Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Least that Can Be Said

At around eight last night the news of Gil Scott Heron's death was trending on Twitter. Jamie Byng, who had published some of Heron's work last year had put the news out that he had passed. It was not a hoax.

The first time I heard him was at WCVF.

I was seventeen, a white kid from the suburbs. I'd never heard anything like this. The tone, rhythm and timbre of his voice was great. The anger, relevance and intelligence of his words was impressive.

Over the next decades we went in different directions. He was jailed a couple of times, had a number of personal issues.

Last year he released his first record in sixteen years.

His voice a rasp due to cigarettes and who knows what else, he looked older than his 62 years. He was still relevant, and certainly had something left to say.

As a poet, his influence was astonishing. He was rapping, slamming, performing poetry on stage well before any other poet had thought up the act. I went back and found some of his earlier work, what I had missed. Damn, he was good.

Also found out his father, Gil Heron, was the first black player to play for Celtic FC, in Glasgow, in the 1950's. That only increases the coolness.

No cause of death has been revealed. It's said he became sick after coming back from Europe.

I wrote this last year, as a thank you.

The Revolution was Not in the Program Guide
(Apologizes to Gil Scott-Heron)

The revolution was not televised
It was not tivoed, nor recorded onto anyone's hard drive
The revolution was not cancelled due to lack of ratings
It did not get any blog hits, nor followers on twitter
The revolution was not seen on youtube, hulu, fox, or cnn
It was not streamed
It is not available for download
The revolution was not voted off of American Idol
It does not come in diet or lite form
The revolution contained no high fructose corn syrup
If you call in the next ten minutes you will not get extra revolution
There will be no DVD release of the revolution with bonus footage or director's commentary
There are no hidden tracks, or Easter eggs
The revolution did not take steroids or growth hormones
The revolution did not last up to four hours so we do not need to seek medical treatment for it

The revolution should not be handled by pregnant women,
or women who want to become pregnant
It does not have a pre existing condition
The revolution has no poll numbers, personal assistant or staff
It makes its own coffee
The revolution has not been interviewed by Larry King nor guest hosted on the View
It has not been seen on a kindle
The revolution does not have premium content
It has not been outsourced but may have been downsized
The revolution was not a part of the cash for clunkers program
It is not green, nor a hybrid
Steve Jobs is not working on a program called iRevolution
You cannot hear it in headphones
The revolution is not made out of cupcakes
The revolution was not factory farmed
It does not drink tea
The revolution did not get a golden parachute of stock options
It is not password protected
The revolution has a soundtrack that does not include Lady Gaga
You cannot play the revolution on a Wii
It cannot be exchanged for frequent flier mileage
The revolution is gone, but not missed and may be remade as a Hollywood film
The revolution does not need to fill out a census form
The revolution does not require a loyalty card
It endorses no one and nothing
The revolution, will not be winnable


zig said...

My favorite local radio show had a tribute all afternoon today. I'd never heard of him before reading your post this morning but really enjoyed what they played.

Someone Said said...

Very cool he got a tribute on the radio. Check out his work, he's all over youtube.