at the height of their powers, unlike e.g. Jimi Hendrix who was already at decline during the time of the festival, despite his controversial, electrifying and Zeitgeist-defining guitar improvisation of 'Star-Spangled Banner' being there. Too bad Sly would also lose it on drugs before too long.

(As a technical side-note, it's interesting to notice Sly uses here a "rhythm box" in the song, being probably one of the earliest examples of "machine-driven" funk; Dick Hyman's 1969 Moog version of James Brown's 'Give It Up Or Turn It Loose' being another one.)


Unrelated: Musex (Music Export Finland) also has a blog now --" -- but I seem to be unable to update it to the blogroll for the time being. Blaah, can't think clearly, it's too damn hot...