Archive

Archive for September, 2010

Book 1.MORE The Blessed Virgins. and Book 4. LIVE Continued

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Book 1.MORE The Blessed Virgins. and Book 4. LIVE Continued

The time between 1958 (when we returned to the Islands) and 1964 when I sailed away to “fame and fortune” in the music business was very eventful or full of “stuff” some of which I have already touched on in earlier entrys,(see 11 through 16) but much of which remains to be seen or said, writ and read.

We were young teenagers straddling multiple (many multiple) worlds, and because pool is undeniably the perfect allegory for life (in some quarkatronic parallel dimension), you will comprende when I say, it seems like one day everything is racked up tight n’ right and the next your worlds are rocketing  away in the slam crack!  echo-math of a resoundingly  good breaksplosion.

Further with the poolagory,after rocketing apart, by God they hit the bumpers and come ricocheting back towards one another (or not) often colliding to make even more mayhem, and so and so on until finally all is calm and quiet again except that everything is where it wasn’t before and what wasn’t before now is, and on top of that there is a fair possibility that one or more balls (worlds) are  gone and of course, no sooner do you adjust to that, when slam bang crackola mam,  everything changes again.On second thought,  Maybe war is a better allegory, but what would we call it? Warality, or perhaps reality?

Anyway, I am very relieved to have finally discovered or received, resisted, and finally accepted that change is the only real constant (now don’t think that I think that I’m making a statement of ultimate wisdom,e fact or universal truth ‘cause I know as well as the next psychedelic casuality that things ain’t always what they seem, and even ultimate truths are subject to their context or the shifting physics of sub atomic worlds and quantum dimensionality,( man it’s like one has to be a Zen master Psycho  Scientist to step out of the door  and hold your ever-changing own with the question of “what the heck’s goin’ on?’) anyway, I didn’t know this stuff then and so I often hoped, hoped with all my heart that nothing would ever change, that every thing would stay just the way it is this minute this hour this day forever…

Those were the times of course in which the world was as sweet and slow as golden honey (ah yes…against the blue blue of the countless shades of blue sea)

Rather than the times of violent chaotic change, or the happy/tragic occasion of a friends family (like the family of the The Girl With the Golden Skin) moving away from our “low cost housing community” to their own beautiful new home on a hill  with the Million dollar views and the cool Island breeze…)

There were many golden days of the greatest camaraderie Cont…

PS Here’s a whimsical little piece on perhaps a Quantumized here after..

             “Dead As Dust”.                                .                                  

 (Dust To Dust I’ve heard them say but..)   

I’ve been told someday wemust 

 all wake up dead as dust                                                                                     

dead as dust.. what could that mean?                                                 

organic stuff with rocks between?                                                                

Have you ever looked at dust?                                                                          

 It’s alive!!! (except for rust)

 A universe of universes there,                                                             

 (between the bread crumbs and the doggie-hair)                              

 and the mites (lil bugs big as elephants                                                  

 with faces like mosquitos eating peppermints)                                   

but if the dusts a little wet,                                                                                

that doubles the universes that you’ll get

Great googamooga could it be                                                                         

 that that is what becomes of me?                                                                  

We (I’ll) turn into the space between                                                           

the color blue and the color green                                                                 

 and fly in thirty different directions                                                                 

 all at once in thirty sections?

 Oh I hope and pray there’ll be                                                                       

some of me left of me                                                                                                 

so I can dig this dance electric                                                                          

from my dusty new prospectric

 I wouldn’t miss the streets of gold                                                    

 patrolled by strict prophets of old                                                

 declaiming ‘bout the days of Heaven                                                            

  like  nutty buckets outside a  seven eleven.

 I’d rather be singing with my dead dust band,                                

 with my new name “dead as dust dude man”                  

 everything that is, I’ll be..                                                                                  

  part of it… all part of me

 

Great googa mooga I mean, really?                                                                

part of it… all part of me?                                                                                      

going up while going down                                                                                      

 left and right and round and round                                                                    

 out in the country, while in town?                                                                   

In silence AND rip-roaring sound?

Dead as dust might be exciting                                                                 

 (though the dyings not so inviting)                                                         

 Although some folks go from here to there                                          

 rocking in their rocking chair,

Other  people wake up dead

Intheir jammies  in theirbed                                                                                                                           

I guess dead as dusts a kind of blender                                                          

 that takes our mollycules and sends..er                                               

friends them every wich-a-way                                                                                     

from Sapphire beach to Botney bay.

Me in the sea me in the air                                                                                  

me in all things everywhere                                                                        

instead of like a dull vacation,                                                                           

 life’s (er..deaths) an exclamation!

Wow! wow! did you see that?                                                                            

 I’m a doggie AND a cat                                                                                          

 I’m seeing through my ears AND eyes,                                                      

Hey!, Wot th heck? time really flies!

Dead as dust don’t sound so bad,                                                                       

 not the worst trip I’ve ever had                                                                        

 but for now if you don’t mind,                                                                              

 I think I’d rather stay behind…….

I think I’d rather live some more                                                                 

and dance around the ballroom floor                                                      

 but with every little mote alive                                                                            

 I give my word that I will strive                                                                         

 to live much more considerately                                                                       

  of every little dust ball that I see

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Book 4. “LIVE” Continues

I have decided that I would like to  have some Background singers on the “Shake A Bum” album, so I have found two good candidates ladyfairs, and we will do our first recording session this Thursday at 10 AM.

It happens that female background singers are just about my favorite musical instrument of all time, I simply love them, and everything about them..and perhaps most of all, their attitude. Yes yes I know, sounds mighty fishy but, they are an instrument with attitude, attitude that can, that must be able to shift and change at the drop of a hat or chord and change with absolute confidence. They are an instrument that is aware of it’s own iridescent beauty. A thing transformed, from the very first breath, the reality in and all around them changes to something extraordinary and  grand.

Something extraordinary  grande and wonderful like a full concert grand.

They are sublime..so, I may have let slip that I am fond of back ground chicks, having said all that I do hope the chicks can sing.

I’ve listened carefully, I think they can, but we shall see. You just never know until we are all singing together. Then it becomes like a game of give and take of musical tag  a vocal dance of mutual inspiration and communication. I wish everyone could know the joy of creating a joyful groove and singing your heart out. When you are through you are often depleted in quite a physically and psychologically healthy way. If they can sing we will finish this album as quickly as  possible and get out on the road to promote the heck out of it. It’s goint to be a great release  literally and figuratively and I will be hoping to see folks I’ve been missing all over the world. For example, did you know that I have a serious coterie of fans in Prague Czechoslovakia? From as far back as South Atlantic Blues,along with a following in Asia? And Scandinavia? I can’t wait and the band is raring to go.. we shall see.

 

Advertisements

BOOK 1 The Blessed Virgins, and “LIVE” Continued…

September 22, 2010 2 comments

BOOK 1 The Blessed Virgins, and “LIVE” Continued…

So it is a gray and raining morning in 1958 and I (known for convenience and contrivance in this piece as I, Me, He, The Boy, The White Boy, the Artist and other convenient phrases (mebbe even) Scott Fagan) am standing on the edge of a road with no name other than “De RoadDoun De Road” (which was and is) he main road from town (Charlotte Amalia or Charlotte Amalie, for odd linguistic reason (mostly charitable I suspect) both are (like CariBEEan and CaRIBBYan) considered to be correct) to all points west.  Brewers Bay, Bordeaux, Flamingo Pond, Fortuna, Botney Bay, Santa Maria Bay, Pull Or Be Damned, and other romantic piratical places. I am wearing my New York City black leather Jacket  while breathing deeply of and thus absorbing at a molecular level the reality of rainy season in the beautiful, but don’t doubt it, strange, Mambo Bongo Isles.

The observant observer might notice and remark that “this white boy wearing a leather jacket by the side of the road”appears to be neither here nor there” in truth of fact or fact of matter, the  observant observer need not have been any more perceptive and insightful than a lizard, even the most casual, disinterested passerby,  in fact, any living thing (including mule, cow, goat and braying jackass) seeing him would likely register immediately that “this boy is somewhere and something else” thereby triggering an automatic and immediate “note to self” the universal trans-species translation of which would be something like “I’d better keep an eye on this guy”

What they were less likely to notice was that the odd duck out in the rain was awash with intense impressions, which were self organizing into the foundation of an interesting combination or integration of cultural (and musical) rhythms and realities.

For example, the sights and smells of that grey and rainy morning in 1958 would be lifted whole cloth to become the song “Hidaway” in 1967, which he would be screeching and yowling (singing) in a big time music publishers office in Rockefeller Center one morning in 1968 and seized on immediately by his writing partner Joe (AKA Jose Silvio Martinez) Kookoolis to convince the professional staff that the song was an integral and representative part of an “Opera” ah..a “Rock Opera” that he and the neither here nor there boy, were just about finished writing and that “of course” this entire brand new and mighty fine score would be thrown in as part of our song catalog, for the publishing agreement that we were at that very moment, there to discuss and negotiate.

 The smell of my leather jacket was always a thing of wonder to me and no less so that morning. It filled my head with a secret satisfaction, a confident security likely well-known to the well armored since time began.

In my head is music, specifically or essentially the  liberation theology of rock and roll but shot through, tinted and tinged with related  genre upon genre and sub genre upon sub genre and reshaped by the crisscrossing  cultural realities that it would be tasked to represent.  

In my eyes, the most fantastic green and blues filtered through and bordered or framed by low hanging silver clouds that make the sky no more than 300 feet high.

In my sniffer, a soggy sweet perfumed mix of rain, cow dung, salty sea and the fruit salad scent of wild tropical flora, and  ah…in my heart the first deep stirrings of love for “The Girl with The Golden Skin” It’s a fine case of time and place all over the place. And a good example of how it is/was to be me then and now, or perhaps more accurately now and then, meaning sometimes…

In that moment however, the white boy is acutely  aware that he is the “poorest” white boy that he has ever known or even ever seen, his sense of self is unfortunately now somewhat negatively impacted by shame related to this, and the knowledge  that his pitifully alcoholic  step father (yes the Mother dear  has for reasons best know to God and those few of his angels who fully comprehend the effects of paternal suicide on a  nine-year old daughter, rape at 16 as a first sexual experience, in an alley in Washington DC, the befogglement of early mid-stage alcoholism and the mind-boggling conflicting mis-information (coming from in side and outside the mind) related to so-called co-dependency, hooked up with Howard again) who as mentioned before, is an extremely public and universally disrespected  drunkard and laughing-stock of the community.

 What’s the community? Well as we all know (both here and there) they are many and varied.

he community of most  immediate concern to the boy at that time, would have been the 8 to 10 older “native” boys (known as “Dem Boy) in his immediate section of the Island” The Dem Boy community in number and position is  mirrored and repeated all across the land (the I land) “Dem Boy” are the seemingly magically omnipresent absolutely judgemental shapers of values, morality and behaviors for any younger boy subject to their pressures. “Dem Boy” are the gatekeepers of conditional acceptance (it would be interesting to know which society where in the world this “Dem Boy” social structure developed) or eternal dis-approval and damnation  in young man land. Rather, “local young tough guy man landl” meaning the young man land of the economically disadvantaged, as opposed to young men of privilege land (color or cash) who are contemptuously dismissed by “Dem Boy” (in the short form) as “Auntie-men” or in the long form as “schupid auntie-man muddah skunts”

 All of that to suggest and illustrate that the young “neither here nor there white boy” felt very strongly that he had much to prove and consequently was (by circumstance, environment and temperament) on his way to becoming “something else” or more specifically, an “other than ordinary recording  artist”, whose interesting integration of cultures and music, would someday prove uniquely unusual and confusing to major labels, record bin organizers, and music writers, (most recently one self-aggrandizing and insulting “know it all know nothing” from  Toronto, Canada). 

So,  the boy by the side of the road with no name, turned out to be a white artist from the predominately black West Indies whose integration of his own cultural and musical influences, continues to present it’s self in most interesting  and amusing ways. entertaining even as in the “LIVE “currently in production”  “Shake A Bum” album by Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band,

Yes indeed, It is interesting, to say the least, to see and understand so clearly how things express and work themselves out.

As further illustration of the potential for joy inherent in the great cultural combo platter of life described, here is a rough mix (pre back ground vocals) of the “neither here nor there boy by the side of the road’s” composition and current recording of his somewhat tantric and liberating mantra “Shake A Bum”

BOOK 4. LIVE Continued…

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

BOOK 4. LIVE Continued…

We have scheduled two nights for the recordings Wed Sept. 1 st and Sat. Sept. the 4th  Wed is done and we are heading for Saturday.

Ok now,  Sat is done, and we are heading for a second Wed. ((Sept the 8th) ok, that Wed is done and we are heading for a second Saturday (Sept 11th) and a six hour performance gig on Sunday and so forth and so on and so on…

When one is recording on one track (actually, one would be fine, but when one is more than one, the possibility for error is magnified greatly) as I was saying when one is more than one and they are all  recording on one track, actually,  five people playing  quick-o ka- split-o at full speed ahead on one track, you probably all together generate a “note bloom” cascade or “up fall” of an easy hundred thousand clangs and bangs (or musical notes if you prefer)

If the Bass or Conga or Drum hit a “wrong clang bang or note” it may not be a problem, however if the lead guitar, or primo screechist hits a clango bango  anywhere in the performance, you have to redo the whole blasted cacophonic all over again.

Not that I mind, I love to sing and as I never sing a thing the same way twice, it’s always new and fun for me. However, the boys in the band jave expressed  a strong desire for me to do  things the way we had rehersed them but …wella wella wella…you might as well try to squeeze a saltfish sandwich out of a turnip.

Not that I don’t want to make things easier for the MAAC men, it’s just that… wella wella wella, you might as well try to squeeze a chinchilla out of a mango seed

We have certainly gotten spoiled by “individual  tracking”(in which each instrument is channeled and recorded separately on it’s own individual track, to be  tweaked, vitamin fortified, polished and recombined with the others later, sorta like Grand Ma’s powdered taters or the KLIM milk that we endured as little ones in public school down in the Mambo Isles…

Friends, I could do a forty year rant on KLIM milk and the odd combination, the mis-measure of powder and water, Lord help us “Boiling hot water” that de chirums dem were led to believe was milk, and were forced to press our lips against every single time the blasted bell rang-a-lang LUNCHTIME!

The truth is, some of us, many of us, were every bit as big headed and bony as the kids used in fund raising appeals for the starving of the world, in fact more than a few of us were candidates for Feed The Children or UNICEF our selves and should have been first in line  for a can of spam and some powdered eggs,  but there are some things you would rather die than do, and high on that list would be taking a second slurp or sip of that toxic torture serum KLIM.

I think I can state as a most likely fact that not a single adult of free-will ever willingly drank a whole glass, cup or calabash of that stuff to “test the mix” before giving it to the “sweet little innocent, once open, once bright eyed, once trusting, children that we “once upon a time” were, down at Nisky School.

I know for a fact that some of the boys vowed to make it their life’s work to track down and wreak revenge on   whoever was responsible for not only making  this stuff, but further, convincing flubble headed grown-ups to make children (did I mention theretofore bright eyed, innocent and trusting?) drink it.

It’s a fact that the same flubble headed grown ups could have used just the threat of having to drink it, to uncover all the secrets of the children under their command, (which were secrets a plenty) and as an entirely effective non violent tool for  behavior modification, rather than the in-effective combo of KLIM torture, head banging, and “stand ‘im out to out swelter sweat in the hot sun” technique invented by  anonymous torture misters of the Battan death march, and perfected by first second and third grade teachers at Nisky. 

 Any way, as I may have noted earlier a certain Maryann was the sweet cool breeze in the popping swelter sweat of KLIM provoked childhood angst, and after four (or is it forty?) swacks (*attempts) at it, her remembrance song is EQ’d and done.

This means there are now only thirteen others to go. (lemme see forty times thirteen times a hundred thousand notes…)

You have probably thought all these years thought that the life of a singer like me was one unending sequence of passionate and perfumed smooches and the like, but now you see that in addition, we are obliged to be fluent in higher mathematics as well and well, Yo no habla mathematics high or low, perhaps because like most of the children at the old Nisky alma mater, I spent arithmetic time hiding in the bushes hoping to avoid KLIM time. Do I regret it? Not a chance in eleventeen!

More to the present, the record is going to be great fun for folks, full of upbeat live performances AND some pretty good crooney tunes as well.

Recording is supposed to be fun, not the grim, clock watching, knuckle gnawing exercise in anxiety that it too often is, or the stultifying mind warping technical spaghetti morass that “jargon junkies gone wild” would have us poor non-verbal (but occasionally verbose) bongo bangers believe it has to be.

There is great fun in playing music; there is great fun in listening to music, in other words, in sending, in receiving, music. That’s the joy, that’s the deal.

It seems like most if not all of the business around it, is one or another kind of strange parasitic attachment that diminishes the joy at either and both ends.

Which idea presents an Interesting opportunity for a biometric model to measure the potency of the juices siphoned away and to explore the alternatives available or inviting invention) That’s the kind of thinking that one  notices reverberating in the noggin, when one has spent one’s school years hiding in the  bushes among the land crabs, wild tamarind, acacia and catch and keep at KLIM time.

In any case, the new record is continuing apace, we have tweakage too do (additional percussion and EQ) and then mastering before sending it off for “pressing”.

This means that we have two new albums to release and promote, “The Virgin Islands Songs” along with it’s single “Surrender To The Sun” and Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band and it’s single “Shake A Bum” We are as busy as can be and with the new MAAC Variety Show now scheduled for every Friday evening, we will soon be even more so. I have to find a way to make more time for working on the Memwa? As I think it is important and perhaps more importantly, I thoroughly enjoy the writing of it.

 Here are two recent poeticals: 

“The Limpin Proletariat”

                                                                                                             Scott Fagan

 Ah the Limpin Proletariat, All lumped up and limping along

from mash up to knock down

to and fro

from pillaged to whippin’(whupped) post

from pooped to popped

and back again.

Pity the poor lucked out lumped up and limpin’ pope frazzled’ roll your own Mama’s a maniac cross eyed confused battered and bruised  proletariat with no protecting angel. nor avenging, nope..not allowed., wild eyed cactus relish pie perhaps or rattle snake salad in good gritty sand… sans suds.

Nothing real and good for the likes of youse or ye, ya dadgum grumpy weepin, wailing, cussed and concussed, (at and out) poor confounded contused and abused, lied to bribed and poisoned double disadvantaged, toothache struck depressed, and diarriac limpin’ proletariat, yearning to be freed.

 

“I Dance Therefore I Am”  (Vicstory)                                                                                    Scott Fagan

 I Dance Therefore I Am, (Hey, whad I ever do to you?)

I suffer and sleep I dream and I remember, I hope and I awake, I Dance, Therefore I Am

I sweep my arms up to Heaven and sing Glory Halleluiah Jubilation without end!

I dance to be, to express me in unity with the oh so how many Millions or more that have danced before, that have wiggled and waltzed, romped and wagged their tails at one another making eyes making love, making… what you see.

This solitary is.

these sunken eyes

these shrunken hollows

this wayfared stranger

that has become of me.

like all things that die and have died,

all things that live and have lived

that love and have loved

that have breathed and wept that have called out in the cold uncaring night, crying SEE ME! SEE ME! SEE ME!

I dance therefore I am, I dance therefore I am,

I dance therefore I am!

 

Book 4. “LIVE”

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Book 4. “LIVE”

This week the MAAC Island Band and I will be recording a” LIVE” album at Union Street Blues, in the MAAC Gallery in, Middletown Pennsylvania. We will be doing a number of interesting songs in a variety of interesting ways. Among them will be “Shake A Bum” a tune that a number of people are quite excited about.

I have plexed on this and concluded that folks are excited because the song is…well I guess there’s no other way to ‘splain it other than the song is plain out fun, It gets people up and shaking their bums. There is some talk about creating an iconic type visual of a hiney in motion, to go on T shirts and bum…per stickers, and perhaps even a poster or painting or two hilkighting and celkebrating the action described in the song. Sounds like fun on well… fun. We shall see.

One of the oddest things that I’ve learned in forty seven years as a recording artist, is that sometimes regardless of the enthusiasm for a song and they careful preparation in arranging and recording the song, sometimes, inexplicably it just doesn’t come off as intended. This has happened to every artist, every lyricist, every producer, every arranger and composer at one time or another.

That’s why in the daze of yore, the rule for a singles session was “always go in with three tunes”, because any one of them may not come out the way every one had hoped.

We are going into recording an album with fifteen, hoping to come away with ten if not twelve good recordings. There will be no multi-tracking; instead, we are doing it the old fashioned way. Play like heck hoping that no one instrument is too loud or trips over a cord or chord and upstruckalates the take.

And even though the band looks like a bunch of Frenchies and Tortola men (with un Ricanio stuck in the middle) the truth is they (excepting the Ricanio) are statesideers. Therefore the possibility of a “Contemporary Caribbean” tune losing its way through excessive engagement and entanglement and finally bogging down enmeshed with a sideways polka riff and the maracas from hell, is always a possibility.

But no, we won’t think about that, instead, we will be heck bent on creating the proper musical bed for a Carabilly Caruso, to screech and yowl against, with all the passion (purple and otherwise) he/me can struffel up.

There are a number of songs, each with their own story. However, I am aware that, more often than not it’s best to let the listener bring their own story to the song. The more that they can do that, the more personal their experience with the song is likely to be. Having said and knowing that, my little sweetie in the first grade down in the bongo Isles was named Maryann and she has been on my mind from then to now. Maryann left with her family to go to the states (in those days that meant New York) and I have never seen or heard hide nor word about her.

What an innocence we were. And will always be, to me.

How often I have wished her well. I have been singing about her from then to now. God Bless Maryanne.

Continues…