gil scott-heron, 1949-2011

gil scott-heron on the cover of 1972's free will album

gil scott-heron on the cover of 1972's free will album.

“You will not be able to stay home, brother. You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip out for beer during commercial breaks, because… the revolution will not be televised.”

Those words, spoken over a cool jazz groove over 30 years ago, defined the music of Gil Scott-Heron and gave rise to one of the most timely aural montages of the early ‘70s, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

A native of Chicago but a longtime New Yorker, Scott-Heron was unlike any artist of his (or any other) day. By combining a gift for narrative and social activism with serene jazz fusion and funk melodies, he was urban music’s answer to beat poetry.

The titles of Scott-Heron’s works, especially his early recordings, spoke for themselves: Get Out of the Ghetto Blues, Whitey on the Moon, Home is Where the Hatred Is and Who’ll Pay for Reparations on My Soul. By setting his often heated, but sleekly delivered ghetto postcards to intimate jazz grooves, Scott-Heron and his music would be viewed a generation later as formative influences on hip-hop. But he distanced himself from such associations and forged ahead with narratives that often ignored conventional rhymes altogether in favor of music that possessed a light, organic flow.

I first came into contact with Scott-Heron’s music when he performed early into the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975 for a program hosted by Richard Pryor. It was long rumored that Pryor insisted on Scott-Heron being booked for SNL before he agreed to host. The two songs Scott-Heron performed that night – Johannesburg and A Lovely Day – were atmospheric and appealing bits of socially conscious jazz-soul.

Scott-Heron died on Friday at the age of 62. No official reason for his death has been announced.

Those looking for an introduction to Scott-Heron’s music should check out 1971’s Pieces of a Man, which enlisted jazz pros like bassist Ron Carter and flutist Herbert Laws as part of his musical support team. 1976’s From South Africa to South Carolina, the best of the nine albums he cut for the Arista label, is a close second.

Both remain soundtracks for a soul revolution established decades ago. It wasn’t televised, of course. It didn’t even create much of a stir on mainstream radio. But its influence continues to ripple through the worlds of R&B and hip-hop with a quiet but affirmative authority.

Classic Land Rover Should Last Forever

Chicago Sun-Times October 7, 1992 | Dan Jedlicka The $40,000-plus British Range Rover sport/utility vehicle is for the horsey set. Even members of England’s Royal Family drive Range Rovers.

But what of the classic, four-wheel-drive Land Rover, which is designed to do down and dirty jobs such as tackling deepest Africa and the wildest deserts?

It recently returned to the States. I’ve tested the 1993 version, which costs $39,900 and is called the Land Rover Defender 110.

The Land Rover debuted in 1948 and was the first vehicle made by Rover Cars, now called the Rover Group Ltd. Only 500 individually numbered 1993 Land Rovers will be sold here. It’s an instant classic because no more will be sold here.

“If we wanted to sell more in the States, we would have to spend a lot to engineer it to accept air bags, and the Land Rover is so limited-production it wasn’t worth that expense,” explained Bill Baker, a Land Rover North America spokesman. “We’re really selling the 500 Land Rovers to call attention to the Rover name here.” The four-wheel-drive Range Rover has been a hit here since it arrived in early 1987. That’s partly because it is the Rolls-Royce of sport/utility vehicles.

More than 21,000 Range Rovers have been bought in North America, and 1992 sales are up 12 percent from last year.

The Range Rover, built as a seriously upscale version of the Land Rover, first was unveiled in 1970 in Europe.

“Many Land Rover buyers are wealthy, outdoors-oriented people – those who like to hunt, fish and camp,” said Nancy Rader, a spokeswoman for Land Rover of North America. It recently changed its name from Range Rover of North America to cash in on the Land Rover’s tough, colorful reputation. in our site land rover defender

Despite its off-road prowess, few want to get the Range Rover dirty. But the Land Rover has such a utilitarian personality many owners may feel silly if it’s squeaky clean. It even has a standard roll cage originally developed for use on the rugged Paris-Moscow-Beijing rally.

The Land Rover was sold here from 1949 to 1974, first being displayed at New York’s British Automobile and Motor Cycle show. Some 13,568 were sold, and many are still are the road.

The Land Rover Defender 110 has more than 450 new components. Its only option is a $1,900 winch package that is capable of handling 8,000 pounds.

The Land Rover has four doors, seats five in firm but comfortable front bucket seats and a rear bench seat and four more on folding jump seats in the cargo area. It has a big, swing-out rear door and rides on a 110-inch-wheelbase.

Land Rovers only come with a decent-shifting five-speed manual transmission, with a long lever that looks like it’s off a piece of British agricultural equipment.

Tradition dies especially hard in England, and it’s hardly died at all with the Land Rover. The 1993 Land Rover I drove reminded me a lot of the one I tested in the early 1970s, although the current model has a hefty 180-horsepower, 3.9-liter V-8. Curiously, the engine is a modified General Motors V-8, first used in the 1961 Buick Special.

Like the old model, the latest Land Rover is a serious safari vehicle that feels as if it would be more at home on fender-high water crossings or tackling 45-degree hills in the African outback.

The Land Rover was England’s answer to America’s Jeep and is a British classic, like old MG TC sports cars, kidney pie and tweed jackets. The current model has the old Land Rover construction hallmarks, including a high ground clearance and a rigid boxed steel ladder chassis.

Like the 1948 model, the current Land Rover has aluminum body panels. The panels are popular now because they’re light and don’t rust, but Rover Cars first used them because the lack of steel in England after World War II forced the company to turn to aluminum for the body, which was mounted to a rigid steel box ladder-style chassis. Although its more utilitarian nature makes it less plush than the Range Rover, the Land Rover’s tightly focused, no-nonsense design gives it a certain beauty. It’s meant to get you with minimum fuss and no excuses from Point A to Point B virtually anywhere on the globe anytime you want to go.

Just twist the ignition key, which is located to the left of the steering column in typical old-style British vehicle fashion, put it in gear and go.

Just be sure you have plenty of fuel supplies lined up along the way. Despite its aluminum body, the 90-m.p.h. Land Rover is no lightweight, at 4,840 pounds. That heftiness and the drag of the four-wheel-drive system has resulted in the Land Rover Defender 110 getting the lowest EPA-estimated fuel economy of any 1993 truck: 10 m.p.g. in the city and 12 on the highway. in our site land rover defender

The Land Rover’s maker knows Americans like power and have cheap gasoline, and that those who can afford a Land Rover Defender 110 don’t think much about fuel economy. In other parts of the world, the Land Rover is sold with smaller, more-economical engines.

The Land Rover is quick, with strong off-the-line acceleration and passing ability. It cruises quietly and comfortably at 75 m.p.h. It’s a big vehicle, but good handling makes it fairly easy to maneuver in traffic, and the ride is smooth. Steering is good, but the turning circle is very wide.

Low economy isn’t the Land Rover’s sole drawback. The nonadjustable steering wheel takes getting used to because it’s angled away from the driver, and there’s no place to put your clutch foot except beneath the clutch pedal.

Also, the tachometer is one-third the size it should be, and other key gauges and the clock are positioned way over in front of the passenger. The center console, which contains the radio controls, is awkwardly placed nearly behind the front seatbacks.

With its standard roof rack, the Land Rover is 90 inches high. It’s a hassle to climb into or leave the vehicle. And just try finding a parking garage with sufficient roof clearance.

Although limited-production, the Land Rover is clearing the path for newer Rovers – although there’ll probably never be a substitute for MG roadsters or the Land Rover. It’s costly but is a classic that should last just about forever.

Dan Jedlicka



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