SLY STONE WAS IN AN ESPECIALLY UPBEAT MOOD when photographer Norman Seeff shot this L.A. session for the 1974 album, Small Talk. “His music had such a scintillating vitality, and that’s exactly how I found him to be as a person,” Seeff recalls. “He was like, ‘Hey, whatever you want, I’m here.’ And then he would deliver.” Stone’s positive frame of mind appeared to be rooted in his new role as a husband and father, something Seeff observed when part of the shoot was done at Stone’s home. “Sly was dancing with his wife, Kathy, and doting on the baby with such delight. Members of the band were there, too. Everyone was warm and embracing,” says Seeff. When substance abuse and other demons scuttled Stone’s brilliant career, Seeff wasn’t entirely surprised. “Even though the family vibe was there, I could sense this was rock ’n’ roll, and things could go in any direction,” he says. Nonetheless, Seeff retains fond memories of the session. “Sly was full of energy and his mood never took a turn at any time,” he says. “He and everyone else seemed to be on a natural high. That seemed to be his lifestyle, where every day was a kind of celebration.”

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