Remembering Gill Scott-Heron

The revolution will not go better with Coke

The revolution will not fight the germs that cause bad breath

The revolution will put you in the driver's seat

The revolution will not be televised

Mother Jones
- IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE, almost 40 long years after he wrote these immortal lyrics, and it's a workday for Gil Scott-Heron. On this bright, bone-chilling afternoon, the pioneering urban poet and musician is holed up in his humble East Harlem office, hunched over an ancient, floppy-disk-driven word processor. An episode of Gunsmoke plays on the TV. Scott-Heron moves a bit slow, but he's racing to meet a self-imposed deadline of New Year's Day to complete a rewrite of The Last Holiday, the 600-plus-page memoir of his 1980 tour with Stevie Wonder that campaigned for—and ultimately helped secure—the creation of Martin Luther King Day.

The curtains are drawn in the ground-floor apartment; a few days' worth of newspapers are scattered across the floor. Posters from some recent gigs in Europe are taped haphazardly to the walls. It's this modest setting from which Scott-Heron, 60, is launching I'm New Here, his first new album in 16 years. Returning after such a long hiatus doesn't seem to faze him. "Every one of my records is new if you ain't heard it," he says, leaning back on the ratty, yellowish couch, "so I got a lot of new music out there." Read more.


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