Wrong Way

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

9780374606978 fc
Hardcover, MCD × FSG, 2023

Not many memoirs are generational events. But when Sly Stone, one of the few true musical geniuses of the last century, decides to finally tell hislife story, it can’t be called anything else.

As the front man for the sixties pop-rock-funk band Sly and the Family Stone, a songwriter who created some of the most memorable anthems of the 1960s and 1970s (“Everyday People,” “Family Affair”), and a performer who electrified audiences at Woodstock and elsewhere, Sly Stone’s influence on modern music and culture is indisputable. But as much as people know the music, the man remains a mystery. After a rapid rise to superstardom, Sly spent decades in the grips of addiction.

Now he is ready to relate the ups and downs and ins and outs of his amazing life in his memoir, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin). The book moves from Sly’s early career as a radio DJ and record producer through the dizzying heights of the San Francisco music scene in the late 1960s and into the darker, denser life (and music) of 1970s and 1980s Los Angeles. Set on stages and in mansions, in the company of family and of other celebrities, it’s a story about flawed humanity and flawless artistry.

Written with Ben Greenman, who has also worked on memoirs with George Clinton and Brian Wilson, Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) is a vivid, gripping, sometimes terrifying, and ultimately affirming tour through Sly’s life and career. Like Sly, it’s honest and playful, sharp and blunt, emotional and analytical, always moving and never standing still.

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  • “Frank [and] illuminating . . . Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) is a reclamation. Its reward: a centering of Stone’s inimitable voice, a showcase for the flair with which he makes language dance.”

    Lynell George, Alta

  • “A frisky, remarkably vivid and cogent account of [Sly Stone’s] life and career . . . A full-fledged, surprisingly forthcoming and witty memoir . . . An amazing, epic story.”

    Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "[Stone’s] memoir is a gift to fans, a forthright telling of his extraordinary rise from musical prodigy to genre-bending superstar, followed by a decline wrought by the intense pressure of success and heavy drug use . . . Stone’s language is vibrant, laced with playful rhymes and clever turns of phrase . . . Thank You is as complicated and beautiful as Stone himself."

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “There’s a lot to enjoy in [Thank You] . . . Accessible and charming . . . [Sly speaks] from the heart (with a certain cool reserve) while providing a time trip filled with melancholy, wit, and soul.”

    Ellen Fagan, CultureSonar