Woke up to hear the news of the premature death of Gil Scott Heron aged 62.
He rose to fame during the early 70’s and is perhaps best remembered for his song “The Revolution will not be televised”
A poet, writer, singer and author his influence cannot be underestimated. He fought drug and alcohol addiction through his brief life but retained his voice of protest.
He leaves a back catalogue of 15 studio albums,11 compilations and 9 live recordings.
Considering his best known song/poem/recording is from 1970 he was ahead of the game. Though as we have seen in the last few months, the revolutions are being televised (and tweeted) when possible, but the sentiment and thought behind the song still rings true.
Update Paul Evans (with kind permission from Moochin) adds: Here’s a few vids being passed around Facebook this morning:
Gil at his furious didactic best.
Gil’s life was a long battle with addiction – this one is very poignant today (“Home is where the needle marks… tried to cure my broken heart..”)
This is his response to the election of Ronald Reagan. Its easy to be distracted by the message, but the music behind these lyrics was always quite superb.
This is a bit more understated but just as pointed:
Again – more fury – this time, the Bicentennial Blues:
… and this fabulous groove that really got into the heart of where the blues came from – ‘John Coltrane and Lady Day’:
… and this on America’s priorities in the 1970s:
Further update: How could I have forgotten to add his fantastic cover of Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues?
Further further update: I keep remembering really essential sides. This is the H2OGate Blues – very prescient……