Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron 1949--2011

The original rapper -- well, one of them, anyway -- has passed.

An interesting guy. I can't say I was a huge fan -- although I saw him live once, at a concert for Arista Records, in which he shared the stage with Patti Smith and Barry Manilow (I am not making this up) -- but his 1977 anti-nuke "We Almost Lost Detroit" is obviously even more relevant than ever.

And I really rather like his cover of that Bill Callahan song we argued about last week (from his most recent album)

Like I said, an interesting guy. Although after seeing that video and learning that Scott-Heron was two years younger than me, I have to admit I'm rather pleased at how I'm holding up.


Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

Man, I hadn't seen a picture of him in years. Must've been tough years.

Anonymous said...

Rest in Peace, Gil.

I remember reading a piece on him last year or so. Probably when his last album came out - maybe it was the New Yorker. Apparently drugs had a hold on him to be feared - he never let it go. Or maybe it's the other way around.

Like many, wasn't a huge fan, but liked a lot Johannesburg-era stuff. Just realized as I listened to this video again, that, to my ears, the guitar part has a very Nick Drake vibe to it. Someone had REALLY good ears to have envisioned this version of the song from the Callahan original.

Anyway, always a tradgedy when someone passes like this.


Anonymous said...

Barry Manilow.




Anonymous said...

He had such an enormous influence on hip hop. R.I.P!

dave™© said...

What's the word?
Tell me have you heard -

steve simels said...

Don't be silly, Dave -- everybody knows that the bird is the word.

dave™© said...

Would have been interesting to hear Gil do THAT one!


Anonymous said...

Was mostly familiar with GS-H from college radio in the '70s; found him interesting but never bought. Surprised by how much I liked the new LP. Favorite track? New York Is Killing Me

racymind said...

I am also pleased at how well you are holding up!