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Book Cover for: The Last Holiday, Gil Scott Heron

The Last Holiday

Gil Scott Heron

The stunning memoir of Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Holiday has been praised for bringing back to life one of the most important voices of the last fifty years. Now in paperback, The Last Holiday provides a remarkable glimpse into Scott-Heron's life and times, from his humble beginnings to becoming one of the most influential artists of his generation.

The memoir climaxes with a historic concert tour in which Scott-Heron's band opened for Stevie Wonder. The Hotter than July tour traveled cross-country from late 1980 through early 1981, drumming up popular support for the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. King's birthday, January 15, was marked with a massive rally in Washington.

A fitting testament to the achievements of an extraordinary man, The Last Holiday provides a moving portrait of Scott-Heron's relationship with his mother, personal recollections of Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Clive Davis, and other musical figures, and a compelling narrative vehicle for Scott-Heron's insights into the music industry, the civil rights movement, governmental hypocrisy, and our wider place in the world. The Last Holiday confirms Scott-Heron as a fearless truth-teller, a powerful artist, and an inspiring observer of his times.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Grove Press
  • Publish Date: Jan 10th, 2012
  • Pages: 321
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 1.20in - 1.06lb
  • EAN: 9780802129017
  • Categories: Personal MemoirsMusic
Praise for this book
Praise for The Last Holiday

"Leave it to Scott-Heron to save some of his best for last. This posthumously published memoir, The Last Holiday, is an elegiac culmination to his musical and literary career. He's a real writer, a word man, and it is as wriggling and vital in its way as Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"A singular triumph. . . . It's [Scott-Heron's] humility, combined with his gift for charming, unforced prose, that makes The Last Holiday such a fascinating memoir. . . . In 'Home Is Where the Hatred Is, ' Scott-Heron sang, 'God, but did you ever try / To turn your sick soul inside out / So that the world ... can watch you die?' Most of us haven't; most of us have never had that kind of desperate courage. Gil Scott-Heron did, baring his imperfect soul to the world for decades. We're poorer for his loss, but richer for his words."--Michael Schaub,

"Striking. . . . Vivid. . . . [Scott-Heron's] memoir is distinguished by the beauty of his images."--Rob Tannenbaum, Rolling Stone (four-star review)

"Gil Scott-Heron's posthumous memoir, The Last Holiday, plays back the life of a musician whose scorching political writings and recordings reflected the social injustice faced by African-Americans, inspiring today's rappers."--Elissa Schappell, Vanity Fair

"His tales of growing up in the South and North, of emerging as a writer and then as a singer and musician, are blunt, funny, caustic, fair-minded and occasionally loopy, just like his music."--Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Much like his poetry, Scott-Heron's style is spare and effective, offering up jagged observations on fame, friendship and political and racial injustice. . . . Engaging and immensely human. And it is made all the more affecting with the knowledge of the calamities that were yet to come."--Fiona Sturges, The Independent (UK)

"Even after his death, Scott-Heron continues to mesmerize us in this brilliant and lyrical romp through the fields of his life. . . . [a] captivating memoir."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for Gil Scott-Heron

"Gil Scott-Heron [was] a poet and polemicist whose lyrics have inspired and galvanized generations."--GQ

"Gil Scott-Heron is timeless."--The New York Times

[Gil Scott-Heron] was a warm, sensitive, altruistic and highly complex man whose music, lyrics and poetry will continue to inspire."--The Independent (UK)

"Gil Scott-Heron, who died on May 27, 2011, aged sixty-two, was a composer, musician, poet, and author whose writings and recordings provided a vivid, and often stinging, commentary on social injustice and the black American experience; his declamatory singing style, allied to the overtly political content of his work, made him widely recognized as one of the inspirational figures of rap music. . . . Scott-Heron refined an intoxicating hybrid of jazz, Latin, and Afro idioms that established him in the vanguard of black American music in the 1970s."--The Telegraph (UK)