More on Gil Scott-Heron

I wrote this piece, in less than optimal conditions.  It was late on Friday night after a big angry bear of a day and I was beat.  Then I heard the news. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.  Even though the scathing social critic/poet/magnificent singer part of the Gil Scott-Heron had been scarce for years, I never took the role of dispassionate critic.  No, instead I remained hopeful fan, maintaining faith that the gaunt, drug addicted man that Gil had become would straighten up, fly right and drop some bombs of the avatars of the Fox News Channel.  Think about it for a second, Gil in his prime against the right wing commentariat, fun stuff indeed.

I’m delighted by the piece and the fantastic editing on it.  All weekend appreciations of Gil cited “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,”  we argue that he’s much, much more than that.  And he was.  “17th St.” fortified my desire to move to New York City as did so many of his other songs.  I spent much of my teenaged years living in a suburban-like townhouse in Dallas.  Gil’s was a voice reminding me that the world was much bigger than what I could experience, and that elsewhere, there were kindred spirits.  I’d just have to get offa my ass and go find them.

Gil’s stopped being the idol of my youth a long time ago, and his death simply makes his absence official.  I don’t think of death as a loss, but as an addition to the responsibility we have to maintain and represent.  We need to revive the guerilla of those ’70s album covers, and use the media at our disposal to create updates of H2Ogate Blues.


About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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