Saturday, 28 May 2011

Farewell, Gil Scott Heron

I spent much of today reading articles and tributes, and listening to documentaries (all of them fascinating) about Gil Scott Heron, after hearing the sad news about his passing. It was on everyone's mind and as I spoke to a friend from Washington DC about it, it reminded me of the video above from his younger days. That stretch of river bank is covered in rich yuppies stretching out on their boats today. The thing that seemed to stick with both of us was the fact the man could be so eloquent in describing the problems that beset his people, the causes and the solutions, and yet be a prime example of the effects. The logic goes that if you understand a problem you can fix it, but it seems not everything is that simple.

I feel deeply grateful to Gil Scott Heron, it's not easy being that honest, and he was so unswervingly throughout his life. There were probably so many moments he could have thought - sod this I'm going to do it the easy way - but he didn't, and he created something that defied genre and categorization, art that changed so much that came after it and will remain forever.    


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