Home > 1, Music, Puerto Rico, The Music Business, The Virgin Islands > Book 4. Zoom! and Book 1. Isla Grande.6

Book 4. Zoom! and Book 1. Isla Grande.6

Book 4. Zoom!!

Zoom..We finished the first run of the new CD just in time for me to  get to the airport and back to St. Thomas for the French Man’s Reef Concert, The concert is a fundraiser for COAST, the local affiliate of The National Council On Alcoholism and Drug Dependency. The event honors The Reverend Ray Joseph and local businessman and COAST Board member Ronnie Lockhart.

Zoom Zip Zoom

The need for recovery services is very acute in The Virgin Islands and is dramatically illustrated by the following bit of information (reported to me by Nancy Waite O’Brian former director of COAST and Clinical Director at The Betty Ford Center) from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency: “The incidence of alcohol related deaths in Texas is twice tha of the other contiguous states, The incidence of alcohol related deaths in Alaska is twice that of Texas, and The incidence of alcohol related deaths in The U.S. Virgin Islands is twice that of Alaska.”


In other words, The Virgin Islands have the highest incidence of alcohol related deaths under the American Flag, and possibly the least number of recovery support services under the American Flag as well. I am doing this fundraiser in an attempt to help COAST do something about that.

Zoom, When I get back to the states, we will do a CD release/Launch Party and focus on “The Virgin Islands Songs, The Musical, in Concert, and the single from the album, the new recording of “Surrender To The Sun” and..  Zoom, I am in St. Thomas. Tomorrow morning I start doing radio interviews to promote the Concert event.

Unfortunately, someone set the ticket price @ $75.00 per, which I’m afraid is way too high for most working people. In fact, I’m tempted to say “hey wait, if you are coming to see me, come and see me somewhere else at a price that you can afford”, but, as I am clearly the living embodiment of the “anti moolah” and obviously, not the best authority on manifesting the glittery green goulash,  perhaps I ought to defer my own lah de dah and concentrate instead on the fact that we are  doing a much-needed fundraiser for a good and necessary cause.. Zip

I will do my best, and hope that my people will understand. (Hey waitaminnit, “my people” are the very people most likely to benefit from the very services that we are raising funds for the agency to be able to provide to…hmmm, Oh yeeeahhh…) Ok.

 Double Zoom… today is the 22nd of April,and it is Sula’s 108th birthday, She will have her Birthday party on Saturday, we will gather at her little very old “wood house”, on the hill above Neltejburg Bay and sing and laugh and celebrate the love of a young girl, who at one hundred and eight, has maintained her enthusiastic innocence in spite of having seen it all. What an extraordinary gift she is.

Zoom Zoom and Zoom I did three radio shows at three different radio stations for three completely different demographical groups today and another yesterday, each one an interesting host and personalities and conversations and settings

Zoom, yesterday at 8 AM was with a very interesting and energized activist member of our community Ms. Lesly Commisiong, host of her own show on talk radio 1000. We had a great time and may have enlisted her as a potential board member for COAST. She is a great resource for this community and we shall see if time will allow het to join the board.

Now this morning at 9:00 AM the first  show was with “Sisi” a real fast talking happy talk rockin’ chick on “HITS 100”, Sisi is a young local rocker of color woman, whose parade of addresses and places lived in the states, reminds me of no one more than my self, we had a great time together, and it was beautiful to watch her interact with the young local college student interning with her.  Zam! Next was radio station “WGOD” (really) at the very tippy top of Crown Mountain. Not much to say other than it was the closest thing to Heaven since “Calwin’s Caribilly Bar” and we had great fun (really) with those good folks also. Third was “Zim Zam Zoom” WSTA and “Brownie” always fun, always wonderful. Brownie (and WSTA) have been a primary support for my music and me for over forty-five years. Their kindness is always very much appreciated, and Brownie is one very funny man. 

 Zoom to Saturday! What a good time we had at Sula’s 108th Brithday party today. Old Island recipe birthday cakes galore, warm wonderful family friendships, the Nisky Congregation out in force, and the power of love in evidence and evident everywhere. And…”Food ke-an done, me bouy wha!”

 Zib, Zubb! Tomorrow is the big Concert and I will sing my heart out,. I have prep work to do in the morning so I am going to go to bed… Good night,  it’s been a great day! God bless you each and every one!

 incidently, I was talking with Tut’s wife Mary last evening while a stateside TV show was “noisifying” in the background. In the story, some awfully self-righteous prosecuting attorney with the most insultingly superior attitude, (supposedly representing “The people” ah…that would be us) was prosecuting a case by harassing and haranguing a Rock and Roll Band’s sound man on the stand, in a most diminishing, disrespectful and demeaning way.

It was crazy! The tv writers seem to think that the viewers will swing right along with them, and co-sign anything. Don’t they know that everybody knows, that any good sound man is worth double his weight in law degrees and ten times his weight in condescending, arrogant and square lawyers? What kind of crazy reverseled up value system are they promoting? How could the producers and networks broadcast such a cockeyed premise? How could the advertisers support it? Gol dang, Sometimes I wonder if the people in TV land think the rest of us out here in the free world, are still back in the 1950’s, or just plain stupid er whut.

 On the other hand, it’s a fact that no one would believe the real adventures of “Life In The Bongo Isles” either..I guess you just have to suspend belief…

We did the concert, I’m happy to report that I was in fine voice and our sound preparations were sufficient (the sound man is Marcellus Edwards, Tut’s son who is also the owner operator of ZIP car rentals in St. Thomas) Marcellus is a fine lad, a dread-locked jewish gent of the “Lion Of Judeah” lost tribe school of Hebrish history, and so my friends we see again the grand combinations of flavors in the God Soup of life doen in the Bongo Isles 

Marcellus’s Great Grand Mother (on his father’s side) was a full blooded Carib from the reserve in Dominica, but his Great- Great Grand Father (still on his Fater’s side) was a black, black smith from Ethiopia (that’s the lost tribe part, but lost tribe as filtered through and  from The New York City penal system’s cauldron of salvatory spirituality. most specifically, the Rikers Island rabbinical school of this that and the next thing, as proselytized and evangelized to and through  our very own “Terry The Pirate” AKA “Crossbones” AKA “The Rabbi” The long and short of it all is.. Marcellus is a grand and good fellow, and in large part because of his loving kindness,and skill, the Concert went well

Zoom, Carnival village for one night and then Zoom, back to the states. I’m so Zoomed out I’m downright dizzified.

Book 1. Isla Grande.6

That thing about Rock And Roll that I wrote about earlier, that thing made all the difference. The music moved me. Not just emotionally or in terms of excitement, but it moved me up from a sense of almost complete vulnerability (aka childhood), to a kind of independence.

That was the effect that it had on both of us, both Gale and I. Man, do I love my sister Gale. She was the leader, she led us carefully (or as carefully as an 11 1/2 half-year old girl could) ou of dependent childhood into an wonderneverland of “boppers” the land of “electric Rock And Roll  Pan”  a land which I inhabit to this day.

God bless that Gale, after our time on our own, (once Mud and Howard had come back into the scene), she  decided that we (she and I) would start going to church on Sundays. We did that for a few Sundays..we woild get up early and put on our best clothes, and head out to one or another Catholic Church in Santurce, it was a bit odd I suppose for the regulars to thy and grok what the heck two little dressed up but raggedy white kids were doing coming to their Church all by them selves, but whatever their concerns, they were kind. However, what ever “scent in the air” Gale was following or looking for, it wasn’t there at Church.

Eventually the scent led us to English-speaking Radio Station WHOA and it’s Saturday afternoon “on the air” Elvis Presley Fan Club and “Rock And Roll” dance party. Only the Lord (and Gale) knows how she managed to find the bus fare and then the station, but she did and there we went, on the bus, on our own, away from the snooty rich kids, across Santurce to Rio Piedras and beyond. Our excitement building every parada of the way. Gale had found and followed the scent that led to the great fountain of life, the Fountain Of Youth, only instead of making us younger, it brought us to the immensely joyful spirit of youth eternal, of youth in rebellion, the bottomless pool of timeless energy that empowers and informs and reinforces the impregnable and impervious optimism that transforms a child into timeless youth. We were instantly  older and instantly hipper, and ever so much forever more free. The vehicle was Rock And Roll and the casteless, classless  collective consciousness that it invited and created everywhere it went. And boy I’ll tell ya, my sister Gale and I were ready. Continued…

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