At the height of popularity of the Bush administration (huh?) — the federal government entrapped and subsequently imprisoned Tommy Chong. Josh Gilbert began documenting the federal case against his long time friend, for the terrible crime of selling bongs. This film (broken down here into four clips) examines the personal effects on Tommy, the motivations and tactics of the politicized Justice Department under George Bush, set against the back drop of the War on Drugs and the legal issues involved.
Listening to Jones’ radio show, followed by Gilbert’s film, one can easily see how one can become a target of a vengeful government bent on teaching someone a very public lesson. Just imagine, if the U.S. Federal government could view Cheech & Chong’s “Up In Smoke” as a threat, how might they have viewed Frank Zappa’s “Pygmy Twylyte/ Dummy Up” (from WSTM-FM’s ‘FZ as DJ’ broadcast, 21 Nov 1974) and treated him if he were alive post 9/11:
Barry, our most kind and benevolent webmaster, posted this seven part interview in July, 2008. However, when I sought it out both here at KUR and on the web, I came head-on to many dead links. Seems as though certain parties, which shall go nameless, have been quite busy on YouTube having particular Zappa-related material removed (It seems to me that it won’t be too long when finding anything Zappa-related on YouTube will be either (a) impossible, or (b) costly).
The total interview runs about an hour and covers music politics and popular culture from 1950s through 1990. This interview was never released. It was recorded in 3 segments 1990 in LA, but never completed as a final project. Intended to be kind of retrospect of what happened to the personal growth and idealism of 60’s as it whitewashed into the self indulgence of the 70s and 80s and the corporatism of America. It was never completed upon his death.
Fortunately, I was able to track down live links to Zappa’s Lost Interview. “Part 1: Early Influences” and “Part 2: McCarthy, Elvis & Racism” are above, respectively. The rest are as follows:
Activist poet and musician, Gil Scott-Heron’s musical career began in the late ’60s. He quickly emerged as a sharp, intelligent critic of contemporary culture, boasting terrific jazz-styled accompaniment. By the late ’70s, Scott-Heron’s sound had adopted a bit more of a contemporary R&B aesthetic, but his jazz roots remain clear. He hasn’t released any new recorded material since 1994’s Spirits, and in the early ’00s, faced prison time for drug possession charges. He has since been released, and as of early 2009, he is working on a new record, and still makes occasional live appearances.
Playing the Madison Square Garden stage on September 23rd, 1979, taking part in the famous series of “No Nukes” concerts organized by the Musicians United for Safe Energy, he reveals not just his politics yet a driving fusion between his worlds of jazz, poetry, and R&B.
Gil Scott-Heron – vocals
Robert Gordon – bass
Tony Green – drums
Carl Cornwell – saxophone
Ed Brady – guitar
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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Home Is Where The Hatred Is