Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

July 3, 1969 Sly and the Family Stone appeared with James Brown, Led Zeppelin Jeff Beck, Savoy Brown, Johnny Winter, Jethro Tull, Buddy Guy Blues Band, Mothers Of Invention and Ten Years After at the four day US Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island. (via


I love Sly and the Family Stone. I use this song all the time with the Stingers to thank the audience and introduce the band.

Today in music – Sly @ the Newport Jazz Festival.  I was once cast in a commercial for this festival, many years ago.

I think the casting agent was my old friend Pat Sweeney from Reed Sweeney Reed.  They had offices around the corner from my office on 57th street and 8th Avenue.  I remember when I auditioned they said if you play any other instruments bring them in.

Now three weeks prior to this audition I had bought a silver plated soprano sax.  I didn’t exactly know how to play it yet, but it was very pretty and was a great horn. Even though I was auditioning for piano, I brought it with me.

So at the audition, first I go in with four guys, all heavy hitters in the music industry and I’m playing piano, and they said, “Thanks. Next.” You see, auditions suck.

Then they asked me to play the sax.  I kind of realize that I’m in over my head – I can barely scwark a note out and the band they put me with was some of the dudes from the Saturday Night Live band. I was mortified.  Well, whenever I’m insecure my motto is “Act a fool,” so I start pretending I’m this rock star sax player – honking, squeaking shrill and squawking. I drop to my knees and am so out of breath I fall flat on my back for the last note. I had the guys in the band hysterically laughing. Needless to say I booked the commercial and none of the other guys did.  Luckily I talked them into letting me play piano for the shoot.

When in doubt, act the fool.

Thank you for letting me be myself again.

One thought on “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

  1. Loved your performance!

    In 2002, I was in the studio with Jerry, Freddie, Cynthia, Greg and Rusty. They were working through a few old songs and I happened to be sitting at the keyboards. And guess what, they asked me to join in on “Thank You”.

    To my enduring grief, I didn’t know how to play it! Ten years later, I bought a piano and recently taught myself that classic gem.

    Thank you for listening,
    Reg (still in touch with Greg, Cynthia, Jerry and hear from Rose and Fred every blue moon)

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