The Family Stone performs regularly at casinos and state fairs and other events around the country. Yoshi's is the smallest venue on the band's schedule in many years, and it brings Martini to the city that helped begat Sly and the Family Stone all those years ago. Martini says even then, he knew the band would achieve success. Martini was the one who suggested the group form, going to Sly when Sly was still a DJ at an Oakland radio station and telling him he should front a group.
"Sly and I go back to the '50s," says Martini, who attended San Francico's Balboa High School. "I saw (the future) when I met him when we were kids. I looked at him and I said, 'Oh, my God.' He is such a great songwriter. None of his really great songs were made hits. He was such a visionary that he couldn't handle it, I don't think. Our first album was a lot heavier, so to speak. It was rejected because everybody said, 'There's not enough formula here.' So he goes, 'all right.' And he goes home, and the next thing I know we're putting out "Dance to the Music," which is very predictable, very pop. He said, 'I'll give them what they want.' "
Martini says that "it's more fun than ever" to perform the songs, which have been kept alive in films like Shrek. "There's only one Sly and we can't duplicate Sly," says Martini, "but we're coming pretty darn close."