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'. And as Sarah Silverman said, "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.