Saturday, May 28, 2011
Gil Scott-Heron, who has just passed away, was a crucial influence in so many ways. An amazing person who, when I first got into him, had just released 'Reflections' and, of course, 'B Movie,' one of the most politically-charged pieces of rhetoric I had heard up to that time. After hearing this I went down to New Brighton's Reaction Records and bought all the Heron they had: 'From South Africa To South Carolina', 'Bridges', 'Secrets' and 'It's Your World.' Shortly after myself and a couple of friends, Mr Clarke and Mr Hoey, made the pilgrimage to the Commonwealth Institute on Kensington High Street, From Wallasey, Merseyside, to see the man in person. Memories are very hazy but I remember it being very good, the Institute itself had a circular stage, and the Dread Broadcasting Company (DBC), provided the ambience. I think I travelled down to London for a few gigs, The Jam as well, but Scott-Heron's was seminal and very important. Like Captain Beefheart, listening to Gil Scott-Heron takes me back to music-filled days in friends, and my, bedroom(s), where we got up to all sorts of shenanigans while talking revolution and how we would bring down the Thatcher regime. Today I feel quite sad and, while not wanting to step into the realm of cliche but realising full well that it's unavoidable, feel like a little piece of myself has been chipped away. Strangely enough, one of the things I always remember about Gil Scott-Heron relates to his father, who played for Celtic in the 1950s. A strange but true fact that only adds more foundation to the mystique surrounding his son and something that must have had some sort of impact and influence on him, but what I'm not quite sure. In any case, I've put some videos of Gil up that represent the man as he still sounds in my mind. Sixty two as well. . .