Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 13 News List

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Lindsay Lohan just reached the legal drinking age.

PHOTO: AP

The comeback tour of US funk star Sly Stone has made an inauspicious start in Europe following several short, disjointed performances by the reclusive 1970s icon.

After spending only 20 minutes on stage at the Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland last week, the 64-year-old musician performed only four-and-a-half songs during his latest gig in the southern French city of Nice.

True to his reputation as an unpredictable, combustible character, he walked off stage after 10 minutes leaving his backing band, known as the Family Stone, to keep the audience entertained.

Half and hour later, the brooding singer, hidden behind big sunglasses and baseball cap, reappeared to sing for another 10 minutes before disappearing for the final time.

Sly and the Family Stone began in 1967 and rose to stardom with their mix of memorable live performances and powerful music, a fusion of funk, gospel, psychedelic rock and acid jazz.

Hits included Stand!, Everyday People, and Family Affair, which still get regular radio playtime 30 years after their emergence.

Starting in the mid-1970s however, Sly Stone, real name Sylvester Stewart, became known as much for his erratic behavior as for his groundbreaking albums.

After suffering from drug addiction, Sly vanished in the mid-1980s and spent almost two decades out of the public eye when no one, even his former bandmates, knew where he was.

He reappeared to great surprise - sporting a blonde mohican - for a performance at the Grammys in 2006 before announcing his mini European tour.

But the recent concerts, where Sly has looked weakened by his years of drug abuse and psychological problems, have been a far cry from his explosive displays at Woodstock or the times he shared stages with Jimi Hendrix.

By contrast, the Family Stone backing band has got younger, with only one of the original line up, trumpet player Cynthia Robinson, remaining.

A fan at the Nice Jazz festival, where Sly performed on Thursday, summed up the impression left by the ageing entertainer, who had nonetheless started brightly with a rendition of hit If You Want Me to Stay. "You can tell he's been through a lot," said the fan.

The tour, which began at the beginning of the month, has included dates in Italy, Switzerland and France and will travel to Spain and the UK.

Much younger party animal Lindsay Lohan has turned herself in to police to face charges of drunken driving in connection with a May car crash, a week after leaving a 45-day rehab program.

Lohan, 21, went to the Beverly Hills Police Department late Thursday to be fingerprinted, photographed and booked on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run, Beverly Hills police officer Ryan Balleweg said.

Authorities will decide later whether to charge her.

The allegations stem from a May 26 incident in which she lost control of her Mercedes-Benz sports car and drove into a hedge. She then left the scene. Police said at the time they also found a small amount of what they believed to be cocaine in the car.

The incident followed months of hard partying by the Freaky Friday and Mean Girls star, who had been a regular at Hollywood nightspots and attending Alcoholics Anonymous programs for a year despite having turned 21 - the legal age for drinking in the US - only this month.

Lohan, who shot to fame as a child actress in The Parent Trap, is the latest in a string of young Los Angeles celebrities, including hotel heiress Paris Hilton, to run into trouble for drunken driving.

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