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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Open Letter to Gil Scott Heron

Hello Gil,
I was so elated when I first heard that you were coming to perform here in Tel Aviv, both my wife and I were really looking forward to seeing and hearing you in person.
I have been a big fan since the 1970's when I happened upon your album Bridges (Hello Sunday, Hello Rose), and I have tried to follow your career through the years, as well as introduce my friends to your music. I also do the occasional radio show and I have broadcast your music many times, as well as introduced other radio people here in Israel to your albums.

Today, I am very disappointed in you. The newspapers are announcing that you have canceled your Israel show at the urging of a few individuals and based on hearsay and political propaganda.
I really thought you were more intelligent and sensitive than to swallow lies from propaganda machines. In the past, I think that you had the keen observation tools to see through the establishment "bull", and to form your own very unique opinions - that is at least the Gil Scott Heron that I thought I knew...

Regardless of your scheduled performance here, I invite you to come to Israel, walk around Jerusalem with me, walk around a few other towns, meet some local artists, feel the pulse of the people here, see for yourself!!!

A couple of things to ponder -
would a country or a people that has such a "bad rap" politically in the world today be able to produce a democracy where Arab citizens of Israel sit in its parliament and openly criticize the government on a regular basis?
Would an "ogre" or a "pariah" people have such great artist and musicians, especially in the international Jazz world which requires sensitivity and creativity at the highest level?

Please do not take the word of those who only seem to have hatred, death and destruction on their agenda, and completely deny our right to exist peacefully, come here and make up your own mind!!!

And maybe you can help to bridge the gaps and change attitudes with the magic of music!!!

Eli ("Dr. Blues") Marcus