Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where is Gil Scott Heron (and Where Was He When We Needed Him the Most)

I was going through my CDs recently, searching for just the right CD to fit my mood for the moment, when I ran across my collection of Gil Scott Heron CDs. It’s been a while since I last grooved with Gil, so I threw it in and sat back.

I forgot what an absolute beast Gil was. Gil’s shit was always on the money. And what’s so amazing, it’s still relevant even now. Substitute Bush for Nixon and Cheney for Agnew, and all of a sudden, it’s a contemporary piece. It looks like republicans have been up to the same all shit for some time now.

Most people have heard “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” But Gil’s contribution is much greater than that. For a time, he was our griot, our mouthpiece. He stayed in Ronald Reagan’s ass. Poems like “H2O Gate Blues,” “Bicentennial Blues,” “B-Movie” and “Pardon the Analysis” tackled the hypocrisy and other extraneous foolishness in Washington through several administrations. If I might quote poet Etheridge Knight, “He had been our Destroyer,/ the doer of things. We dreamed of doing but could not bring ourselves to do.” He said the shit we wanted to day; he was the voice of our frustrations and misgivings.

The Bush administration might have been more bearable had we had the voice of Gil Scott Heron been available. Check out my Gil Scott Heron playlist below. It contains a couple of the poems mentioned above as well as two of my favorites.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I know that he got in a little trouble, but after he did his penance, I fully expected him to return to the stage and the studio. However, I have heard very little from him except a set at SOB’s in New York City which is embedded below. Come on back Gil; we need you more than ever.


Related Posts with Thumbnails