"Lots of people write stories and are so half-assed about their facts; all they had to do was call me up," he notes irritably. "They said I went to rehab for cocaine? You wanna rehab from cocaine? Stop taking it."

Scott-Heron plans to tour this year in the U.S. and in Europe; he'll get to see more of his family, including his three children and his new granddaughter in Atlanta. He's also finishing a book, tentatively set for publication next year on Canondale Press, about his 1981 tour with Stevie Wonder and their successful campaign to get MLK Day recognized as a national holiday—a story he's proud of for one reason, the same one that applies to I'm New Here: "It makes you think," he says, a hint of a challenge in his smile. "And that may turn out to be dangerous, but this ain't Inherit the Wind. To hell with sponges! This is the 21st century—let's keep on movin'."

"I don't like to talk, period."
Mischa Richter
"I don't like to talk, period."

sanderson@villagevoice.com

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