Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron, Voice of Black Culture - Poet, Musician, Social Critic - Dies at 62

I first discovered Gil Scott-Heron when I heard "Angel Dust" in the 70's while still in high school. The song, recorded with Brian Jackson, made a strong impact on me as his lyrics conjured the destructive loss of control and violent chaos that the street drug was wreaking on many of its users. I stayed away from Dust and that was likely the result of listening to what became one of my favorite songs over and over again. What I didn't realize until reading his obituary was that Scott-Heron had been a novelist at the age of nineteen, and I now see a strong literary influence and story-telling aspect in all his music. Of course, it's tragic that Gil Scott-Heron succumbed to the nightmare of addiction several times over the years, and that we lost a couple of decades of his work in this way, but I will always regard Gil as a brilliant voice speaking truth to power and I hope he will always be remembered that way. In the mid-80's I saw Gil Scott-Heron perform at a small club in Detroit, we were just a few rows away, and it was thrilling to see the man do his thing up close. I don't remember the show well, we were all pretty toasty and it was 25 years ago, but I do recall that the man had a lot to say that night. The fight goes on, in a timeless sort of continuum filled with the words and music of Gil Scott-Heron, a troubled man in a troubled world, and one of my heroes. The Revolution will not be televised...

WRTC Radio Archive Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron

I just added this link as it's the first thoughtful and detailed piece I've seen on GSH and his influence. This one transcends an obituary.
Gil Scott-Heron's Revolution

Gil Scott-Heron - The Bottle

Gil Scott-Heron, Poet and Musician, Has Died

Spoken Word Musician Gil Scott-Heron Dies in New York

Gil Scott-Heron - Poet, Musician, Social Critic - Dies at 62

A link to several performance clips of Gil Scott-Heron going back to the 70's.

Truthdigger of the week: Gil Scott-Heron

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