Gil Scott Herrin: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Dr. Demento, of all people, played this poem on his show a few weeks after the Rodney King riots. I met two women a few days ago who remember it well. From what they told me, Herrin (I incorrectly took his name to be Perrin)–published the “Revolution” poem in other media as well. Do any Dopers know more about this? Thanks. :slight_smile:

Google is your friend (link to what appears to be his website)

Gil Scott Heron is an interesting artist and definitely worth checking out. His influence on rap (especially Public Enemy and other political rappers) as well as other arts forms is big.

Thanks, Wordman. :slight_smile: I certainly had his name wrong (The website renders his name as Gil Scott-Heron); with his name as I had rendered it I wouldn’t have found it under Google or any other search service.

Scott-Heron is an amazing talent, who words, angry as they might have been, were always poetry set to music. And good music. Would that rap have stayed closer to his example.

Besides Revolution, check out the albums Winter in America and The First Minute of a New Day from that era.

I first encountered him in the early seventies, when he articulated the anger of the times better than anyone I can think of. Oddlly, the last time I heard his music was in a taxi in NYC, from a station that the driver was playing. I guess that’s one of the advantages of living in a big city, where there is some variety on radio and not two or three firms that own every station in town.

Scott-Heron is an amazing talent, who words, angry as they might have been, were always poetry set to music. And good music. Would that rap have stayed closer to his example.

Besides Revolution, check out the albums Winter in America and The First Minute of a New Day from that era.

I first encountered him in the early seventies, when he articulated the anger of the times better than anyone I can think of. Oddly, the last time I heard his music was in a taxi in NYC, from a station that the driver was playing. I guess that’s one of the advantages of living in a big city, where there is some variety on radio and not two or three firms that own every station in town.

Ahhhh… those heady days of “underground” fm radio in the late 60’s/early 70’s.
You could hear Gil Scott-Heron’s “We Almost Lost Detroit” and “Johannesburg” along with Melvin Van Peebles’ “Eyes On The Rabbit” mixed in with Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Fairport Convention, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Buzzy Linhart, Robert Johnson, The Mothers, The Who, Miles Davis, and on & on, all on the same station.
No format other than what the dj happened to think would sound good at the time.
Those were the days!

“The revolution will be no re-run, brothers. The revolution will be LIVE!”

A major, major talent. Brilliant, wickedly funny … angry too, but his anger was driven by what he saw as blatant, direct offenses to the over-arching love and compassion he felt for humanity and the perils of the human condition. A historic social critic and poet.

I still see his stuff in many record stores, but I don’t think people really understand how influential he was on rap, soul, spoken word, jazz, hip hop, even punk rock. He’s the man.

“And when I have kids of my own
I hope they don’t get shook,
When I tell them there are things they GOT to learn
That CAN’T be found in books!”

I saw Gil Scott-Heron when he opened for Stevie Wonder in 1981, and it’s insulting to his talent to compare him to rappers. He is a very talented musician.

“What’s the word?”
“Johannesburg.”

I have a few albums of his, I think one is “1980” with Brian Jackson and "Reflections’, and a couple other lesser ones. He does a great song on the “Reflections” about Reagan, called ‘B’ Movie.

Unfortuantely they’re on album, and my turntable spins at about 16rpm…:frowning:

Besides “The Revolution” I also enjoy “Faggot Ball”. Mostly because it offended my lesbian roommate so much. She didn’t make it to the last line which turns the whole poem on its head.