Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin): A Memoir (Hardcover)
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, and in collaboration with Arlene Hirschkowitz, 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.
Ben Greenman is a New York Times bestselling author and New Yorker contributor who has written both fiction and nonfiction. His novels and short-story collections include The Slippage and Superbad, he was Questlove's collaborator on Mo’ Meta Blues and Something to Food About, and he has written memoirs with George Clinton and Brian Wilson. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, McSweeney's, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere.
MOJO Magazine Book of the Year
Sunday Times (London) Music Book of the Year
“It is difficult to convey how unlikely it is that this book exists. Sly Stone is one of pop music’s truest geniuses and greatest mysteries . . . No one else has fully conjured the remarkable balance of virtuosity and universality, joy and pain . . . Thank You gives a strong sense of this giant’s voice and sensibility."
—Alan LIght, The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
“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
“Thank You is a brisk, crackling tour through the highs and lows of Sly’s life… It’s a fascinating, revealing, and sometimes difficult read…an unusual, fitfully beautiful, and surprisingly emotional reading experience, and by its end I realized that it had left me with something previously unthinkable,
one more act of self-reinvention from a genius of American music.”
—Jack Hamilton, Slate
“In Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), Sly Stone recounts his career without shame, pity,
or biting his tongue, giving us the really real of his fruitful but chaotic life.”
—Michael A Gonzales, The Wire (UK)
“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
“[Thank You] overflows with wit and wordplay [and] vivid accounts from recording studios, concert stages and star-studded parties.”
—Christopher Weber, Associated Press
“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
“[Thank You] overflows with wit and wordplay . . . Fans will certainly appreciate the vivid accounts from recording studios, concert stages and star-studded parties.”
—Christopher Weber, Associated Press
"[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)
"It’s unadulterated, unapologetic Sly."