You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out
So begin the lyrics to Gil Scott-Heron’s most famous poem set to music, “The Revolution Will Not be Televised.” The original version of this song – recorded and released in 1970 on Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label – had Gil accompanied by bongos and congas only. In 1971, a new and subsequently more popular version was recorded – which included a full band – and released on Pieces of a Man, Scott-Heron’s most accomplished album.
“Revolution” has since become an anthem of sorts, and so relevant that it was used in the opening theme of this year’s season of the popular TV series
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Yet more evidence demonstrating the influence John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme has had on musicians…This book excerpt from Marcus Baram’s excellent biography, Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man demonstrates how Coltrane’s legendary recording “inspired Gil with his mercurial independence in the face of criticism” at a time when the creative artist was contemplating his future as a novelist, poet, musician, and […] Continue reading »
Tonight, NBC presents a 40-year anniversary show on Saturday Night Live, which, during that time has presented many cutting-edge (and let’s face it, at times very drab) comedic moments and personalities. While the show is known for its comedy, musical performances have at times made the show staying up past normal bedtime hours a worthwhile option. One of those moments was a December, 1976 SNL hosted by Richard Pryor, who hand-picked his musical guest, the soul/jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron. That memorable appearance is reported on by Marcus Baram in this excerpt from his biography Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man:
In the fall of 1975, Gil got a call from Richard Pryor, who invited him to be a musical guest on an upcoming episode of Saturday Night Live, which Pryor was going to host in a few weeks. Pryor invited him after hearing a story about Gil that impressed the comic: A few months earlier, Gil had been invited by singer Roberta Flack to perform on […] Continue reading »