- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Blast from the past

After 25 years, Sly Stone is speaking.

The famously reclusive funkster broke his silence by granting his first interview since the 1980s to Vanity Fair, Associated Press reports. In the magazine’s August issue, the frontman of the late ‘60s band Sly and the Family Stone talks about his music, his disappearance from public view and his long-awaited return.

Mr. Stone, 64, who made a brief, blond Mohawked appearance at the 2006 Grammys, says he plans to start work on a new album in the fall.

But after more than two decades away from the spotlight, why come back now?

“ ’Cause it’s kind of boring at home sometimes,” says the musician, whose hits include “Everyday People,” “Dance to the Music,” and “Stand!”

He is humble when asked about his contributions to music and unapologetic when pressed about his reputation for missing gigs. Though he has been isolated, he says he’s been enjoying life.

“I do regular things a lot,” Mr. Stone says. “But it’s probably more of a Sly Stone life. It’s probably … it’s probably not very normal.”

Author skewers Ross

Author J. Randy Taraborrelli, who penned a scathing 1989 tell-all about Diana Ross (“Call Her Miss Ross: An Unauthorized Biography of Diana Ross“) apparently hasn’t finished digging up dirt on the former Motown star.

The one-time Supreme fired her entire staff after unflattering stories about her found their way into the papers, Denverpost.com reports, citing an account from Mr. Taraborrelli’s “Diana Ross,” due out in September.

According to the book, those around Miss Ross were routinely asked to avoid eye contact with the diva.

She often demanded that her concert dressing rooms be redone for her arrival.

“She asked that it be made to look like a star’s dressing room,” recalls one venue manager forced to repaint and re-carpet.

Once, Mr. Taraborelli writes, Miss Ross reportedly clubbed an airline worker with a hat box, presumably unaware that the box contained a small dog.

Yet, it was personal assistant Michael Browne who bore the brunt of Miss Ross‘ imperious ways, the author says.

He put up with her then-9-year-old daughter, Tracee, who was known for carrying a notebook and pencil everywhere she went.

If she saw one of Miss Ross‘ functionaries doing something she thought was wrong, she would jot it down and later report it to her mother, Mr. Taraborelli says.

Rod’s son in court

Rod Stewart’s son pleaded not guilty yesterday to felony charges stemming from an attack on a couple outside a party in the Hollywood Hills, AP reports.

Sean Stewart, 26, one of the stars of the A&E; reality show “Sons of Hollywood,” was arrested last month after being sued in May by Tobalus and Ericka Stein. According to media reports, Mr. Stewart and his friends were angry about being denied entry to a party in the Hollywood Hills. He remains free on $60,000 bail .

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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