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Happy Birthday Gil!
March 31, 2009 8:53 PM   Subscribe

April Fools Day, 2009 also means happy 60th birthday to one of my favorite musicians, Gil Scott-Heron (previously). From his popular early works like the heavily referenced "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", "Whitey On The Moon", and "The Bottle", to his continued productions and tours over the decades, he's had a few hurdles, but never stopped. For more on his life and music, here's a great documentary from a few years back (MLYT): pt. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
posted by p3t3 (26 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good post
posted by mattoxic at 8:56 PM on March 31, 2009


thanks, p3t3
posted by madamjujujive at 9:09 PM on March 31, 2009


I discovered Gil Scott-Heron earlier this year, and actually called my father to demand to learn why I hadn't been informed of him earlier. (Of course I learned that he'd hepped me to him a long time ago, and that of course I knew "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"). But I think "The Bottle" is a particularly fine song, and I'm glad to have (re)discovered him.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:10 PM on March 31, 2009


Jeez, how dopey am I - I honestly had it in my head that GSH had died a couple of years back. I am very glad to discover I was wrong.
posted by pascal at 9:32 PM on March 31, 2009


Oops, I just noticed that in my link to the previous mefi post, I mistakenly linked to a down-thread reply instead of the main post, but I'm sure you're all smart enough to not let that confuse you.

Also, I'm sure lot's of mefites already know and love Gil, but thought he deserved a new post when I happened to be checking his wiki the other day and noticed his birthday today. And for those of you who didn't know Gil yet, have fun digging in!
posted by p3t3 at 9:34 PM on March 31, 2009


Nice post, p3t3. (No fooling, despite the date.) G S-H's unusually strong Best of album came out 25 years ago. One of my favorite numbers, which you don't hear as much about — and which must have been a heavy influence for Michael Franti's Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy almost 10 years later — is the wonderful Re-Ron.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:37 PM on March 31, 2009


Love this song:

Ever feel kinda of down and out and don't know just what to do?
Livin' all of days in darkness, let the sun shine through
Ever fell that somehow, somewhere you lost your way?
And if you don't get help you won't make it through the day
You could call on Lady Day!
You could call on John Coltrane!
They'll wash your troubles, your troubles away

Plastic people with plastic minds on their way to plastic homes
There's no beginning, there ain't no ending
just on and on and on and on and...
It's all because we're so afraid to say that we're alone
until our hero rides in, rides in on his saxophone
You could call on Lady Day!
You could call on John Coltrane!
They'll wash your troubles, your troubles away


Happy birthday Gil, you mean a lot to me.
posted by furtive at 9:37 PM on March 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Winter in America
posted by marsha56 at 9:39 PM on March 31, 2009


whew... reading some of those YT comments was like a trip back 50 years and 1500 miles south. Peep quoting Stormfront and all.
posted by edgeways at 9:44 PM on March 31, 2009


my birthday too! thanks for all the hate
posted by ChickenringNYC at 10:22 PM on March 31, 2009


Also, I'm sure lot's of mefites already know and love Gil, but thought he deserved a new post when I happened to be checking his wiki the other day and noticed his birthday today.

Yeah I love Gil, but you were right, I had no idea it was his 60th. Thanks for the very nice post!
posted by ob at 10:32 PM on March 31, 2009


Black history
posted by Wolof at 10:36 PM on March 31, 2009


my birthday too! thanks for all the hate

Sorry I forgot - Happy Birthday also to ChickenringNYC, Jimmy Cliff, Method Man, and Apple Computers, and everyone else!
posted by p3t3 at 11:13 PM on March 31, 2009


Sweet. Now if only someone would reissue his 1980 album...
posted by black8 at 11:38 PM on March 31, 2009


Damn I am not on that Wikipedia article but it is my birthday today too. ChickenringNYC, did your family also play hideous pranks on you as a child scarring you if not for life then at least for as long as your memory is intact?
posted by sixswitch at 2:46 AM on April 1, 2009


GSH first popped on my radar early in the first season of SNL. Apparently Lorne Michaels' having GSH as musical guest was Richard Pryors precondition for hosting.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:05 AM on April 1, 2009


Rhythmatic, systematic, world control. Magnetic, genetic, to match your soul...
posted by jonp72 at 6:26 AM on April 1, 2009


Ain't really real life, ain't really real life, ain't really, ain't nothing but a movie.

I loves me some Gil Scott-Heron.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:32 AM on April 1, 2009


celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! Good post!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 7:33 AM on April 1, 2009


Gil Scott Heron, mad props. When he's on target, which is frequently, he's the best. Pieces of a Man is incredible, and there's still nothing like listening to him rant about Natalie Wood, Creighton Abrams, John Mitchell, and the Rare Earth.
posted by blucevalo at 7:35 AM on April 1, 2009


B Movie.

Had to post the link -- I love this "song." I had the lyrics wrong but I don't care, I don't care; this song is just so fine. It starts with a long political rap, and it seems quite timely even today, twenty years on.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:36 AM on April 1, 2009


Happy Birthday, Gil Scott-Heron!

i got to see him play in Seattle years ago - one of the most memorable concerts of my life

i remember him telling the band he needed the stage to himself - and he sat down alone at the piano and began to play a medley: Home is Where the Hatred Is was in there, and Pieces of a Man - and the raw pain and loss he offered up for everyone to see was like nothing i had ever seen or heard before - and then he ended with Beginnings

it was like getting my heart wrenched out and then given back more whole and full than it had been before - and i realized i was crying and began to feel embarassed to be doing so in public - but then saw that the folks around me were crying too - and then we were all on our feet and the applause sounded like a tsunami hitting shore - like i said: memorable

thank you, Gil Scott-Heron - the world is a better place for all that you have given it

(and thank you, too, p3t3! you just made my day)
posted by jammy at 7:59 AM on April 1, 2009


almost forgot:

don't miss First in Flight - a great cut from Blackalicious featuring Gil
posted by jammy at 8:16 AM on April 1, 2009


Love this guy. I can't believe he's ONLY 60, actually. I've seen photos of him semi-recently and, man, he looked like he'd been through the wringer.

Two of the most prized jewels in my music collection are Small Talk at 125th & Lexington and an import of Moving Target, which is much better than is generally agreed.

Great great musician.

(jammy: I frickin' love "First in Flight." Blackalicious are tremendously good.)
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:38 AM on April 1, 2009


jammy: I frickin' love "First in Flight." Blackalicious are tremendously good.

dang skippy! Gift of Gab is an incredible rapper - his solo work is totally worth checking out (hell, the entire Quannum crew is worth checking out really...)

and thanks Dr. Wu for reminding me of Moving Target - features one of my favorite cuts from Mr. Scott-Heron, one that doesn't get nearly enough play: Blue Collar
posted by jammy at 3:27 PM on April 1, 2009


There's this.

Somewhere, someone's head just exploded.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:53 PM on April 1, 2009


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