by Rachel Swan
More than ten years ago, former Express music editor Katy St. Clair wrote about the tragedy that had befallen Rick Stevens, original lead singer of the Oakland soul group Tower of Power and double murder convict. Stevens, whose gorgeous, pliant pipes added luster to such hits as "You're Still a Young Man," was also a known rabble-rouser — he was convicted for fatally shooting two drug dealers in 1976, and received two seven-year-to-life sentences as a result. After years of being a petulant prisoner and showing up to parole hearing wasted — according to former bandmate Emilio "Mimi" Castillo — Stevens managed to find religion and get back on the straight and narrow. And he's reportedly made parole: This past February, the California Board of Parole Hearings recommended Stevens for a June release date. To say he's thankful, after serving 36 years in prison, would be a vast understatement. Stevens is now 72.