When Gil Scott-Heron passed on May 27th, I found myself in memory back on Guadalupe St. in Santa Fe: it's the summer of 2004, the elections are on everyone's minds and I'm planning to be down on the plaza that afternoon to hear Bill Clinton talk up John Kerry for president. Later that same summer, I'd see Kerry and shake his hand at the Borders there. I wasn't as much enamored of his candidacy - I saw it only as infinitely better than the alternative - as I was still grateful for his appearances way back in '71 as part of the Winter Soldiers who were working on an end to the Viet Nam War fiasco. For that, I would still shake his hand, no matter the controversy surrounding it.
On this particular morning in 2004, for the first time in many years, I hear Gil's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," on the radio. It's one of those songs that instantly takes me back to a particular time and place. In this case, college, early '70's. Whatever his problems were over the years - and they seem to be centered on alcohol and drugs, as with many fine artists struggling to be heard in a world that appears to be in constant turmoil - there was something eminently likable about him. It also appears that towards the end of his life (he was only 62 when he passed), he had gained some measure of peace and understanding around the whole living thing. At least that's what I brought away from this video, his last.
It's titled, "I'm New Here." I like the message and I like that he's delivering it. The background video of him carrying flowers - gladiolas I believe - is a tribute in itself to where he was when he left us.
"Turnaround, turnaround, turnaround,
And you may come full circle
And be new here again."
Great story -all around good stuff! I liked this man a lot as many did. Thanks for this.ReplyDelete
"Ain't no way overnight for you to turn your life around." What a cool guy he was.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed Gil a lot, I will have to see what I have of his music. I remember the "Revolution" being such a unique tune, I haven't listened to it for a long time.ReplyDelete
He seems at peace with his life. That's all we can ask, isn't it?ReplyDelete
I really liked this. Sort of made me teary though!ReplyDelete
I thought I liked you, now I am sure. I lived in Santa Fe from 1975 to 1981. It was the real deal, then. Gil was the real deal, too.ReplyDelete
I guess we are all new somewhere.ReplyDelete
I'm so many generations away that I've never heard of this man but he has a message to tell. Thanks for posting about him.
Hey, ONE FLY, glad you liked it.ReplyDelete
LINDA, A cool guy. Yes, indeed.
STEVE, I don't know anyone else quite like him.
FARMLADY, To be at peace at the end of one's life is no small feat for some. I'm glad to have seen this.
BOSSYBETTY, I love how he looks directly at the camera towards the end, directly at us. He wants us to understand.
MICHAEL ULTRA, Welcome! Yes, the real deal he was. And SF was a pretty good place to be. Still is, whenever I visit.
MANZANITA, And, hopefully, new every day. The possibilities certainly are there. Thanks.
I was involved in the anti-war movement, too, but am unfamiliar with his music, as I listened only to classical music back then. Nicely written post.ReplyDelete
gigi, It sounds like you had an interesting youth, your travels and classical upbringing. Thanks for reading and commenting.ReplyDelete
Teresa, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is on my iPod, and yes, it always takes me back.ReplyDelete
Hi Pearl, It's one of those songs, isn't it? So glad you visited. Thanks!ReplyDelete
I was gone all day yesterday and missed this. Catching up now, Teresa. Thank you for helping me remember another time, another place in my life. And hugs to you!ReplyDelete
Good Morning DJan, I trust you had a good weekend. Hugs to you!ReplyDelete
Very talented man...thanks for the memories here today : )ReplyDelete
Goodness, you moved from Santa Fe to Minnesota! I moved from Oregon to Minnesota, and everyone I met told me I was crazy. After two years, I agreed with them and moved back to Oregon. I couldn't take the winters, you know. The Oregon rain is bad enough.ReplyDelete
Ladycat, My pleasure. He was good.ReplyDelete
Snowbrush, Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. It was from Minnesota to Santa Fe and then, after almost eight years, back to Minnesota. It's home. Who knows what the future holds?
Love that "come full circle and be new again". Wonderful post and thanks for opening another door for me.ReplyDelete
Chris, I like that line, too. You're very welcome!ReplyDelete