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BOOK 4. One year into the Memwa?

August 24, 2010 3 comments

BOOK 4. One year into the  Memwa?

I started writing the Memwa? Ten days before my sixty-fourth Birthday (Aug 16th and Aug 26) now it’s Aug 24th, two days before my sixty-fifth. I began in St. Thomas where I was recording  (or attempting to record), my new Musical “The Virgin Islands Songs”.   I’m now in the states performing my concert version of “The Virgin Islands Songs” and working with a collection of musicians from the MAAC collective as “Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band”.

 I started out by committing to 1000 words a day for ninety days and was able to maintain that schedule through the commitment. Since then, (or more accurately, most recently) it’s become catch as catch can. In part because of the requirements of gigging, earning my little fazools, and my commitment to the collective… I have had great fun and lots of laughs writing the Memwa? Still though, it is far from finished, and it is clear that I will need to create and sustain a  more productive Memwa? schedule.

My eyesight has gone from great to glasses to fuzzy grey all over the place; I have to do something about that also. I have much , much more work (writing and singing and other things) to do, but I am feeling oddly spooky about turning sixty-five. I am generally completely unconcerned about the chronological tick-tock but at the moment, I am becoming afraid that I won’t be able to get it done.

Part of it, a large part of it is of course, is finding my success (or my audience as we like to put it these days) and having my work recognized as having had some value and creative quality.

This particular  life area is a mishmash of emotions which I usually deal with my unusually well-developed skill at  denial, however, even I am becoming concerned that, not only will I be going too quietly into that dark night, but I will be gone without raising enough ruckus or, God help us “blowing my own horn loud enough”, to leave any thing of tangible  value for my beautiful and long, long-suffering little ones.

If I only knew  which massive boulder to roll up Everest, or which 12 foot grizzly I had to wrassel mano a mano, or what heretofore impossible cosmo-mathological equation I needed to smite and solve… but I’ve been made dumb by that question since I’m six years old. And now I’m feeling that my time is running out. And let me tell you something, call me confused or a liar, or in pre-limino flagrento dementia, but I am certain that time goes faster and faster the older you get.

 I could easily pretend that that’s all I know about getting older, but the fact is, this Peter Pan has accidentally accumulated a small treasure box of shocking and completely unexpected information (and experiential knowing) about this grey ah…I mean great and mysterious stage of life.

Possibly first and foremost in importance, is the fact that chicks don’t look at you the same. And if you’re a chick, Cats (no not kitty cats, Hip Cats) don’t look at you the same either.

(Kitty cats however, do have a whole new appreciation of older chicks and  ex Hep, now no pep, Cats. I‘ve been told that felines consider old dears in their dotage to be a special gift just for them from “Super Cat” creator of the catmos.

 Why one wonders? Have you ever heard of young people braving the elements at all hours of the day or night to set out cat food in the darkest alleys and vacant lots of this or that Urban hell? Or living in pads (house or apt) over run by kitty critters?

 Well…now that I mention it, I have. My wild Annie the Artist Girl and I once lived in a basement apartment on west 84th street, with something like eight dogs and thirty two cats, all at once. Each and every one named something or other bean. Like You Bean and New Bean and Two Bean and Who Bean and Who-You Bean and You-Hoo Bean, all the way up past thirty two Bean to forty. 

However, while we were quite young in those days, we were also smote by chemistry that looked and felt like dotage, so possibly we cornfuseled (one of Annie’s favorite words in those days) ourselves and each other and cornfuseled the critters by extension.

Another thing about getting older, is you don’t look at the chicks the same either; there seems to be a much greater awareness that they are human beans, with feelings and hearts, disappointments and dreams and deserving of consideration and human kindness. One of the realities of lusty young men is that well…while we may have heard tell that chicks had feelings…other “mating” imperatives forced their way to the fore, not blacking, but “redding” out more subtle and sensitive considerations.

Ah my Lord, it was all I… ah… I mean a lusty young man could do to keep his eyeballs from exploding out of his pounding head, and his arms from s’muffling and crushing her, and his lips from slobber-jabbering love lies and perfidiac promises ( every utterance as deeply felt as  Gospel truth, in the heat of the moment).

It was all a lusty lad could ever do and all the time too. But now? God has dashed, decreed and made it so, that the heat madness be splashed by the ice water realization that “My God, she could be my Grand Daughter” or “My God, she is my Grand Daughter!” Ah yes…

 From time to time (when I sit with old birds on a park bench like lizards in the sun), one or another will suggest that the “golden elder belles” see young men somewhat differently as well (Unless the old chick is stuck in panting mode).   I’m told that they see ‘im remarkably similarly to the young lusty “lunk noggin” that I described earlier.

I’m not surprised to hear it; I always suspected that the Grand Mamere’s had my number.

 There are a number of age-o-alities that it seems no one bothered to mention, (or if they did, it was in geriatric jargon perhaps in a treatment setting, about old, or rather, aging 60’s psychedelic casualties and how to break the news that they were what they were, to them.)

I will write what I can about all of that at another time, perhaps even exhaustively until it (and we) are exhausted. But, for the moment, the real shocker is that chicks look at you differently. (They most certainly are not seeing and responding to your beautiful, color phasing iridescent inside)

How interesting to wonder if and when there ever was a time or even a moment, in life when one’s outside was an accurate representation of who and how one really was inside.

All of that being whatever it may be, here’s what the wind whispers to me.

 “Sing for your life” and leave the rest to the Great Artist who first imagined us all.

And…Boy, stay ready for the ever-so-much more important   second set, which will be called for when you are tired to the center of your soul, and least expecting it…

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Book 4. Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band…

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment

We are doing a Big “Island Blowout Luau” Benefit on City Island on  Sunday Aug 22nd  to save the “Pride Of The Susquehanna” a wonderful little river boat here in Pennsylvania.

I thought you might enjoy seeing our band “one sheet”, new band photo and our National Dance Day “Shake a Bum” Video.Here ’tis!

SCOTT FAGAN and The MAAC ISLAND BAND have been tearing it up at the Middletown Area Arts Collective since Scott returned from St. Thomas at the beginning of May.

Scott Fagan (Singer) has been an international recording artist since he left high school in St. Thomas Virgin Islands to sign with Columbia Records in 1964. He presently divides his time between The MAAC collective in Middletown and his home in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

 Some reviews…

  • Cashbox Magazine:
    Spinal Tap melodies…His range is phenomenal
  • Billboard:
    “A Poet”
  • William Krasilovsky, Author, THIS BUSINESS OF MUSIC, l & ll:
    “Scott Fagan is a genius. I’ll certify that.”                                                                

The MAAC ISLAND BAND is:

Rafael “El Jefe” Martinez,  (El Congero) Rafael was born in Armaguerros, Puerto Rico, he has been a “Congero” for over twenty Five years and a “Pennsylvaniero”since 1973.

 Drew Washington, (Bass) Originally from New Mexico, Drew appeared at the MAAC Gallery in Middletown one winter night for an open jam and immediately became the BASS Man of Choice for the MAAC ISLAND BAND. Drew has played at the highest levels, for over thirty Years.

Tim Griesemer (Drums) is well known through out Pennsylvania (and beyond) for his extraordinary gifts as a drummer. He is master of a wide variety of percussion instruments and has made it his business to “pass it on”

Walter Mills  Born in Boston MASS, Walter has been playing  the guitar for over thirty years, He has a wonderfully diverse set of musical influences from Hendrix to Pavarotti and everything in between. That makes him a perfect fit for SCOTT FAGAN and The MAAC  ISLAND BAND.

Sound Engineering for SCOTT FAGAN the MAAC ISLAND BAND is by digitaldave, 30 Years on the knobs.

CONTACT Tim Griesemer Home 717-944-3023 Cell 717-439-1919 or Scott Fagan 717-592-0853

scott@lilfishrecords.com    www.scottfagan.com  www.lilfishrecords.com www.thecollectedworksofscottfagan.com  

Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

“Here is Shake A Bum” our National Dance Day Video! What fun!

Book 1. The Blessed Virgins and Book 4. Concert in New York Continued…

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Book 1. The Blessed Virgins

And so somewhere in the winter of 1958 Mud led her little band (Little Larry Gale and I) away from the land of the ice burger, to the lands of eternal spring  and summer, the Blessed Virgins. Of course I wore my recently purchased black leather jacket (just as I would wear it both day and night until I completely and incontestibly  physically out grew it over a year and a half later)

When we had left St. Thomas, fleeing {“The Bills” (who ever those guys were) four years earlier Gale and I were very different children. We  now carried the depravation  and esteem issues of absolute down and out poverty, disrupted education, and serious questions about (the theretofore unquestionable such as) Mud’s competence as leader of the pack, and all that that meant.

 Just about the only thing that we never questioned about Mud was her taste in music, it was with out exxception, always great. Mud was never negative about music, any music. She just plain out andf out loved music. And while we  never heard her say a negetive or angry word about it, a few years later our father Frankie, would surprise and hurt use by “hating” Rock And Roll and any and everything else that had replaced Big Band and Be Bop.

It was very disturbing to hear that kind of angry agrandiament of one kind of music over all others. It seemed so obvously stupid that, while trying to defend my self and the music, I was embarrased for him. How can anyone expect kids to  primarily identify with and love the music which expresses the time and concerns of their parents,  rather than the music that expresses the times and concerns of their own generations?  

Still, I see that same crazy conceit all around, all the time .It is so disappointing and transparently stupid…still.

That said, Me fadder dear was a hell of a singer and those tunes he sang were certainly very very good ones. Further, his emphasis and constant refrain on singing was “it’s all in the phrasing Fidel, (he lovingly called me “Fidel, The F*ckin bombthrower from the islands,) It’s all in the phraseing” has served me well. Continues…

Book 4. Concert in New York Continued

What a blast we had… the whole raggy band, a confoundation of experiences and ideologies a flim flam flashin dash-agoria of frantic -zigzagomania, a schreehin’ scramble of the lost push pulling the lost in concentric kaleidoscopic circles. And that was before we even got out the door and into our veehickles.

A Carnation, carvention, carfused, caravan of veehickles screwed tightly onto out of state licence plates, plates that I D’d us as hick-prey, thus fair game for the pent of frustrations and ever so inventive vulgarities of anxiety sizzled big city pedestrians. Even so.. we were so excited to see them that we reveled in their exotic and colorful stereotypically  accented verbuse, and have recounted every  single delicious expression and “cuss” phrase back and forth amongst us over and again. What fun we had. I really do wish you were there. The folks at BWAC (The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition) put the absolute once and for all kibosh on the fiction that New Yorkers are cold and distant.

These good people could not have been any warmer and more welcoming. And dear goodness, I had kinda sorta somehow forgotten how beautiful and intoxicating New York City Lady Girls have always been to me. Man o man, young and old silver and gold, each more beautiful than the last.  What a joy it is to see a city full of ‘im!

We are booked to come back for an opening on Saturday, May the 7th 2011.

We will be there bells a ringing!

Here is a band photo that we took at BWAC just after our performance.

New Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

New Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we play for the third anniversary of the MAAC (Middletown Area Arts Collective) and next week we will play the benefit to save Harrisburg’s own Riverboat “The Pride Of The Susquehanna”. We are working on doing “The Virgin Islands Songs live in Concert” at the Richold Center For The Arts in St. Thomas, and filming it as a potential music special for PBS. We shall see…

 

Book 4 Concert In NYC

August 5, 2010 1 comment

Book 4 Aug 8th, Concert In NYC

Just back from The islands, I am getting ready for my next gig. We (me and the MAAC ISLAND BAND) are doing a concert  version of my new musical ‘THE VIRGIN ISLANDS SONGS” on Aug 8th at 3:00 pm at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (www,bwac.org)  49 Vanbrunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn.

It’s odd to think that II haven’t done a gig in New York for over 28 years. I love New York City. Most recently, my little one Holiday and I took a bus  from  up from our pad in Pennsylvania and spent the day there.

We walked around the theater district looking at the markees and visited  The Ritz Theater (Now the Walter Kerr)  on 48th street, where my Rock Opera SOON played. We also took a ride on the Staten Island ferry, and ended our day by visiting Ground Zero.

I have much history in New York and am excited to do this gig.

A gaggle of characters from the collective will be coming along and I promise you that they (we) are as odd an assortment  of people as has ever met the eye, ear, nose, or imagination. It will be fun…and  friends, it’s looking like after all is said and done love and fun may be close to what it’s all, after all, all about.

Come see us in New York if you can, I’ll be looking for you!

Book 4. On Nicky Russell, Sad Beyond Words…Continued

August 1, 2010 3 comments

Book  4. On Nicky Russell, Sad Beyond Words…Continued

 The fact of Nicky’s demise has been too sad for words for me, for many days now, and has precluded my posting to the Memwa?

 I have to move beyond that sad preclusion, I will save  my wild ranting  for another time., and I will instead, keep it simple..

It rained like hell at Nicky’s memorial and the grand assemblage under the striped circus tent at Magen’s Bay got soaked from above, aside (actually both sides) and flooded up from below.

 Sensible people, which included the bands and sound system folks (I know that it sounds like an oxymoron) concluded that playing with electricity while standing in water up to your ankles was not wise. Many if not most  packed up and split. I did not, (but only because I have  never and never do, known or know when to go) consequently when Mssr. Pat Bailey and “Bongo Man Bar none”, Richard Spencly suggested that we “just play” regardless of the juicy water and lack of amplification, it felt like a mighty fine flashback to days of old. Days (and nights) of old wherein young men (flung about the waterfront across from Trader Dan’s)  literally sang the sun up out of the sea.

We sang the sunrise welcoming many a mad morning.  Mad mornings of the very best/worst kind. The kind  that our friend Nicky elevated in memory and celebrated fight down to the end. So we did…

We played a rousing set of calypso caraho that included Nicky’s (and his straggler fans) favorites, “La Biega Carousel”,

“Cherrigo”,

and “Captain Creole”

As sweet sad a raucous rhapsody, as can be imagined.

As we moved from song to song we were joined by others who refused to let the music and the moment go. Morgan Rael on the mighty jaw bone, an unknown (to me) bell swacker and a mighty fine mystery conga man.

Someone was kind/foolish enough to plug in a microphone and guitar amp, the volume jumped and the joint got jumping.

Our little oddchestra was fronted by the ever enthusiastic prantastic dancing of the afore-mentioned Pat Bailey, who revved to wild, right off the bat.

You (in the audience) may not always be aware that we (on the band stand) see you and feel you and receive intense infusions of emotion and energy from you.

This “speed of light” zappage is a primary driving factor in the degree of intensity that charges the back and forth energy/passion/love/exchange between us.

The double polarity ultra zapbomb was in full force on this occasion.

The sad eyed ladies down front, were well past early spring but their energy and emotion for the moment and what the moment meant, was as strong as any ever.

We were all once young together and these songs were the sound track of that time, and all the time between, and of course our friend, who represented well, was gone and each and all of us knew that we are soon to follow. Ah Yes. Stuff like that will strum up a feeling or two.

To watch the girls of yesterday, dancing yesterday away, is enough to bring a fellow like me to his weeping knees.

Instead we jumped back into a reprise of Nicky’s “Theme Song” “La Biega Carousel /Tutsie” to close out these magic moments of this magical memorial.

When I originally wrote it back in 1964 the third chorus ines were, “And I wish I were like Tutsie and could do as I please, then I’d be barefoot at the Foxes Tamerindo”(Foxie’s bar in Jost Van Dyke) but through the years Nicky began to insert his own updated line “Then I’d be dancing naked at the Fox’s Tamerindo.” I thought it appropriate to sing Nicky’s line for this occasion (and will in remembrance from this point forward)  as the line rang out good brother Pat, tore all his clothes off and really started  prancing the light fandango.  The dance fantastic.

We are trying to find the fellow who filmed the whole thing so that we can share this extraordinary fare-the-well to show the world how it was once upon a time down in the bongo Isles.

There could not have been a more fitting finale for our brother Nicky Russell. Thank you to all who made it so.

Nicky was a great eager and optimistic kid and stayed that way ‘til the day he died. We should all be so beautifully blessed. Three beautiful sisters, two beautiful sons, and one no matter what, steadfast wife. He was  loved and accepted and loved (did I mention loved?) all the way through life, right down to the very end. God Blessed and Bless you Little Brother Nicky, we love you long time…