'The Last Holiday' out in January

Memoirs prepared by the late Gil Scott-Heron will be published as 'The Last Holiday' on January 16th.

Sadly passing away earlier this year, Gil Scott-Heron left behind him a considerable legacy. A published author, the songwriter's output was steeped in a literary tradition which reflected an evolving sense of black American identity.

Now it seems that the songwriter's memoirs are due to be collected for publication. Canongate will take charge of the release, with 'The Last Holiday' comprising elements of an unfinished manuscript.

Gil Scott-Heron began the book in the early 90s, initially composing his memoirs as a third person narrative. Referring to himself as 'The Artist' the book was left unfinished as the songwriter faced mounting personal difficulties.

Later returning to the tome, Gil Scott-Heron re-worked the book as a first person account of his life. Canongate have included excerpts from both, with 'The Last Holiday' set to contain some remarkable insights into his life and work.

As a preview, Canongate have made an extract available on their website. The piece finds Gil Scott-Heron touring with Stevie Wonder, performing dates to raise awareness of the need for a holiday acknowledging the life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Playing shows across the United States, the tour was named 'Hotter Than July' and was later turned into a documentary. Gil Scott-Heron's account stops at a show in Oakland on December 8th, 1980 - the night John Lennon was shot.

Canongate are giving away an extract from this chapter, as well as streaming Gil Scott-Heron reading from the piece. Find out more HERE.

Gil Scott-Heron's memoir 'The Last Holiday' will be released on January 16th. As The Wire points out, Wilton's Music Hall will host a tribute night on January 19th featuring Jamie xx, Gilles Peterson and more.
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