Friday, March 12, 2010

Gil Scott-Heron on the Finally Friday Freekout

Gil Scott-Heron is a brilliant, complex and flawed man. I do not mean disrespect when I say flawed. To survive your demons and create again is a joyous event. This makes him flawed and an example of a perfect human being. I learned long ago not to put people on a pedestal. It is a good way to get my feelings hurt.

I want to pay tribute to his work and his talent. A bunch of us are in front of our monitors tearing up happy because he working on new material and is starting a tour.

On my desk I have the album, Winter in America. No fooling, Strata-East stereo SES-19742. On the inside cover Gil wrote:

There is a restlessness within our souls that keeps us questioning, discovering and struggling against a system that will not allow us space and time for fresh expression.

I know that I am not the only person who used the Internet to find and keep tabs on him. Back in the text only days folks shared what they knew, that he was in England, that he was in chemical bondage or in trouble. Sometimes of his own making.

I know I would check into the flow and find out he was in some mess and silently murmur; “Come on back Gil, come, on back.” Because when you can write and perform lyrics like The Bottle” then I will not accept anything from young men who want to fill me with how proud they are of killing each other and subjugating women while they themselves are being subjugated by the music industry.

Gil is on tour to support his new CD/iTunes download “I’m New Here.” I am seriously scheming on how I can make his California shows but logistically I can’t make it work. If I have to get a passport so be it; I am that committed to seeing him again.

I have to go but I want to say that I grew up in a time of Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets. Gil Scott-Heron is needed in this time and space.

Time for incubation is over. There is much work to do to inspire new voices in the changes to come. I'm not asking him to do his old stuff, but that is ok if he wants to. Gil does not have to be political, the personal will do. But if he happens to want to speak on the rampant pride of stupidity it would be appreciated.

If he wants to speak of transcendence that would be even better. But Father Lyrical do what you need to do man, just be present.

I want to leave you with a few of the comments I found on his site. This is how deep it is in our hearts:
It’s always a big void to fill when the voice of the “chosen one” is silent. New spring means new life, remember the cleansing, remember Haiti. Winter is only a temporary time so don’t give up. I’m always and always will be pro “GSH” for better or worse good times and bad.
I’m now 50 years old and play your music for my 6 year old son and 2 year old daughter and they enjoy it! My wife is much younger than I, she’s been advised that if I die before her play only your music at my funeral! I pray I shake your hand before then and say thank you-brother! Until then stay well...
I have always wished I could hug your pain away. I know this is where your music comes from, so I respect it. Thank you for continuing the fight to share. We need you. Stay up! Know that you are Blessed and Loved.

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