Two guys died yesterday

Gil Scott Heron

Gil Scott Heron and Jeff Conaway. Both talented in their chosen art, both battled chronic drug problems.

Gil’s music and spoken word were part of my late fathers collection, so it was a given since we always shared the same taste in music, that I too would become a fan.

I only wish I had gotten to see him in his youth, when he was full of energy and vitality, before the ravages of drug addiction but I’m happy I got to see him last year here in London at the Royal Festival Hall.

Scott-Heron personified the cliché of the “tortured artist” and it’s sad a brother who spoke with such eloquence about the downward spiral alcohol and drug addiction leads to, was pretty much wrecked due to his crack habit.

It’s also a shame that Gil Scott Heron spent so many years in the last decade in prison because of the USA’s unrelenting so-called drug war.  Having a drug addiction in America is a crime.

RIP brother.

Announcement in New York Times


A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey’s on the moon)
I can’t pay no doctor bill.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still.
(while Whitey’s on the moon)
The man jus’ upped my rent las’ night.
(’cause Whitey’s on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
I wonder why he’s uppi’ me?
(’cause Whitey’s on the moon?)
I wuz already payin’ ‘im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin’ my whole damn check,
Junkies makin’ me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin’ up,
An’ as if all that shit wuzn’t enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an’ arm began to swell.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Was all that money I made las’ year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come there ain’t no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey’s on the moon)
Y’know I jus’ ’bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I’ll sen’ these doctor bills,
Airmail special
(to Whitey on the moon)

Jeff Conaway during better times

Jeff had his demons too. His battle with drugs  and mental problems was recently played out on tv on a reality show, that purports to help the addicted.

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