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Gil Scott Heron anyone?


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Any fans out there? Recently, I was reminded of Heron by the also-excellent work of Michael Franti and Spearhead. I'm a bit surprised that I don't hear more rappers mention him. Surely his spoken-word protest vocals over often deep funk were an important precursor to hip hop.

 

Anyway, now rediscovering and digging... a lot!

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine

 

Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse

 

 

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A rat done bit my sister Nell

And whitey's on the moon

Her face got puffy and her throat did swell

And whitey's on the moon

 

Haven't heard any Heron for a long time. I reckon I'm about due...

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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The full lyrics for the uninitiated- I forgot to get the date. Imagine a little low-key earthy funk in the background with an angry Black voice pulling the words live from his soul...

 

THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

You will not be able to stay home, brother.

You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.

You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,

Skip out for beer during commercials,

Because the revolution will not be televised.

 

The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox

In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.

The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon

blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John

Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat

hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.

 

The revolution will not be brought to you by the

Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie

Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.

The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.

The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.

The revolution will not make you look five pounds

thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

 

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May

pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,

or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.

NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32

or report from 29 districts.

The revolution will not be televised.

 

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down

brothers in the instant replay.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down

brothers in the instant replay.

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being

run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.

There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy

Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and

Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving

For just the proper occasion.

 

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville

Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and

women will not care if Dick finally gets down with

Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people

will be in the street looking for a brighter day.

The revolution will not be televised.

 

There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock

news and no pictures of hairy armed women

liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.

The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,

Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom

Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.

The revolution will not be televised.

 

The revolution will not be right back after a message

bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.

You will not have to worry about a dove in your

bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.

The revolution will not go better with Coke.

The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.

The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

 

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,

will not be televised, will not be televised.

The revolution will be no re-run brothers;

The revolution will be live.

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One of the best songs about heroin addiction is "Home Is Where The Hatred Is". Our band does an extended version of it that always gets a response, even though it's definitely not a "feel-good" song...
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Last I heard, maybe a few years back, he was going through some pretty rough changes involving crack, parole violation, and possibly jail time. Hope he's better now.

 

Sly Stone is another who has also been incognito for sometime. Hope he's doing ok as well.

 

The show biz lifestyle can beat an artist up pretty bad sometimes and there are many casualties out there for sure, known and unkown.

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GSH was (is?) cool but the reason you don't hear a lot of rappers citing him is that he wasn't really popular. Like most pop music figures they rfeerence what was well known.

You don't hear much Last Poets sampled & looped, either.

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Yeah, the Last Poets were mostly featured in a lot of that mid to late eighties black concious hip hop that has gone forgotten these days, and thats a shame.

 

I LOVE Gil Scott! in 1989 I saw him do a version of Space Shuttle in DC at the Carter Baron Theater that I'll never forget!!

I've got a DJ friend that has a house full of records. Gotta check him on some Gil Scott. Also check some Lonnie Liston Smith too!

TROLL . . . ish.
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I got to do an album with Gil and Malcolm Cecil in 1991. Somehow I never ended up with a copy of it, but was very impressed with the whole concept. Malcolm shared a few stories regarding Gil's drug addiction. He felt certain that the government was involved in his addictions in an attempt to shut him up. We used a Bayer Ribbon mic on his vocals. At the time this was my first experience in using a ribbon on vocals. It was a real eye opener hearing the richness of Gil's low voice that came through that mic. Well now I'm going to have to find that CD.

 

Russ

http://home.bellsouth.net/p/PWP-russragsdale

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