Last Holiday by Gil Scott-Heron

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Sometimes aimless, often brilliant, and flickering with rage and eloquence, this book is a fine epitaph to a man of rare brilliance.
-Guardian

Synopsis

'Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream. And Stevie Wonder had a dream. This is a book about dreams.' In the autumn of 1980, Stevie Wonder invited Gil Scott-Heron to join him on a forty-one-city tour across America, ending in Washington in January 1981, to gather popular support for the creation of a holiday in honour of the great civil-rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Scott-Heron uses this history-making tour as the backbone of his fascinating memoir. Raised by his grandmother in Jackson, Tennessee, Scott-Heron's journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most uncompromising and influential musicians and songwriters of his generation is a remarkable one. Politically savvy and savagely satirical, socially conscious and tender-hearted, Gil Scott-Heron has been called the godfather of rap, and his unexpected death in May 2011 marked the loss of one of the world's most vocal and articulate artists. Chuck D of Public Enemy said of Scott-Heron, 'we do what we do and who we do because of you' and Eminem added, 'Scott-Heron influenced all of hip-hop'. In the words of Sarah Silverman, 'he mirrored ugliness with beauty, audacity, and valour'. A compelling testament to Gil Scott-Heron's career and achievements, The Last Holiday is full of Scott-Heron's keen insights into the music industry, the civil rights movement, modern America, governmental hypocrisy and our wider place in the world.
 

About Gil Scott-Heron

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GIL SCOTT-HERON was born in Chicago in 1949. For over forty years he has been opening eyes, minds and souls with his remarkable music and poetry. A highly influential and widely admired singer, proto-rapper, jazz pianist, published poet, novelist and socio-political commentator, Scott-Heron remains a unique and major figure in global music and with over fifteen albums to his name, his politically charged output has won him an international following. His work illuminates a philosophy of life that holds human affection as well as political and artistic responsibility as the underlying factors that inspire his writing. He died on May 27 2011 and with his passing goes one of the giants of twentieth century music.
 
Published January 1, 2012 by Canongate Books. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography.
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Critic reviews for Last Holiday
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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by James Smart on Oct 25 2013

Sometimes aimless, often brilliant, and flickering with rage and eloquence, this book is a fine epitaph to a man of rare brilliance.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Margaret Busby on Feb 04 2012

...a riveting read that is, like its author, unpredictable and eccentric and funny and always compassionate.

Read Full Review of Last Holiday | See more reviews from Guardian

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