Home > 1 > BOOK 3. Hidaway..The BLOOK!..Lindbergh Bay and The Texas Chili Queen..

BOOK 3. Hidaway..The BLOOK!..Lindbergh Bay and The Texas Chili Queen..

The BLOOK!..
Lindbergh Bay and The Texas Chili Queen..
August 17, 2009
It is pouring rain this morning and it is beautiful.
Tuts is at the window with concerns about the junkyard in the jungle just behind the house. He says that the “Domincano” that rents the little house in the jungle, has been going to the dump and dragging scrap metals back to his (rented) house and now, because hurricanes are headed this way and the scrap metal will become murderous missiles, (killing at least four neighbors if one of them hits)
Tuts wants us to go to The Daily News and use my “celebrity” to get the editor to make a reporter come down to the house, climb up the rickety ladder to the roof, take photographs and do an expose about the junk in the jungle which will then stimulate the local environmental agency to make the guy get rid of his junk.

He is disappointed when I question (considering all the other important things that he is passionate about, like getting public bathrooms at John Brewers Bay, which I have promised to move on the moment he wants me to) whether this is the best was to use my “mojo” with the editor of the Daily News, or whether there might be another way to get this done. I suggest that we take photos of the things that he his talking about, Tuts agrees, he will get a camera from his son Marcel and all together, as a little mob, we will take the photos to the Daily News. Let’s hope that the Hurricane passes somewhere north of Greenland.

The world is a fifty dramatic shades of gray with clouds on the mountain and still, heavy air every where. It is completely evocative of the feelings that I tried to capture in “Hidaway” all these many years ago.

Rain Clouds cover the mountain
Raggy Ann Cinderella
Spaniards search for the fountain
Drifting for Isabella
Boys that lie on the bathroom floor
looking for Hideaway

Silk and silver and satin
All the secrets of a stranger
Crying crystals and laughing
All the dangers of the Ocean
Still I try and catch your eye
looking for Hideaway

It is beautiful out in the weather, I’m on my way down the road and up to the College ne University. The shades of grey, strong pungent smells and great gusts of wind are fantastic and exciting to me. After parking, I pick up a flower, fallen from a flamboyant tree, so that I can someday accurately describe it for you

August 18th 2009
I need my publicity photos for a story the local paper will be doing on me. So, I started searching for it on my computer last night with no luck, and resumed searching here, there and all over the computer at 6AM this morning. I am surprised and confused to discover that I can’t find it.
I have so much stuff in the poor thing that it takes half of forever to get it going.
How can it be that I can never find the important stuff, which is why I save all this stuff in the first place, and why I lug the blasted little suitcase every where I go. The photos were here we made posters from them and have utilized them in a variety of ways.

Ok, so now I’ve found one but not the right one, which just further emphasizes the quantity that are missing. I want to maintain a positive attitude about the computer but this is not good. If they ARE in the box and I can’t find them that’s one thing. but if they were somehow lost or deleted during some disc cleanup or automatic self-maintenance process that’s another, and that’s what I’m afraid has happened.

I spend an awful lot of time with the magic box, to the point that I sometimes think that my thinking and behavior is being “reconditioned” (which is interesting because I’m not saying that our thinking is all that marvelous to begin with), but if the blasted things are not reliable and are inconsistent and are reconditioning us to even more dysfunction, then that’s not good.

I am further frustrated with this time gulping photo search because I have an important meeting at the studio to prepare for.
I will tell you frankly, I don’t know how in the world I am going to be able to do this thousand words a day when you consider the fact that I (after 15 years on the qwerty) have not yet broken twelve words a minute.. (lets see…that’s 720 minutes an hour..no wonder this is taking so frigging long!)

My experiences in the studio recording “The Virgin Island Songs” so far (and we are only half way though) are like a twelve tome (or should I say tone) A to Z encyclopedia of the unexpected. Sometimes trying to communicate in a recording studio (meaning trying to turn competing crescendos of non-verbal impressions into intelligible sounds that two or more of us may recognize) is like trying to stuff and seal two Hurricanes in a thimble, or jam a heard of mango drunk West Indian Elephants into a DC 7 that’s already taken off and is halfway to Puerto Rico. Yes, yes, I think that’s an accurate description

Anyway, the aggressively judgmental, angry white Canadian fellow that owned the studio and ran all the customers away, has left the Island. His business partner, a local “true believer” has taken over. I did my preparation, held my projections to a minimum, spoke little, listened much, and to my absolute delight and surprise, I could not be happier with the meeting that we had.
You will come to know more about the studio story over time, but believe me, it was not a good or happy scene. We are scheduled to spend two hours on the 25th in preparation for worlds champeen guitar man Jeff (Medina) who is coming in from Las Vegas on the 26th..

After the meeting ,I went to the University to check my email and found one from a good fellow that I’d met while doing a gig at “Sparkys Waterfront Saloon” in St. Thomas, in 1981 and who had recently expressed an interest in doing a book about my Rock Opera SOON..
Here is what he said.:.

It took a little longer than I thought but I heard from Fulcrum.
They won’t buy the book on a proposal- they want to see several
chapters. That’s reasonable but I’m not sure I want to do this on
spec. I’m feeling a little like a poorly formed hurricane, wobbling
this way and that. But a lot less dangerous.
I’d like to keep approaching and avoiding this project, if you don’t
mind- continue to see where it leads.
If you have no objections to me proceeding, I’ll be in NY in September
and if I can sneak away to the library I’d like to get back to the
Duberman archives and see what else is there.
Also- I know you were connected to Steve Paul’s Scene. Did you know
Havens? I may have someone who can get me an interview. And I believe
you knew Bob Lenox. I will be in Berlin in October and, if he’s still
living there, I’d like to sit down with him.
I don’t know where, if anywhere , this is going but if you don’t want
me to continue, let me know.
Hope all is well and all the best.

Dear Steven,
Thank you for the kind words.
That’s (Duberman) an interesting idea. If you don’t find it, I recently got a copy of a live bootleg cassette recording of SOON that may reflect his changes. We can listen to that and compare it to a SOON script that I have that belonged to The great Kookoolis. (Kookoolis was a beautiful and simpatico ultimately “hard luck” fellow)
I would imagine that Martin Duberman was/is embarrassed to have taken the job with SOON as he had no “artistic right” to do so (particularly considering that he was “slid in” as a “unilateral” producers solution while we were in the midst of the natural conflicts flowing out of “art and Commerce”) and likely knows that he contributed nothing. SOON is an ambitious musical creation and Duberman among others, (in my view) missed that point completely.

Bobby Lenox was at the Scene as part of my band “The Fantastic Inner-Galactic Tomorrow Cathedral Tamarind Orchestra” Jimi Hendrix came to the Scene after Monterey Pop. At first as “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” and then hanging out and jamming perhaps essentially because (I suspect) of the quality of the chicks. The chicks (and Groupies) at the Scene were the best. They are why many of us stayed around. Steve Paul was always broke, there was next to no money at all ( well..the chicks had some, and that is what we lived on)

To my knowledge, David Clayton Thomas was only there with BS&T. Some of the other gents from BS&T (Including Al Cooper) had been more of a presence because of their prior involvement with “The Blues Project” which played The Scene a few times. Danny Kalb (Guitar with the BP) was a really decent fellow.
Tiny Tim was there in those days as well and (for his own special reasons) held me me in a place of “high esteem” always coming to the pad for advice on (of all things) relationships with girls. He was a real sweetheart. Steve Paul was quite an interesting fellow in his own right, very bright and creative. Mort Shuman and Kookoolis and I recorded Steve Paul doing monologues, or what he called “rapping” against music that Mort provided. They were really unusual, full of ideas and imagery and quite good. Lord only knows what happened to them. I hope that Steve has managed to save them somewhere.
Looking forward!

He said..

That’s great stuff. have you thought about writing your own story?

Here’s what I said

Dear Steven,
For most of 65-66 I was the “House Singer” at the Scene, Richie was the House Singer at the Au Go Go.
What is your interest in Martin Duberman?
Looking forward!

He said..

I’m looking for a copy of the Soon script in the Duberman archives. I’m curious to see what changes were made between the time you were fired and the opening. The last time I was at The NYPL I found an angry letter to Duberman from Greenwald supporting you and Kookoolis, suggesting that changes had been made.
According to my reading Lenox, David Clayton Thomas and Hendrix were at The Scene too? Is that right? I remember seeing Havens in the audience at The Au Go Go wearing a beautiful, flowing dashiki at a BS&T show shortly after David Clayton Thomas joined the band
The note you sent the other day was wonderful. Have you thought about writing your own story?

I said..

“Dear Steven,
Richie and I were on the same bill at the Cafe au Go Go for quite a while in the winter of 65 or 66 It was Richie Havens, Scott Fagan, David Clayton Thomas and Jimmy James and The Blue Flames. As I recall we got something like $5.00 a night each (from Howard Solomon) and all the macrobiotic rice you could eat (from the waitresses). One cold winter night I was “Discovered” there by Herb Gart, signed with him, came back to the islands for a quick turnaround and went directly from Duffy’s and Trader Dan’s to “The Cafe Lena” in Saratoga New York (where it was 25 degrees below zero).Down right balmy for you folks in Minnesota, still..
As you know “Jimmy James” was also “Discovered” at the au Go Go around that time by Chas Chandler, taken to England to be returned to us as Jimi Hendrix, and David was “Discovered” there by Al Cooper and taken into Blood, Sweat and Tears.
We thought that Richie had missed the boat, however…

Bobby Lenox and I email back and forth all the time. He is in Berlin, his health has not been good of late so don’t tarry. We were in “The Fantastic Inner-Galactic Tomorrow Cathedral Tamarind Orchestra” (which is what I called my band) together in 66-67 and have co-written a few pretty good tunes. We were put on the bill at The Rheingold Music Festival at The Wollman Rink in NYC in the summer of 66 or 67 with Flatt and Scruggs and Doc Watson..I was out in front in my Neru Jacket doing our heavy protest thing when I thought I saw the biggest, most beautiful gossamer butterfly flit by..then another and another. The bass started playing funny and Bobby’s Hammond Organ made a weird crashing sound..I looked back over my shoulder to see the boys all scrunched down behind their amplifiers yelling to me to “Look out, Look out” just then one of the butterflies exploded against a pole and I realized that they were throwing whisky bottles at us.
We have much in common Bobby and I. Yes, push ahead by all means, I am very hopeful.
I am currently in St.Thomas working on “The Virgin Islands Songs” and will be looking forward to hearing from you.
Break A Leg!

He said..

That’s great stuff. Really-have you thought about doing this yourself?

So my dear amigos, this “BLOOK” (which is sorta what I really call the blog/book/(with music) hybrid) that I am writing and you are reading, is the direct outcome of those communications.
Lindbergh Bay and The Texas Chile Queen..
After a potted meat and mayo sandwich I went over to Lindbergh (The Beach)
I have been going/coming to Lindbergh since we first saw it in 1951

It is our first morning in the islands and I am looking down at Lindbergh Bay from the breakfast balcony of The Caribbean Hotel. There are flowers all around and Humming birds and Banana Quits are darting in and out of everywhere. A cool morning breeze is moving gently, the air seems edible, it smells so good.
I am watching a young boy and an old man holding hands as they walk together.They are slowly zigzagging along the strand of ivory white sand. And I say to myself, wow….

Back in the present, I am disappointed to see that my favorite shady spot under a certain sea grape tree is completely taken up by a line of plastic tourist chaise lounges, upon which a number of classically “palest of the pale” people are reclining,
This of course means that I will have to fling down out in the blazing sun (well it’s four O’clock in the afternoon, so while not actually blazing, it is still hot)
Anyone who has been going to the beach in the islands for close to sixty years knows one thing if nothing else in the world. You gotta find some shade!..
I continue looking around and realize that the wise local gentleman, working for the hotel on the beach, has (using his OWN experience in these matters) placed all these frigging plastic chaise lounges in the exact spots that HE would choose for himself) this is a problem.
One would like to think that personal experience in these matters would provide some reliable advantage; however, these touristas are enjoying instant benefit from experience not their own. Some would say, “it’s the American way” others “The early bird gets the worm..or shade”
I hope this hotel is paying this local elder gent well for selling out our secrets.

I immediately begin to suspect that the mental meltdown promised to us all, is starting to manifest in me, because contrary to everything I know and believe, I fling me stuff down right out there in the blazing (well not quite blazing, but still pumping a good if spotty sizzle) sun.

Anyway. The water is cool and refrescante and just beautiful.
I have discovered recently that I can lie on my back in, or almost, in fact probably, ON the water for the longest while, and I’ve been wondering if I ought to try spending the whole night lying on the water to see how well I might sleep. (no rolling over though,). I’ve discovered that if I turn my palms up just beneath the surface of the water I can feel just enough resistance from the “plane” to “push” against it, and that way maintain an even keel. I’m thinking how interesting this discovery is, and what I ought to do with it, when I hear very strong Texas accents heading my way.

Two “top heavy” older folks are stepping gingerly through the calm clear Caribbean Sea, it looks like these folks may be used to tip toeing around broken clam shells, tar balls and Lord knows what else, However, this water is so clear your big toe looks like a football and you can see the sock lint beneath your toenails.
Still as every tourist will tell you ”ya gadda be careful never know what’s hiding underneath the sand, could be a hungry 60 foot parana shark or a mean bushwackin’ flatkindafish with a pointy whatchamacallit waiting ta slam ya right inda fandango” or worse. Anyway, they looked like simpatico folks and ’cause me mudder taught me to be polite , I said “Howreyeh liking that water?”

The man said “Luuvin it” and just like that, we were conversatin’. “Were you here for the Chili Cook off last Sunday?” he asks, and I say that I had just come back from the states on Saturday and had promised to visit my 107 year old girlfriend up in the mountains on Sunday, so regretfully, I had missed it. He then said “Ah won fourth place and mah wife there won third, she mixes all the spices”.

We had a great chat about Chili and the various cook offs around the country, it turned out that they are pretty consistent winners, and she is sort of “super chili champ” and in fact He had won this trip by taking first prize (using her recipe) at a big Chili event in Texas just last week.

I asked about the water in Brownsville Texas., and they said it was brown. That it was brown all along the Texas coast. I added that in fact the water was brown all through Mississippi and Alabama too, until you got just east of Mobile Bay. Then, it becomes the most beautiful iridescent blue reaching an absolute peak of perfection in Destin, Florida

He wondered how hot it got down here in the winter and I said “it varies just a few degrees one way and the next”..I said I’d been in this very same water on Christmas day a number of times. And further, that one of the hottest places I’d ever experienced was Dallas Texas, but that the theater group I was in Dallas with, took me to an Ice skating rink to cool off and it was wonderful. They said yep, that must be the Galleria and I said yep that sounds about right.

Anyway, our Chili chat turned out to be one of the most surprisingly refreshing conversations I’d had in the water at Lindbergh, ’cause first of all I am not in the habit of talking to people in the water, I am much more used to lieing on my back talking to the sky and secondly, I’m afraid folks have gone a bit sour on Texans in this part of the perdinales. These days there are possibly more Texans on the Island than Palestinians and while the Palestinians in St. Thomas are seen as unpleasant, arrogant and wealthy, the Texans are seen as just plain old unpleasant and arrogant

.There are bumper stickers on the island saying “Somewhere In Texas, A Village Is Missing It’s Idiot” However, I think people who are promoting anger and intolerance for one another, are no less than village idiots themselves
Doody and Babs (their real names) were nice regular folks from Texas with all the qualities and faults of nice regular folks from anywhere. We had a nice little moment in time together. Godblessem.
Back at the pad, Tuts reports that the son of a lifelong friend of ours has been shot to death.
Tuts is rightfully upset and on a rant about the Godawful proliferation of guns and shootings in The V.I.. As he says (and often) “”We have not and do not manufacture any guns here in St. Thomas so every one of them came in by boat or plane. You can’t tell me that The Feds don’t know that the Arabs are bringing in these guns to sell to ignorant young black children, what I don’t understand is why do they allow it? Why don’t they stop it?”

All I can do is remind him again that he habitually overestimates the intelligence of white men and expects too much of them. I say (as I always do) “The people themselves have to take the action to bring about change” but it sounds (even to me) like the lamest of Okee Dookee responses.

The fact is,it is beyond belief that the Feds would allow the island to be flooded by guns and drugs and illegals from every corner of the earth. The island has somehow become inundated by Palestinian merchants and associated young men. Local folks are convinced that they are all disrespectful of black people and practice overcharging and short-changing as a way of life.. The local folks also believe that these are the people that are smuggling and selling the weapons.. I of course, am trained and inclined to prejudge no one (except Texans) and so am more on the “wait for proof trail” Ah..you do know that I’m joking about the Texans right?. Godblessem..and all the rest.

  1. Kelly
    July 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    If I were to write a book, maybe I would just spend all my time on that beautiful beach…….

    • scottfagan
      July 6, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      That is a good Idea Kelly, one that I really ought to consider very seriously.

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