Monday, July 10, 2006

Gil Scott-Heron Jailed

I have written about Gil Scott-Heron previously, and in that article I said:
At the start of the evening, he appeared on stage alone to tell a number of stories in an attempt to de-bunk all the recent publicity about arrests, court sentencing, cocaine addiction, and the like. Looking rather drawn, his skin seemingly draped over his lanky skeletal frame, his voice cracked, and his tone ringing of confusion and defensiveness, he told of a Bay Area reporter leaving a message on his answering machine asking for someone to please contact the radio station to make a statement about Gil Scott-Heron's death. Nervous laughter from the audience.

It was uncomforatble and disquieting that night to watch an obvious drug addict deny his drug addiction and criminal behavior.

Scott-Heron entered a New York drug rehab, but failed to complete the program and left. His departure was a violation of the plea bargain that kept him out of prison. He has plenty of stories to tell you about why he left the rehab. Sadly, his dishonesty has caught up with him and Scott-Heron has been sentenced to serve 2-4 years in prison.

Read the story at NME.

The Bottle
by Gil Scott-Heron

See that black boy over there, runnin' scared
his ol' man's in a bottle.
He done quit his 9 to 5 to drink full time
so now he's livin' in the bottle.
See that Black boy over there, runnin' scared
his ol' man got a problem
Pawned off damn near everything, his ol'
woman's weddin' ring for a bottle.
And don't you think it's a crime
when time after time, people in the bottle.

See that sista, sho wuz fine before she
started drinkin' wine
from the bottle.
Said her ol' man committed a crime
and he's doin' time,
so now she's in the bottle.
She's out there on the avenue, all by herself
sho' needs help from the bottle.
Preacherman tried to help her out,
she cussed him out and hit him in the head with a bottle.
And don't you think it's a crime
when time after time, people in the bottle.

See that gent in the wrinkled suit
he done damn near blown his cool
to the bottle
He wuz a doctor helpin' young girls along
if they wuzn't too far gone to have problems.
But defenders of the dollar eagle
Said "What you doin', Doc, it ain't legal,"
and now he's in the bottle.
Now we watch him everyday tryin' to
chase the pigeons away
from the bottle.
And don't you think it's a crime
when time after time, people in the bottle.

Gil-Scott Heron's drug addiction has robbed the world of a powerful voice.

If you pray, please pray for him.

Tomorrow, World Cup Commentary. Zisou, Zisou, Zisou!

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron


jam said...

umm... i think one of those "stories" is that the rehab clinic refused to give him his HIV meds - and if that's the case, if it isn't just some "story", then he had every right in the world to stop attending that program

and now he's in jail, where i truly doubt he'll ever get the medication he needs - jailing people is not the answer, especially if they are addicts

DM said...

Well, that is his excuse; but I have trouble believing him.

I know people with HIV who have been in much worse jails and they got their meds.

Anonymous said...

gil has been using every excuse in the book for over 20 years now. Things have finally caught up with him. Gil was in Harlem getting high when he left the rehab facility. He was busted in a crack house by the warrant squad on 144th street.
Gil's lifestyle and denial of it has put him in the position he is in today. With HIV and in prison.
He has been given every opportunity to stop smoking crack and chose not to. Its unfortunate. Hopefully he will start being responsible for his actions before he is dead.
No more excuses now.
The most accurate description of gil comes from the man himself "go away, i cant stand to see your face, because you've seen the weakest me, - and now you know im only human, instead of all the things i'd like to be"

Like i said 6 years ago in the New York Times article about gil "i hope he gets the help he needs before it's too late."

monique - harlem(nyc)

PMac said...

Gil is one of my childhood heroes. I listened to his music and fell in love with it and him right away. I hope that since his recent release from prison that he is able to stay clean and turn his life around. It is tragic to see this legendary genius wasting away. The last time I saw him I was stunned by how bad he looked. Thanks to Monique for doing whatever you could to try to help save him from himself.

white boy said...

Twice in Atlanta, once at UCLA, once in Birmingham, twice in New Mexico, and everything you've published... I immediately became a Gil groupie.

With huge appreciation and respect for one of our generations most outstanding composers, I too wish you the warmest regards. Please find the strength to give us a couple more decades of that brilliance. The world continues to be in dire need of your insightful passion.

Silal Atif said...

Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)
Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, Illinois, passed away,,,,

Anonymous said...

Gil Scott Heron and The Egyptians (say it loud)
original link:

Also on the home page at Dick Gregory's amazing and informative

Dear Dick Mac ,
It was was 40 years from the time Gil Scott Heron recorded the sound track on this mix until Barack Obama's election as president of the United States and even in January of this year, 2011, his words seem to express the emotion of the moment. A poet to be sure.

Anonymous said...

sad still...miss you gil.. did all i could.... .. at least you finally made it home.. you are not alone..