Archive for May, 2011


It was a truly modern info moment. I’m doing my goodnight ‘My Vinyl’ “Tweet” of the day into the Twittosphere, when next in the stream and before mine can appear pops, “Breaking News! Gil Scott Heron dead at 60.” last night. Immediately I reply to the Tweeter of bad news, “ 4 REal? Oh Sad…major part of my musical comeuppance in college radio via dancefloor-filler, “In The Bottle” RIP Bro Heron”    

back coveer

 

Wow!” I thought, “ I’m on Twitter and witness history as one of (maybe) the first to know this!” one of the reasons I have grown to tolerate that platform is that appeals to the subliminal sense or need for immediacy of current events in its own special way!

I started to write this then and there; nope, too close to “Au Revoir” for-the-night time after a physically strenuous Friday and mentally gnarly week. Therefore, here we are now with an homage to my one Gil Scott Heron vinyl, “Winter In America”. Obviously, this one should be brief, but no promises, okay? 😀

When I think of the now “late” Gil Scott Heron, I go back to my days at the University and the hit record from this album, “In The Bottle”.  His image makes me think of another tell-it-like-it-IS spoken group, The Last Poets.  All I wanted to know about most music back then, in my “baby” DJ days, was would it get people up on the floor and dancing to it? That is how I could look good and get paid by whomever was employing me for that purpose – even if that “person” was me.  So the larger “message” of Gil Scott Heron – the poet , keyboardist and Brother-man was initially kind of secondary, but in retrospect he was one of those whose lyrics clarified shit from the streets that I had only heard about at the time.

cuts and players

As time went by, I was proud of him as a militant messenger as I like to see part of myself being in the mirror. Principled and even brutally eloquently relevant and truthful in his succinct lyrics and rhymes, I knew intrinsically that he would be “alright” and was a protector and purveyor of the thoughts about our place as Black Americans in society that most people would only think and not say. What’s more, he did it with music, one of my favorite things, and that made him all the more koolThis album felt like conversation as well as a class.

my vinyl GSH

I probably first heard “In The Bottle” on the Frankie Crocker-programmed WBLS-FM of 1974, although another party or DJ could have been just as timely. All I knew was that it was about a guy who drank too much as imitated by Gil from the jam’s outset, but who cared? When that first note hit, the guys were up and asking the chicks to dance with them en-masse! “A dolla-nine-get-a-bottle o’wine, a dolla-nine-get-a bottle a-wine, in the bot-tle…” 

I remember getting amusing requests from cats who would saunter up to my booth and request, “Hey, ‘Man, you got any Gil Scott Heroin, Brotha?” To which I learned to sometimes reply, “No, my Brother, we don’t do no hard drugs up in this booth…” (read again to catch the subtle comedy if you didn’t “get-it”), before I’d relent and tell him I “got’cha covered!”. That smacks me in my funny bone annoyingly if you’ve read the stated causes of his death.

Brian Jackson got the co-top billing on this album, which as I write this, I wish I knew the story of how I came to acquire it, or why he did get that recognition and what happened to him. If you know, please write it in a comment below, but he never became as famous as Gil Scott Heron did, and where is he now?

Even though “Winter In America” is the title of my one-and-only vinyl by Gil, the song by the same name came out on his next album, “First Minute of A Brand New Day”. He will probably be remembered by the world’s masses though, for another song/album title, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” which came out right after “Winter”, I believe.  Those two LPs set GSH off into the stratocastersphere!

I am sad that his needed voice is now silent too early, but at least being who he was, he left some homework behind for all of us to catch-up on an apply.  “Just how blind will America be?” he asked in the wake of the Nixon Watergate scandal . I can rhyme that and say, “these days we continue to see!”   Gil Scott Heron performed the serious science with an ironic sense of humor that is lacking among many of the broadcast talking heads here in 2011.

photo props to cafemaroon

                                         Only sixty-two?  That is Scary. 

 

                      Side Two, track five, “Peace Go With You Brother”. 

Advertisements

 

To” the “T”

Too much hoping,

Too much wishing.

Too much praying for…

To harvest;

To reap.

To acquire;

To have.

To then do!

To apply lessons learned;

To be once and to all.

To win and win too!

To touch;

Two hearts,

Two souls;

Together.

To taste,

Together.

To love.

Toot our horns.

Tunisia to tool;

Tune towards.

Tuba blows;.

Tooth cleanings;

To die for.

To be toward,

Too tough?

Too late.

Tooth fairy.

Tonight -Tonic water.

To you, a toast!

                                                                  Whether you are a regular or infrequent visitor to my blog, undoubtedly you have heard me refer to Frankie Crocker as my inspiration for wanting to become a high-paid celebrity professional radio personality. I haven’t looked, but I bet in each of “My Vinyls” I mention him; he hipped me to so much music via the radio and he taught me in a vicarious way how not to take any shit from people while doing my show. I remember him once giving me the advice, take full control of your show whenever you ares” on, no-matter what or who (but he put it another way as described in my book). Frankie was very quotable and had a lot of “sayings” – many direct and controversial. In my first radio memoir book,
https://www.createspace.com/3563928
(which you can see the front cover of to the right), I write about Mr. Crocker and how he influenced so many of us during his times. The way I got “past” his gatekeepers like Denise Colon and Champaine of WBLS FM, New York, was to wait patiently in the lobby on many an afternoon, while superstar celebrities whisked-in ahead of me. I knew that one day I would get my turn – and I did some other “things” to get his attention along the way which I describe. 

~ Pickhitt:

I’d  be remiss if I didn’t credit my loving and full-of-good-ideas fiancee`, Nina, who thought of this book promotional post!

Cheers, Babychka!

“If Frankie Crocker’s not on your radio, your radio’s not really ON…”  😀  ~~ Jimi

       

One of the great things about music is that it keeps coming at you through time, if you keep on living.  Have you ever had the experience of hearing a song of your youth again for the first time, and finally understanding that lyric you never really could figure out, but you would somehow gloss-over it as you sang-along with it a thousand times?  Have you ever known a song was a classic and not known why, except that the title and original singer commanded so  much respect, that you followed the herd of homage until you just accepted it as a fact – again, not completely comprehending?   

Poplar Tree on the left in this picture:

Such is the case with me (again, thankfully as I love to learn new stuff ), a tree that stands guard at my driveway and a Billy Holiday classic, “Strange Fruit”. 

I learned that this is a (flowering) Poplar tree through the years I have lived here, and basically thought nothing of it except for the fact that it is obviously ancient, and frequently tosses its heavy branches down upon and close to my car and house with the stormy winds that usher-in storms from the northwest.  I always heard the words “strange fruit” in combination, more like and idiom or phrase that had a hidden connotation – until this past Sunday when, while listening to NPR’s  “Jazz Profiles” hosted by Ms. Nancy Wilson (who I love like an Aunt – a whole other post), I heard Billie Holiday sing it, and learned that she sang it first – and the historical significance that song has relative to the history of racial relations in America.  My little known fact moment came when Ms. Wilson narrated that the “strange fruit” in the song so aptly interpreted by Ms. Holiday were actually lynched Black Americans of the slavery days, “swingin” under the branches of the that tree. 

The idea of being dragged-off to be lynched by an angry mob of southern white men just because of the color of your skin is abhorrent to me and many, many people.  It is one of those things that was swept under the historical rug in America and is “not spoken of” anymore – until some silly magazine editor does something like put a hangman’s noose on the cover of a magazine article about Tiger Woods, as happened a few years ago.

So now when I spy by eye this big lumber watching over me, I can almost see the ugliness and dry “blood” etched within those deep old vertical crevices.  It is another of my life’s ironies, as from time-to-time I have the opportunity to drop the science that as recently as thirty or forty years ago, I could have been one of Poplar’s ornaments instead sharing this land with it – and praying that the next branch to fall finds only the ground.  I remember once one of them decending like a spear, sticking deeply into the ground only feet from where I was tyring to upright my wind-scattered recycle bin as I returned home from work during a thunder storm.

[You have a standing invitation to COMMENT on any of my posts, Thank you]

It’s about TIME!! I scarcely want to believe it; this is a time I want to SEE a dead body on the video that looks like this demon. Not liking to cheer death of any person, but with what he has spewed, this dude  had it coming and we were never going to see a “jury trial”  Guantanamo Bay-style. In Pakistan, eh?  I knew he was ther all the time!!  I remember being on the radio here, having just moved six months prior.  Nobody felt my emotions like I felt the hurt at my beloved twin towers of the World Trade Center (I like architecture, ok?) being violated and imploding to the ground here  like I did.  I was angry at the locals for that; the new people I worked for said tom me, “Oh, It’s just a building…”  Oh yes they DID.

I didn’t even want to do my radio show that night because I wanted to be back home and share the trauma.  Maybe it is good I didn’t breath that air, given my genetic lung makeup, but I wanted to stand with my friends in Manhattan and the boroughs of New York City.  I couldn’t bow-out in the face of such uncaring callousness from my new boss, but I did a trimmed-down show…”The Pajama Bar” was “closed” and I tried to even open-up the phones for callers.  I got some real empathetic ones from a few here in what was then my new southeastern city, not as many as I desired, but it worked long enough for me to fulfill my performance committment and get back to my cribola.

I wrote a poem about those Bin Laden led attacks that I read on the air a few days later.  I cannot find them right now, but the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, which I called for on the radio, will make me try to find them again and post them within this blog.  I remember that I called the Muhammad Atta gang the worst “faggots and cowards”, and a few more choice analogous words, and that I got phone calls about the poems after I read them live. Why didn’t they just step-up and fight us face-to-face?  It was a throw-back to my spontaneous college radio days when, filled with venom and hate for those who held us back because of our skin color, I would launch into poetic tirades in-between the music.  I remember bringing in all of my old anti-war protest jams from thirty years prior in the days to follow, like this one:

 The attacks of September 11, 2001 were a similar affront to the moral cohesiveness of our society at that juncture.  Since then, we have disintegrated into less than all that we can be since those Bin Laden-led attacks, keeping our collective heads in the sand, three monkeys-style, when we hear home-grown hate on the FCC-regulated airwaves.  I hope that now, as we stay vigilant for reprisals (his lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahri is still lurking someplace), that this American society and all the people on this planet Earth can renew its committment to fairness, justice, respect and peaceful coexistence for us all.  Maybe our gasoline prices will drop for a bit now,

And… hopefully we can, as Freda Payne sang, “Bring The Boys HOME”Geez...   

Peace.

OH! P.S. BIGG UPPS to Kooool Ronnie Beee of Atlantic City, NJ for the late Sunday night “SCOOP”!  1 Love.

[you have a standing invitation to COMMENT on this or any of my posts. Thank You.]

Weapons

A brain is a battlefield of ideas

aka Miller Time

Life with a Dash of Wine

Billb62's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Voices of Ukraine

Politics, anti-government rallies, other. Maidan.

tekArtist

Warning: Widespread Weirdness

genepanasenko

Just another WordPress.com site

A Celebration of Reading

It's All Fiction!

The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

%d bloggers like this: