Home > 1, Music > Book 4. Who Sez Huh? Who Sez? Book 3. Popeye and The Crystal Cathedral

Book 4. Who Sez Huh? Who Sez? Book 3. Popeye and The Crystal Cathedral

Book 4. Who Sez Huh? Who Sez?

 While I haven’t gotten “The Virgin Islands Songs” completed as a full cast recording, I have written it and can perform a one man version of it… so it does exist, and it does contain the silliness and emotion, the feelings and the fun that I wanted an audience to experience as “The Virgin Islands Songs”

 It looks as though the full cast recording may have to be done in another place, in another time. Too many things are getting backed up. Having finally attained “the age of reason” I am able to “reasonize” that I don’t have any time to waste.

One way or the other, I have to keep moving.

 There is a certain freedom around this question of creating so-called product now that one has next to no expectation of being paid for it. I confess that I (having been in the music business for forty-five years now) have developed a sort of built-in automatic “Biz Monitor” an “adult music business voice” that pops (uninvited) into many if not all internal creative dialogs, to say almost always “Scott, you can’t do that, nobody wants that, it’ll never sell” (I further confess that while there are a few things to which I’ve said “Yeah, you’re probably right” there are many more to which my response is “Oh yeah! Who sez, huh? Who sez?”  and “so what” This is one of those occasions.

I think that “my audience” will understand, if I can ever find them, they are the most elusive non group I’ve ever never known, I do have a few or perhaps multiples of a few solid “committables” although I’ve noticed a curious phenomenon of late. In those instances where I’ve come down from Olympus to answer “fan email” personally, I’ve some how managed to turn enthusiastic fans (some committible since South Atlantic Blues) into people I’ve never heard from again.

 Perhaps I’ve been too effusive, and their responses something like “Nah, a big time handsome mysterioso (did I say handsome?) recording artist dude like Scott Fagan wouldn’t, couldn’t, really write all that nice stuff to me all by himself could he?, it must be some kind of crazy psychedelico algorithmico generated form letter” Heck no, I’m not gonna put up with this on top of his obscurity, it too much hard work to be a big fan of somebody you’ve never even seen or never even heard (and if you did probably confused him with Lou Rawls or Lou Christy or Monty Rock the Third, heck no, it’s too much work. So I’m not gonna like him any more, cause after all I put up with for him.. HE SENT ME A FORM LETTER!.

 Anyway, as I said, there are (or were) perhaps fourteen or fifteen of them (my audience) scattered across the globe (in the most AMAZING places) there were an important few (including the head of the world-wide Scott Fagan Forever Fan club) in the Woman’s Detention Center in Greenwich Village, but unfortunately I don’t know where that “all important list of addresses” has gone, so now I’m going to have to wait for “The Fabulous Fourteen or Fifteen” to re-discover me all over again.

The fact is I’m a sixty-four year old singer whose train has left the station. Fortunately, I’ve got some fans, followers and friends who are still true believers, still willing to run alongside the tracks with me, in an attempt to flag the blood dragon down when “she’s comin’ round the mountain when she comes”, or shooting and raining sparks on the huffy puffel trail up the Big Rock Candy Mountain or somethin’

 So, with their help we will begin. (what the heck is it that’s beginning?)  It is the next phase of “The Virgin Islands Songs” more specifically, the beginning of promoting and performing the one man version, which began  very appropriately at the Cultural Institute, in the J. Antonio Jarvis Museum, on Polyberg Hill..just across from the Alton Adams Home. In St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

 Chico (Gus Edwards, Tutsie’s brother, the pre-eminent Afro-decended Playwright in America) said some important things..he said that trying to do it all (Write it, Fund it, Rewrite it, Cast it, Arrange it, Sing it, Rehearse it, Record it, Direct it, Produce it, and Promote it,) is too much for anyone to have on their plate. He suggested that it made sense to simplify the process by lessening the requirements for a production by doing it as a one man show.

This makes a lot of sense where moving it forward as a performance and production is concerned, however it confuses me at depth because I am inclined to think in musical terms. Towards enhancing the musicality of a thing as an automatic response. and always always, towards creating musical recordings.

 Additionally, there is the fact that I’m going to have to do different content for most stateside audiences because they probably are not going to get the spoken calypso humor of the Buckra De Paehae pieces. But we shall do and we shall see and it will be a fun and exciting element of the “Second Coming”.

 Once upon a time in the music business, if you were an artist armies of smarmies would swarm ya trying to steal you away from the oh so honest upstanding trustworthy and upright personal manager or agent you were already signed and committed to. It was awful. They would try to get at you through your wife or girl friend, promising them this that and the next thing. It was really anxiety producing, unpleasant and depressing.The truth is I would rather be rejected than smarmed  because ultimately, it’s up to me to find my way. I just hope me poor bent cogi-tater organ doesn’t snap crackle and pop under the strain! This is probably what that danged missing “executive center” in the brain is supposed to solve and resolve clickty clackity, lickty splito. We shall see…yes we shall.

 Book 3.  Popeye and The Crystal Cathedral

 In the context of all the above, the various difficulties of my life, are the consequences of my failure, this is a line of information that keeps coming to mind and with it, the opportunity to get more clear about the causes of my failure, and what to do about them.

I am getting mighty clear about the consequences of my failure, they are all around me all day and all night, they are everything I have and don’t have, everything I do and don’t do and they are debilitating and contributory to more and more and more failure.

 Well I ain’t a gonna take it!.. now effen ah kin jus figger out which button to punch which rock to roll up what hill, which road to take home.

I know that it’s drastically more subtle than that, rolling boulders up Everest is easy compared to getting a grip on these slippery invisibilities, many of which I’m confident, are comfortably anchored high above and behind me in the far confluence where cobweb, corner and ceiling gently conspire and quietly collude to collide.

Yep, an effen ah keep talking lak thet..it’s gonna be a cold day on rocky top before my blue moon turns to gold again. Yep, and If I keep talking like that, good ol’ Rocky top will be  sweetly tinkling sand on the bottom of the sea, by the time I make any sense to me.

 A while back I thought to my self “You’ve got to do better!” and I wondered “yeah but do what better?” and my answer was “everything.” And THAT made sense to me. Everything that I’m timid about, everything that I’m afraid of and try to avoid, everything that I dismiss as unimportant or beneath me, or square or… everything.

 This idea of accepting the term “failure” as useful and accurate is fairly new for me. I have absolutely failed at accomplishing what I set out to accomplish, and though I have accomplished other important things (which may after all be all that I get to accomplish) I have failed at what I set out to do.

 My father used to say “Fidel, I want you to watch Robert Schuller from the Crystal Cathedral, in fact we have a pane of glass there in our name, he’s positive and great, I watch him every Sunday” And I would feel a wave of pity and compassion for my father dear, living down in the friggin’ okeefeenokeeglades in an all but collapsed trailer. Breeding mosquitoes the size of humming birds and singing to his thirty or sixty or so leaping, barking, nonstop copulating Chihuahuas, having himself failed at what he set out to do. I would say not on your friggin’ life, thinking that the Robert Shuller Okeedooky was what allowed him to tolerate living the way he did, not realizing that it was the alcohol and likely his own dose of fetal alcohol effects that had melted his lofty dreams and burning ambitions into a warmish pool of Schlitzy piss.

Ah dear my fadder dear, your boy Fidel had a lot to learn… and is trying like hell to learn it.

Anyway, so last, (not this but last) January up in the states, I was watching Robert Shuller..when he mentioned one of my very favorite characters of all “New World” mythology “Popeye The Sailor Man”

 The Reverend Robert Shuller came on and introduced his guest speaker Bill Hybels, and Mr. Hybels introduced his Popeye inspired approach to changing one’s life.

Mr. Hybels launched right into his premise, which is that we all have an “I jus can’t stands it no more” and if we can identify it then we can change our lives. He asked the viewers to think about that and he asked.” What is your “I Just Can’t Stands It No More”?

I leapt to my feet and confessed aloud that my “I Just Can’t Stands it No More” is my failure.

 Now I know that some of you folks think that one of the more endearing things about me is my utter absence from the check out stand publications, and my quaint habit of laying so low that nobody knows a thing about me or my scandalous behaviors. Some of you have even gone so far as to track me down to ask for my obscurity formulae so that you can model your own business and life plans upon it, and while I don’t mind being able to come and go as I please with out the complications that so many others complain about, The fact and the truth, is I failed at what I set out to do. Which was/is to make a difference in the world and to provide financial freedom and security for my family and myself while doing it

 I thought that I could and would do it through my ability to sing and write and make records… I have been at it since July 2nd  1964 and although I am not a failure at singing and writing,or a number of other things, I have failed miserably at managing and promoting my abilities and the products of my abilities to produce financial freedom and security for my family and myself.

 Consequently, I have been materially “poor” and my Children have been materially “poor” all of our lives. Both parents, my sister and two of my three brothers have died materially “poor”. I was not successful at providing a breakthrough for any of them. Or any of the four mothers of my five children.

My Daughters Lelia and Holiday are still most vulnerable and the reality that I am not able to help them in spite of the fact that I am bright, inventive and more talented than many AND have given the past forty-five years to trying and trying and failing and failing,, brings me to where..  “I JUS CAN’T STANDS IT NO MORE!”

 So, with the help of the Higher Power I am going to change it. Here are elements of my Action Plan. I will assess my assets and my deficits and identify what I have to learn and do to reverse my failure and at long last… well, ahh …reverse my failure.

  1. I will keep a diary of the process. The diary will be helpful to folks and a valuable creative product in its own right…
  2. I will make an entry each morning (2 minutes) and each evening (4 minutes), the first stating what I intend to achieve that day, and the second, what I got done and did not get done and what I learned as a result and the remedy.

 January 25, 2009 AM

I intend to hold on to Popeye’s saying, “I Jus Can’t Stands It No More” write it down and see what if anything I can learn and do from that process. I intend to find a way or at least the beginning of a way to turn my failure into success, and to follow consistently the process that I outline or discover.

 January 25, 2009 PM

I have started the process of turning my failure into success. I have written my intentions down and have begun. I spent an hour and a half rehearsing songs from “South Atlantic Blues”. I will  out line the many ideas for potentially revenue producing projects, I will do the outlines in the morning.

 January 31, 2009

Listing the many projects that I started this week

 JULY 12, 2009 AM

Gosh, I had completely forgotten all about the daily diary entry aspect of this daily diary entry exercise, and have just rediscovered what I had written back in January! I am in St. Thomas recording “The Virgin Island Songs”. It has been interesting. but..good Lord.

 February 12, 2010

Gosh, I’d forgotten what I rediscovered I’d forgotten and rediscovered, in July! Good  Good  God  Amighty…

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