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Book 2 SOON .3, and Book 4. Soon 3

July 31, 2011 1 comment

Book 2. SOON .3,

 As I said, I’m trying to stay focused on “SOON”.  And as I further said, the first time I saw the RITZ Theater (where SOON would open in January of 1971) was from my room at the Forrest Hotel.

At that time I had a south-facing room on the ninth floor; I was gazing out and noticed this odd, curiously configured roof top down below. Over time I realized that it was what a theater roof looks like from above. Years later, I would gaze at the same roof from below. Reaching across time to reconnect with the me that was, once upon a then.

I certainly felt much more at ease and at home looking out the window in (or from) what the Daily News, (in recounting the details of the murder most foul of a Barnum and Bailey circus clown), described as a “cheap west side hotel”.

In reality the Forrest Hotel was straight out of Damon Runyun, because Damon Runyun lived there and wrote there for many years. This or that reality is of course the past perfect invitation to investigate (if only for a moment) the question of relative reality, or the relative question of what (rather, which) reality is the real real deal. Dig? Capeche? Were we living in a world of Rock and Roll, or Guys and Dolls the reality show? 

The truth is both and.. thirty or countless more other parallel realities all scrunched into one.

To be continued …  

Book 4. Soon 3

I am riding on a train up over and through the Allegany Mountains on my way back to the Middletown collective (MAAC) from Johnstown, PA. Where I met the young impresario who intends to stage a concert production of SOON this coming 17th, 18th, and 19th of November. I’ve spent the last two days and nights thoroughly enjoying my self with he and his family. An all American mix of Mexican/Hungarian salt of the earth folks of the first order. I like him and them (Johnstown) very much and so we will proceed with the show.

 As I referenced earlier in the Memwa? The possibility, likelihood and indeed chronic evidentiary factorama of yours truly having FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects) is quite good, almost guaranteed.

The dear Mudder dear is no longer here to ask about her consumption of Ethel in the nine long months starting with December 1944 and ending with me birthday on the 26th of August 1945, but based on what I know as a “once upon a moment” UCLA trained “little time big time” drug and Alcoholism wazam, the referenced likelihood is almost inescapable, and more to the point the symptoms (and their side-effects across the life areas) appear to be ever-present. 

If I ever get around to publishing my book “The New Paradigm for Alcoholism Addiction and Recovery” you will see what I’m talking about.

However, if you are too wise to wait, and  know it may be best look FAE  up now, then you will know that  I don’t do too well with working on more than one thing at a time, and right now I’m working on many more than one thing at a time and it appears that I will be for the foreseeable future. The question for anyone would be “how to do it”; the question for me is HUH?

 Apparently folks with FAE are blessed (well perhaps blessed isn’t exactly the right word, but you know what I mean) with the ability to go really really deep on a subject, but have extreme difficulty “changing sets” or, trying to move, pull ourselves out of, or shift our attention, from one subject to another.

For example, that is why, when I am concentrating on anything (like writing a song.. words OR music), I long ago learned that it is better, far better, if I do not try to cross the street, or be married etc.

I do love going deep beyond deep, but good Godawmighty it would be nice to be able to move comfortably and effectively from one thing to the next. Or just effectively.

That is why my Memwa? posts have begun to slow down as our gigging has picked up.

 Interesting gigs every one, for example, Yesterday, July 30th was National Dance Day. A concept promoted by the great tv dance show “So You Think You Can Dance”  along with producer Nigel Lithgow, and the great Congress Woman Eleanor Norton Holmes. We did an event, a National Dance Day Dance Party at a sky scraper housing development for seniors and the disabled (HOY Towers) in “Steelton” an honest to God, Steel Mill town (fallen on hard times like many another) in rusty post industrial Central Pennsylvania. We and they had the greatest time.

Here’s our recording of the theme of the day “Shake A Bum” and a photo of the good folks dancing.

"Shake A Bum" at National Dance Day!  Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

National Dance Day! 2011 Steelton PA. Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

However in addition to steady gigging, The SOON production and the Memwa? We have a Television show in development, two upcoming albums and “The Virgin Islands Songs” making its way towards a stage production inSt. Thomas.

This is not me complaining, it’s just that I am like a cross-eyed  juggler.

We are busy and I am grateful. I just wish that I were capable of being more effective, as many too many things not mentioned, like the record company and  music publishing, distribution and promotion and editing video and so on and on are not getting done in a timely manner.

I’m grateful a thousand times over for the grace and the real blessings that I have been given, the gift and the gifts.

I just wish that I could manage it, and them all, better.

Book 4. Up Coming Gigs And Book 2. SOON .2

June 17, 2011 1 comment

Book 4. Up Coming Gigs And Book 2.  SOON .2

We are busy and traveling a fair amount, and of course, it’s all interesting. This Saturday (June 18th) we are in Harrisburg, PA doing MODE Magazine’s Big LUAU on City Island, from 6 – 10 PM then We Travel up to New York City for Tuesday June 21st to participate in the big City Wide “Make Music New York” Festival.

We (Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band) will be playing at  Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on 1st Ave between 46th and 47th Streets (right across from the UN) from4 to 5 PM.

Folks are saying that we were assigned to the UN because I “sing in tongues” but it’s not “tongues” it’s just how we sing (and speak) down in the Virgin Isles. We are looking forward to both gigs; the band and I are rarin’ to go. We will be back in Harrisburg for “Music Fest” on Sunday, July 3rd and in Lebanon, PA. on August 6th for the “Pablo Emilio Memorial Music Festival”.

The band is excited to play in the Islands, and the European Festivals, it’s all in the works…we will do our absolute best, and we shall see.

 Book 2.  SOON .2 continued…

 This whole  mem.wa? thing started out in large part as a response to a gent who had contacted me because of his interest in writing a book about the “SOON” Story.

He asked me about it and in the process of emailing back and forth he concluded that perhaps I ought to be the one writing about it. Mostly because (I suspect) he realized what kind of nut he was dealing with (the kind of nut that doesn’t want anybody changing his words) and because not only do I insist on holding on to all of my “old” words but I can (and do) make up perfectly good new ones at the drop of a hat, or skip of a synapse. 

In any case he (not unreasonably) hoped that I would get right to it (the SOON part) but instead, I have spent the better part of the last two years writing 240 pages about half of everything under the sun with very little mention of “SOON” There are reasons for that. 

First of all. while some folks see SOON as the end all be all of my work and life, I don’t. (However, I see it as an important piece of music. I love Music and I love people who love music and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it go until I know the people who would dig hearing it have heard it).

Interestingly, there are a number of self-important people who have consulted themselves and then had the gall to publicly proclaim that “Scott Fagan peaked early with “South Atlantic Blues” and never did anything meaningful after that.”  I certainly  don’t think that’s true either.

In an attempt at orderliness I conceptualized the mem.wa? as four sections each encapsulating one chronological segment of the life (if you knew how many different things occur to me almost all at once, almost all the time, you might appreciate the attempt to bring order, however, for lack of better experience or “other” experience, this “blizzardito” of ideas and images, is one of the things that makes it ever interesting to me, to be me.) It may be symptomatic of FAE, but “dems the symptoms I got” and thank God I find them interesting and amusing.

Anyway, or rather, further, I imagined the mem.wa? as (thanks to modern technology) a hybrid of words and music (yes I know that’s what a song is) meaning a book with music (yes I know that’s what a Musical is) a combo platter of lit and music, a book that you could listen to (yes I know..) but or rather, a book that allowed you to hear the music in the muse. A mix of book and blog able to organically include music in the experience, a,a,a, Blook!

Anyway when chronologically It was time  to write about the teenage years, I felt as if I would need to tread very lightly to avoid hurting other people, not a one of which needs any more pain in their life and I simply don’t have the time to spend zig zagging between truth and consequences, or turning ragweed to roses and so I slowed down a bit to plex on it.

After plenty of good plexateing (and because of the recent SOON activity), I’ve decided to revisit that stuff later, a quick synopsis will suffice and help to put things in context. Here it is.

 “Lots of singing, lots of juicing, lots of trouble with the law, lots of love, lots of jealousy, lots of trouble with the law, homeless, violence, lots of trouble with the law, singing in the dungeon, juicing in the dungeon, lots of ah..difficulty in dealing with authority.

All in all, interesting and unusual (by virtue of the people and the settings, down in the Bongo Isles, the deep South in the early 1960’s) worth revisiting, and without question, a set up scenario for lots of trouble with the music business.

So, as noted elsewhere, as a homeless teenager living on a piece of cardboard, on a hillside (Sara Hill)  at the end of the airport runway in St. Thomas, I signed on as crew on a fifty foot ketch called “The Success” she was on the last leg of a  round the world cruise and bound for Miami. We sailed out of the harbor at Charlotte Amalie at dawn on July 2nd 1964.

My mission was simple and clear, save my beautiful alcoholic mother from herself and get my younger brothers back from social services’s foster care system, set my sister up, get my Pop an Irish Bar in a good drinking locale, eradicate racial prejudice and social injustice  by singing my heart out and making a million dollars. Ah… right away.

And..if at all possible, somehow rescue my own 15-year-old sweetie from the guy she had gotten pregnant for and married and gone away to the states with so she could get out of the house ‘cause (the rumor was) she was being molested.  

The content and emotion of those days may have been captured somewhat  in my song “South Atlantic Blues” written in 1965.

Here are two recordings of it. The first recorded in 1967, is on the ATCO Album “South Atlantic Blues” and the secondrecording that I’ve posted here, is from the LIVE album ” Shake A Bum” recorded in 2010

                                   ” South Atlantic Blues”                   Scott Fagan

You know the Islands are the perfect place for going away

Life’s so easy there you live from day to day to day to day 

The father of missions, he once walked proud and tall

He must had seen too many Christians, cause now he’s very small

The poor man’s got no Gods at all

Not counting alcohol, not counting alcohol 

You say that’s dues, I’ve got news for you

It’s South Atlantic Blues, South Atlantic Blues

 She lives in the alley, the hope gone from her eyes

Her dress is torn and dirty, loving lips are cracked and dried

She sits and cries, my life’s a lie

Her children think she’s died, her children think she’s died

You say that’s dues, I’ve got news for you

It’s South Atlantic Blues, South Atlantic Blues

 She stands by the seaside, my love, she waits for me

And I can’t help her as she wonders, how long will it be

I told her once, we would be free, from Charlotte Amalie

Charlotte Amalie,  Charlotte  Amalie

 You say that’s dues, I’ve got news for you

It’s South Atlantic Blues, South Atlantic Blues

 You know the Islands are the perfect place for going away

Life’s so easy there you live from day to day to day to day

day to day to day to day…

After many adventures and poetical ruminations, a month later we arrived in the states, and I got a singing gig at a folk Club on US 1 in Ft.Lauderdale called “The House Of Pegasus”. A month after that I arrived in New York City with 11 cents to my name. I called the only phone number I had which had been given to my Mother by a friend of a friend of a songwriter.  

The name with the number was Doc Pomus.

 I called him and he set a time for me to come sing for him the next day. I did and Doc was kind enough to sign me on the spot.

What’s this have to do with SOON? It’s what they call “backstory” or setting the context, it was also the beginning of my exposure to the for real and serious music business.

Doc was a very successful song writer, with hits galore. Among them; Lonely Avenue, Young Boy Blues, Teenager In Love, Hushabye, This Magic Moment, His Latest Flame, Little Sister, Return To Sender, Go Jimmy Go, Save The Last Dance For Me, and Viva Las Vegas, we lived at the Forrest Hotel on 49th between Broadway and 8th, the Brill Building was right across the street where Doc’s Music publisher Hill And Range Music had their offices.

I of course thought (and my recent three song audition and instant signing reinforced the idea) that music (and by extension the business around it), was  magical and made up of people appropriate to populating the magical musical land. I thought that Doc and his partner Mort Shuman, (and the other professional songwriters in and around the Brill Building) had it made in the shade. 

I was very surprised (and unhappy) to hear Doc’s descriptions and characterizations of music publishers and record companies as exploitive and  dishonest (my fluffity and flautin’ words not his, Doc was more colorfully direct and to the point).

 My initial reactive defense was something like “well that’s too bad for the people who get hurt, they probably did something wrong, and anyway, I’m here to make a million and rescue my family.

I don’t want to or have time to, get caught up in stuff like that”  

However, Doc was trying to educate me to the reality of the people and the business that we as artists (writers, singers, musicians) were in and had to  deal with.

I really didn’t want to hear that stuff or believe it, I much preferred my own  magical thinking. Only weeks before I was “sad glad good bad happy mad dreamy lad” swimming in rum and coke  delusions down in the beautiful Virgin Islands and suddenly I was a signed and (at least expected to be) grownup professional recording artist (although I wasn’t old enough to sign my own contracts, my Mudder dear had to come to New York to sign them for me) in what was turning out to be a cut throat snake, scorpion and piranha infested reality.

I had seen all kinds of blood spilled in crazy drunken violence, had come face to face with the deepest kinds of hatred, knew all about suffering, deprivation and sadness, but really nothing at all about manicured  men in tailored suits whose ambitions for money (yours, mine and everybody else’s) appeared to supersede every other human value  and concern.

Though I knew scads about ‘life’s other side” I knew very little about this one and I honestly had never imagined that such people actually existed. And, I really didn’t want to know. 

I was at thrilled and excited to see all of Doc and Morty’s  BMIwriter awards along the hall ways at Hill and Range, and the awards to song writers Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley for “Don’t Be Cruel” and “All Shook Up” songs that represented the “liberation theology of Rock And Roll” songs or rather “energy and intention” that inspired and sustained me through a fairly challenging childhood.

Back at the Forrest I said “Doc, I saw all the BMI awards at  Hill and Range, I didn’t know that Elvis was a song writer, that he wrote “Don’t Be Cruel” and “All Shook Up” Doc said “Scotty, Elvis didn’t write those songs, Col. Tom Parker said  Elvis had to have half of the song or he wouldn’t record them.” I was dumbstruck..I couldn’t believe that Elvis would do something like that, I couldn’t believe that someone would make Otis give away half of what was his.

Doc explained that Elvis had nothing to do with it, it was all Tom Parker, and Tom Parker was all about the money.

Morty took me to a song writers bar on 50th Street just off  Broadway and introduced me to a parade of writers (primarily African American) responsible for many of the great Doo Wop hits who had either been cheated out of their royalties or manipulated into actually selling the rights to their songs lock stock and barrel. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

 I can’t tell you how much of a true believer I was, music meant the world to me, gave me (and millions of others), hope. Had unified my generation, pulled my sister and me through hell and high water, To discover that slick “business men” had been hurting and cheating and stealing from the people who actually made the music, and that the people, the public didn’t know a thing about it, and therefore no one would do anything to stop it, was soul searing and outrageous to me. And frankly, that was only the beginning.

 So there we see part of the genesis of SOON.

This  belief/ idea that if “people only knew they would do some thing” was an old one for me.

In 1954 my step father Howard and my Mother, fleeing bills in St. Thomas, moved us into an apartment at Parada 25 and Aveneda Fernandez Juncos, in Santurce, Puerto Rico, next to what was at that time considered the largest and worst shanty slum in all of Latin America, “El Fangito”. When I first saw naked little children, feeding themselves out of garbage cans,  I said to my self “If the people in America knew about this they would do something about it” and I decided that “I’m going to learn to write songs and tell im’ cause if they knew about it, they would surely do something about it”

This was an earlier element in the Genesis of “SOON”

I still believe. The only difference now is the realization that writing the song and even singing it at the top of your lungs is no guarantee that anyone will hear it, or that the information will get to the people, or if in fact the song is heard, that the people who hear it will care enough or can afford to care enough to do something. Things simply aren’t as simple as they once seemed. However if one cares, then you’ve got to keep trying.

Continues…

Book 2. SOON .1

June 7, 2011 1 comment

Book 2.  SOON .1

 Not long ago (two to three months) a young man involved with a small theater Company in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, contacted me for permission to do a production of my Rock Opera “SOON”.

We have since exchanged a number of emails, and I have given him my permission to go forward. 

We will be meeting some time in the near future to go over the script and to discuss the specifics of the production in terms of content. He originally found (and downloaded) the Los Angeles Recordings of SOON and wondered if I had any leads on any recordings of the Broadway production. I told him that I might and would take a look.

It happens that fairly recently (with in the past two years) I had been contacted by someone from the mysterious shadow world of “Broadway Musical Collectors” who “knew someone” who “might know” someone who “knew someone” who “might know” someone who “had information’ that could lead to a copy of a bootlegged tape of SOON, illegally recorded one night in 1971, live at the RITZ Theater. 

Believe it or not, the trail ultimately led to the United States Library Of Congress, whose librarians and kind customer service people were good enough (for a substantial but not unreasonable fee) to make and send along a copy of the bootleg recording of my opera for me.

The thing arrived on two of the shiniest golden discs this side of prophecy, I gazed upon them in dazzled wonder and amazed-eye for a long while, then stuck  Act One in the player to see what I could hear.

I tore it out quickly when I heard the beginnings of  a cockamamie mishmash “overture” and realized in horror that the recording residing in The Library Of Congress, and representing SOON to the ages in perp..perp..perpetuity, had been made after I (along with my partner Joe (Jose Silvio Martinez) Kookoolis and co author and director Robert Greenwald) had been fired and barred from the theater.

Fired and barred as part of a sequence of preposterous events and changes designed by Producers Bruce Stark and Sagittarius Productions (Edgar Bronfman Sr.) along with new Director Gerald Freedman, “adapter” Martin Duberman and Musical Director Louis St. Louis to “commercialize SOON”.

 Attitudes, events and changes that in a most sublimy apex of reverberant self reverential irony, perfectly paralleled the very story that we were telling in SOON. Actually doing in the production of  SOON the exact kinds of actions that SOON had been written to illuminate and protest.

A story about how tragically and unnecessarily destructive the dollar driven establishment music business could be to artists, to their  music and to the society most affected by their music.  

I will write in much  greater detail about SOON and the super crazy reality surrounding it, in the course of this memwa? but for the moment..

 I put the CD back in and listening to the voices, was transported to a time (January 1971), and a place, (backstage at The Ritz Theater, 48th street, New York City). Peopled by young and  beautiful hopefilled faces.

We were a cast of casts, absolutely bursting with the brightest promise and potential. Marta Heflin, Peter Allen, Nell Carter, Vicki Sue Robinson, Dennis Belline, Richard Gere, Leata Galloway, Marian Ramsey, Joe Butler, Michael Jason, Pendelton Brown, Pamela Pentony, Tony Middleton, John C. Nelson and Singer Williams. I don’t think that there has ever been a cast with more promise on a Broadway Stage.

 The whole of it and us, now only young and beautiful voices floating in my head. Peter Allen, Nell Carter, Vicki Sue Robinson, Dennis Belline, and who knows how many others, gone from this world.

Listening to the recording was a seesaw tsunami of happiness and horror.

Happiness at the heart and vocal performances demonstrated by the performers as (I suspect) they realized the ship was sinking but, by God, taking full advantage of their moment to shine. 

Peter Allen doing “Soon”, Nell Carter doing “To Touch The Sky”, Marta Heflin’s rendition of  “Annie’s Thing”, Tony Middleton’s ”One More Time”, Marian Ramsey killing them with “On The Charts”, Vicki Sue Robinson all but stopping the show in her duet with Richard Gere in “What’s Gonna Happen To Me When I’m Fifty”, Leata Galloway stopping the show with “Child Of Sympathy” 

The horror at how “Music Music” “Country Store Living” “It Won’t Be Long” “In Your Hands” and the bulk of the score were misunderstood and massacred, the scaldingly embarrassing snippets of dialog, and “showbiz” restructuring of sequence and scene.

 Anyway…

Here is a copy of the note that I emailed to the young man in Johnstown yesterday.

June, 6, 2011

Dear Michael,                                                             

Here are the Broadway recordings along with the noise reduced L.A. Recordings.

I have just heard the B’way production for the first time in forty years.

As you may know, the director, Robert Greenwald and I were fired and barred from the theatre, and “entertainment” type changes were made to our script against our wishes. I have just been listening to those changes and frankly, I am extremely embarrassed by them. I am also upset by how wrong for our style of music Louis St.Louis (the Musical Director) was, our musical phrasing is very much out of synch,

I would not choose to have the Broadway recordings of SOON represent me and my work to any one any where. I am only sending them to you because they may be contextually helpful as we go forward.

Please do not draw upon Louis St. Louis’s musical phrasing or the cockamamie dialog Martin Duberman inserted as something to emulate or reproduce, as I have absolutely no interest in doing that

Louis St. Louis was wonderful and right for Grease, but very much wrong for SOON.

You and I will, script in hand, talk through SOON some time in the near future and absolutely arrive at the best possible iteration of SOON ever presented.

Michael Meketa’s Johnstown Production of SOON will be the best ever.

It would behoove us to make sure that it is recorded at the best quality available.  

Sincerely,

Scott Fagan

 To be continued…

 

Book 4. What a Wonderful Gig!

May 8, 2011 2 comments

What a wonderful gig we had in Brooklyn yesterday (Saturday 5/7/11) at the big Convergence in Red Hook Event. What fun!

The MAAC Island Band fluted and banged their socks and maracas off and I (while breaking three strings myself) sang like a banshee in flames. The dancers  twirled the colors swirled and the music that makes happy, ruled the land.

Many a girl from yesterday was there, piffeled up with perfume and looking all shiny and new. Each as enticing as ever.

There is a communal space (parallel to the muggled mundane) in which “them that makes the music and them that receives it” are intimately bound in transcendental joy, breath to breath, beat to beat, spirit to spirit. I thee, you, me… a “we”. A “we” that is at once plural, that is at once singular. A “plural singularity”, a delight to sing in, a delight to sing from, a delight to sing  to. All in all, past wonderful.

We will be back in New York for the big “Make Music New York Festival”  on June 21 st.  Musical artists of every kind will be playing simultaneously all over the city.  We “Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band” are scheduled to play at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (46th and First, across from the UN) from 4:00 to 5:00 PM. We can hardly wait! Perhaps we will see you there!

Here are two more tunes from the LIVE Album “Shake A Bum” I hope you enjoy them.

Here is “Mademoiselle”

and Here is “Where My Lover Has Gone”

Book 4. Virgin Islands Singer Scott Fagan to perform at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s big “CONVERGENCE IN RED HOOK” on May 7th 2011

May 1, 2011 6 comments

 Here is The Press release for the upcoming NYC gig.. followed by the “Backstory attachment” to that press release, that folks got. It’s here because this sort of stuff is interesting, and necessary in this business.

I have added the Theme form “SOON” and The Theme From “The Virgin Islands Songs” You will find them at the very bottom of the page.

BWAC.org is a great venue and we very much enjoy our time there, come on down (or up as the case may be) if you are free.

For immediate Release:
 
Virgin Islands Singer Scott Fagan (Subject of Jasper Johns Lithograph “Scott Fagan Record”, Author and Lyricist of “SOON” the very first Rock Opera produced on Broadway, and Father of 2009 OBIE Winner and Magnetic Fields front man Stephin Merritt), is coming to New York to perform at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s big Spring opening “CONVERGENCE IN RED HOOK” on May 7th 2011.
 
Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band, are currently promoting their LIVE Album “SHAKE A BUM” which includes selections from Scott’s new Musical “The Virgin Islands Songs”. Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band will perform three sets between 1 and 5:30 PM.
 
The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Cooperative is located at 499 Vanbrunt Street, Brooklyn, NY. For Directions please visit bwac.org 
 
Please contact  Shari Brandt  717-944-1187 at the Middletown Area Arts Collective. www.middletownarts.com or scottfagan@lilfishrecords.com  
Thank you!

SCOTT FAGAN “De Real Ting Mon”

Scott who? Scott Fagan. Here’s the 411…

 Scott Fagan is a brilliant musician born in New York City and raised in the Virgin Islands.  This talented artist has a one of a kind sound with a Caribbeankick.  Scott has been an international recording artist since leaving Charlotte Amalie High School in 1964 to sign with Columbia Records. During that time he has released nine albums and multiple singles, in addition to writing and appearing in “SOON” the very first Rock Opera produced on Broadway!

 His Caribbean consciousness is manifested throughout his work. Scott’s musical innovations underlie the “Contemporary Caribbean” or “Caribilly” genre widely popularized by Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Chesney, and others.  His very first album, “South Atlantic Blues”, released in the summer of 1968, now recognized as a classic, inspired Jasper John’s lithographic series “Scott Fagan Record” part of the permanent collections of museums all over the world, including MOMA, The National Gallery, and The Tel Aviv.

Scott’s albums: “South Atlantic Blues”1968, “Many Sunny Places”1976, “Sandy the Bluenosed Reindeer”2000, “Buried Treasures, (The V.I Songs Vol. l)”2004, “Dreams Should Never Die” The V.I. Songs Vol. ll) 2005, ”SOON”2009, “The Virgin Islands Songs, The MUSICAL”2010, ”Buckra De Paehae” ( a spoken word Calypso Comedy album)2010, and most recently his LIVE album with The MAAC Island Band “Shake A Bum”2011, Can all be found at www.thecollectedworksofscottfagan.com

 Scott Fagan has spent 40 of the past 47 years, trying to revive his career after being “blacklisted” by the “old school” Music Business for his Rock Opera “SOON”.  Scott wrote “SOON” to bring attention to the “absurdity and cruelty of the music business, and its destructive effects on artists and society”.

Here’s what Martin Brookspan had to say:
“The tide of Rock musicals reaches its high water mark in SOON… an inventive, imaginative, brilliantly realized creation.”

Emory Lewis said:
“SOON is a hallelujah blessing, glorious music easily the best score of the season… I loved every rocking minute.”

And John Schubeck:
“Staggering shots of meaning. Dynamite in so many ways.”

In spite of reviews like these, and a cast which included Peter Allen, Richard Gere, Vickie Sue Robinson, Nell Carter, Marian Ramsey, and Leata Galloway, SOON was pulled the day after it opened.  Ironically, Scott’s son, Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, Gothic Archie’s, The 666’s, and Future Bible Heroes fame, recently won the Obie award for his first musical “Coraline”. Quite a chip off the old block…

 So, where’s Scott Fagan now? He’s busy busy, gigging with the MAAC Island Band, promoting the LIVE album “Shake a Bum” and Scott’s own Calypso Comedy album “Buckra de Paehae”, keeping an eye on two of his musicals  in pre-production.  First is “The Virgin Island Songs”, scheduled to debut inSt. Thomas,Virgin Islands, and the other?? “SOON” scheduled for November, in Johnstown,Pennsylvania.  That’s right, “SOON” is back in production!

But wait, there’s more! You can catch Scott Fagan and the MAAC Island Band  live in New York on May 7th, 2011 (from 1-5:30 PM) at The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition’s big spring show “Convergence in Red Hookwww.bwac.org 

At The United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in New York’s Citywide Music Festival (Make Music New York) on June 21 st at 4:00PM, 

Or at Scott and the band’s stateside home base the Middletown Area Arts Collective (MAAC) (www.middletownarts.com) at 3 South Union Street in Middletown, PA.  (Contact Shari Brandt at 717-944-1187).Thank You!

The Theme from “SOON”

The Theme from “The Virgin Islands Songs”

Book 4. Brand New Grandson…Jacob Max Charles Fagan! “Dreams Should Never Die” and “El Gringito”

April 13, 2011 4 comments

Book 4. Brand New Grandson…Jacob Max Charles Fagan!

My boy “The Bix” (Scott Francis Fagan) Son of Patricia Trepuk Evelyn Nelthrop Fagan and Great Grandson of Max Trepuk (of M.E. Trupk and I. Levine fame) has just had a little one. Here’s a photo of the fine young gent.

Jacob Max Charles Fagan

The Newest Chip off the Old Block

 He is not one bit better looking than his father or Grandfather (me)  at his age and so unfortunately, is not terribly likely to be able to get by based on looks alone. This means the lad is destined for hard work and long labor and may expect to start his first job  well before nursery school.

 Such is life for the likes of we…

Too bad he doesn’t look like his Grand Mother Patricia, why then the boy would be “King of The World”.

However, if he brings even a quarter of the happiness, delight and joy to his father, that his father has brought to me, then there is great cause for high kicking and hot footed celebration all across the land, and I welcome him with all my heart and soul.

 God bless you little Jacob Max Charles Fagan, you are most certainly a chip off the old block. Welcome, Welcome, to the World.

Here is “El Gringito” from “The V.I. Songs Vol. ll”  ’cause the dear lad is “Un Cuarto Puertoricanio”

 and  “Dreams Should Never Die” from the same CD to mark the occasion.

Feliz Navidad! Looking Forward!

Book 4. The CD is Shipping. And Book 4. “Granfaddah Buckra An De Ol’ Geeal”

November 1, 2010 Leave a comment

 Book 4. CD is Shipping and Book 4. “Granfaddah Buckra An De Ol’ Geeal”

The cover is done, the dedications are made, the printer is partially paid, and copies are on their way to lil’fish in St. Thomas. Our outlet there is “The Virgin Islands Cooperative store” on the corner of the waterfront directly across from “tent city” aka the Venders Mall. For the moment, email orders are,,, orders@lilfishrecords.com

We continue work on Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band “Live” album “Shake A Bum” we are anxious to get that finished so we can set up some concert appearances back home. We are happy to do benefits and fund raisers here there and anywhere as long as they are legit. Talk to us. I am thrilled that The Buckra tickles so many people, I love that kind of schupidness I always have and always will.  I guess that is why

the CD is dedicatrd to Mango Jones, Brownie (and Walter) Ms. Arona Peterson and her wonderful “Undah De Market”  Daily Niws column and all Virgin Island artists yet to come. Perhaps I ought to have said all Virgin Islands Artists  devoted to and specializing in “schupidness” but one needs to be supportive across the board, and, more seriously, we must encourage and support Virgin Islands Artists in every way that we can. It’s just so.

They have just released a new film “Strange Powers” about my son (also a writer, singer and recording artist) Stephin Merritt and his band “The Magnetic Fields”  I think that two of my recordings from my CD “Dreams Should Never Die” (The Virgin Islands Songs Vol. 2.) “Where My Lover Has Gone” and “La Biega Carosuel/Tutsie are in the film. Incedently, I have been credited as writer of La Biega Carosuel but La Biega is an old Virgin Islands Folk song, that predates us all, What I did write is “Tutsie” and created  the medley and arrangement of the two together. When a writer arranges a PD (public domain) folksong the performing rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI,  SESAC) credit him or her as writer)

I learned La Biega Carosuel directly from and at the knee of, the notorious “Ruppee” aka “The Vampire” aka “De Obeah Man” aka The Emporor Of The North” aka “Captian Creole” aka “Calwin Martin Moolenar´ himself,  of Estate Nelteburg and all points beyond. In any case, it is a very busy time, and that is good.

Here is another Buckra piece, I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did and do writing and performing it. 

Book 4. “Granfaddah Buckra An De Ol’ Geeal”

A time when I wa small ah went to see me ol’ granfaddah de ol’ Buckra de Paehae de fus fus fus. Ah sae “Granfaddah! Ah come tu see yu!” He sae “Ok den, look me hare, but yu gon got tu bettah stay ou de way, a Ol’ Geeal coming to see me fo something an ah don wan yu get mashup when de action start!” Ah sae “Ah Ol’ Geeal? Ah Ol’ Geeal? Who it tis, granfaddah, who it tis? He sae “Ah me bouy, don worry bout dat, yu gon see, don worry bout dat.”

 I sae “but Granfaddah, wha kina action yu gon do wid a ol’ Geeal, yu gon teach ha how tu fall asleep in de chair? Yu gon teach ha how tu take out an put in ha teet dem? How to play domino?  Granfaddah, Yu tink de ol’ Geeal gon wan tu hear bou when yu poisen yu self an almos whole a dounde road,  when yu cook up dat Barracota in de olden days? Oh how yu used tu tief Mango?  An Granfaddah wha yu gon gee she tu eat? De Ol’ Geeal ain gon wan no  sardine and French bread to wash doun wid kool aid, Wha wrang wid yu, Granfaddah, you don know you too ol to have a ol’ Geeal?”

 “Ahh meboy” he sae “ahh meboy” das wae yu wrang, you mubbe tink yu Granfaddah ban ol’? Yu dunno yu Granfaddah is a sharp boy? Yu dunno yu talking tu de man de used to call “Buckre de Pale-Male, de champagne ah Gingerale?” Ahh mebouy, in dose days Yu Gran Papeeto had woman like mosquito, woman like whelks, like genip, woman wha couden done me boy. Yu tink ah spen me whole life scratchin me baney? No Sah, Yu tink all I cou do is siddown onna salfishbox outside de kitchen do? No Sah, Not me me bouy, De ol Buckra still know a ting or two, yu gon see, don worry bou dat!”

 De minute Granfaddah see de Ol’ Geeall by de do, he suck in he belly an he  stann up straight straight, den he sweep off he hat an he bow doun low like Erroll Flynn, he sae “Come right in my darling, come right in my dear,”

 

Bouy, ah couldn believe me oy dem, de Ol’ Geeal wa de famous Carnival Queen from Nineteen Fifty odd and we da see ha pitchure in de newspapah almos every week for doin something good, Dis Ol’ Geeal is like de fus lady of de lan. Wha sh doin hare wid me Granfaddah?

 

 Before ah could ask ha dat question, she watch me straight in me face and she sae “Good afternoon young man, I’m hear to take de measure of your Grandfaddah’s curtin rods” and wid dat de two a dem went straight in side de bedroom.

 

De nex ting yu know, ah hearin’ “tee hee hee” and “tae hae hae” den something fall doun on de bed an de spring start to squeak and squeal , an Man, ah embarrass to tell yu wha come nex, ah hear de ol Geeal  sae “OY!, OY!” Den she sae “Oh me dahlin’  Paehae yu know das how ah like it, yu know das how ah like it,” den she start tu bawl out “Oh Godee, Oh Godee!” (Ah sae to me self “what does dat have tu do wid curtin rods?”)

She SINGIN’ now, “Yes Sah, Buckra, OOWEE!” She SINGIN”now! “Yes Sah! Buckra, OOWEE! Yu got me goin, yu got me goin OY OY,” ah hear dem bouncing up an bouncing up! “Oh Godee Oh Godee!” She bawl out “Don stop now don stop now!” Den a “KA_POW!” ah hear de bed broke doun! An den all ah hear is notin atall, noting atall  den de Ol’ Geeal say .. “Hello? HELLO?”

 

De nex tin I know de Ol’ Geeal bus out tru de do bawlin’ out “Oh God! Oh God! Sonny boy come quick, yu Granfaddah Dead, Yu Granfaddah dead!, Ah done kill yu po Granfaddah, Oh God Sonny boy, ah sae yu po ol Granfaddah dead”

 

Ah went in tu see fo meself, Man de ol’ boy wa white like a ghos, he oy dem wa roll back in he head, he toung hangin out de side a he mout,. De woman bawl out “Oh God I’s a murderah, I’s a murderah! Ah done kill de sweet ol Buckra!”

Den she sae “Ah got to get outta hare befor me chrren dem fine out, ah gato go, I ain wan me chrren dem know I ain wan nobody kno”…an wid dat she pick up ha wig an she run ou de back and clime doun in de gut an clim up de uddah side a de gut, den she broke thru de chicken coop an she wa gan..

 

Ah sae “OH Godee!, OH Godee!  De ol Geeial done gan an le me here alone wid me po dead Granfaddah”… Ah sae “Oh Godee, how ah gone tell me Mammie, who it tis kill me Granfaddah? How ah gone tell me Mamee wha dey wa doin in de bedroom? Wha ah gon tell de Police?

Ah dunno what u tell de whorl?”

 

Jus den ah hear what soun like me dear ol Granfaddah voice sae “boy wha wrang wid yu, yu bettah stop yu bawlin befo ah hit yu some clout”..when ah tun around, it…it… look like ah see me Granfaddah dae sittin down good as gol an winkin he oy

 

Ah sae “but Granfaddah yu done dead like a ol keeat, de ol Geieal done kill yu, yu ain know yu done dead awreaddy Granfaddah? Yu don tink yu bettah lay doun?”

 

He sae “Ahh me bouy, don be schupiddy, yu keean see das me good way tu get rid a dem guirl? Das me lil trick tu mek dem go home when ah done had me way wid dem.” He sae “Ahh me Bouy…don worry bout a ting, an jus wait til yu see de two Ol’ Geeal wha commin’ tomorrow”!!!

POST 73. Book 4. “The Buckra CD” And Book 4. “When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De States”

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

POST 73. Book 4. “The Buckra CD” And Book 4.  “When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De States”

We have, or rather, while we are right in the middle of compleating our LIVE Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band CD “Shake A Bum” We have sent out a few Demos of the new “Buckra De Paehae” CD (Titled “Introducing The Virgin Islands Own “Buckra De Paehae”) while the Demos are out, we are finishing up the cover and will be releasing the CD as early in November as possible.

Three of the eight recordings are LIVE in concert preformances at The J. Antonio Jarvis Museum in Pollyburg, St. Thomas V.I. and capture some of the fun that the audience and I had in presenting and hearing the Buckra material for the very first time.

What a joy it is for me to hear the home folks laughing so heartily. Further,  what a pleasure for me to know that some of our own Virgin Island charactors, with their wonderful and profoundly human silliness played out against our own colorful local settings, are not only recorded for posterity, but are alive and well and abroad in the world.   I  absolutely love that.  

As a child I was bothered with why we in the Islands had only things imported and made by someone else somewhere else, why didn’t we make our own things?

At the very least our own music, our own records, our own books, poetry and liturature. Why weren’t our  own cultural artists represented on the world stage? I determined to do all I could to change that. I wanted us on the map for things other than cheap rum and trinkets at free port prices.

I have been recording for forty seven years now and have fought to make my way as a “white” artist from a primarily black society. I’ve never pretemded to be a child of Africa, but I am most certainly a child of the criss cross crazy quilt of cultures  everpresent in the Virgin Islands and the West Indies at large. I have sought to make my own unique contribution to the music and the liturature.

 I  wanted to lift us up, I wanted our local children and young people (and every one else for that matter), to know and see and believe that that we were as good and bright, as  inventivly creative and worthy as any children of any people anywhere ever, because we are.

Hopefully, beyond the laughs and enjoyment inherent in hearing our own people and places referenced, the Buckra works will further stimulate the idea that indeed we DO have the good goods here in the Islands and can contribute and compete at a world class level.

PS I am not unaware of the irony inherent in the idea of “Buckra De Paehae” as an anbassador to the world. However,  De Buckra is a universal reminder that every people every where have their own brand of, (as Brownie – Irving “Brownie” Brown of WSTA Radio ST. Thomas) says, “good good schupidness”!

I want to express and acknowledge that Buckra De Paehae is directly inspired by Ron Delugo’s  beloved “Mango Jones,” Brownies “Uncle Walter” and Ms. Arona Peterson’s long running Daily News Column “Undah De Market” I thank each of these Virgin Islanders for their inspriation and I hope that Buckra De Paehae will in turn, encourage more and more Virgin Islanders of every age, to shoot for the sky in their own creative efforts.

Now, having said all of that, here is another Buckra recording that  I hope you will enjoy. One titled:

When Buckra De Paehae Went Tu Go Tu De States”

 

“Man one day I look around ana realize all me fren dem, every las one a alla dem boy, done gan to de states..an so I sae to me self, ah sae “Buckra you bettah go see wha goin on up in de states to see if yu want to join up wid dem up dae an become one a dem  freshwater Yankee jus like de res a dem boy.”

 Well me boy, de trouble start, when ah went down to de travel office to buy me plane ticket,  De white woman sittin doun in dare sae “May I help yu?” Ah say yes Mum,  ah wan to go to de states. De woman say, “where would you like to go?” Ah say, ah say, ah would likes to go to de states, de woman say fine, where do you want to go, Ah say wha wrang wid yu you keeyan undahstan English? Yu bettah don frig me up, Ah sae ah wants tu go tu the states S.T.A.T.S. de states, de states! Wha wrang wid yu? Is yu schupid o sumtin?

 Wid dat de woman went in de back an come back out wid a big strang bighead jackass of a island man. He say..yu wan me bilge in yu ass fo yu? Wha yu come in here tu frigg up de people dem fa,.. yu bettah scat yu ass befo ah broke it up in splinters!

Wha? ah say wa? Yu kno who yu talking to like dat? Ah say I is a man wha come in here to pay Kole keash to go tu de states an yu going on like a jack ass wid me? Wha wrang wid yu, ah say ah wan to go tu de states, yu nevah heard a de place?

 Jus den de woman squeaky lil voice pipe up from in de back, she sae “ask the Idiot where  he wants to go to, you’ll see” So de Islan man say “Whey ‘tis  yu wan tu go” Now de Buckra starting tu ge frigup, yu know ha ah mean?

How many times ah gat u tell dese schupiddy people whae it is ah wan tu go?

Ah say ah wan to go tu de states! De man come up close close and he say “look yu schupid buckra, Don’t you know that there is more than one state in de states?”

Ah say more dan one state? more dan one state? of course I kno dares more dan one state. wha wrang wid yu, yu tink I don kno about  Englan and France? but I wan tu go see dem boy in de united state.

 De woman in de back call out, “call the cops, Renwick, nobody can’t be that stupid”

Ah sae who de hell yu callin schupid.. is yu don’t know how to sell a  plane ticket tu go to de states, Ahh yu cou kiss me royal red bate me boy, I gan frum here!

 An wid dat ah leave ou de place, ana went straight ovah to de seaplane. De fus man wha ah see ovah dae ah sae, tell me something my good fellow,  does ah yu know how to fin de states? De man sae of course, but dis plane goin Sain Croix, ah sae but if ah gon ge yu me good money tu go tu de states, yu can’t tun around de plane an go to de states?

 De man sae, wha wrang wid yu, yu drunk o something?

Ah sae no man it too early fo dat, I only had bout tree or four..tu start off de day…de man sae “My dear fellow,.. yu bettah go down tu de airport and tell dem people whae yu wan tu go..ah tink dey gon know exactly wha to do fo yu.

 So ah pick up me suitcase, ana wen doun de road lookin fo de airpoat, Boy when ah reach up tu de top a China Man Hill, ah cou see how de ting dem change up, almost alla China Man Hill,.. gan from China man Hill,  Ah stop a fellow ana say “Hey meson, Wha happen to de whole a doun de road, wha happen tu de China Man dem? whey all dey people dem fum Nisky gane?,

An “OhGodee”, ah sae, look wha happen tu Sara Hill!

 De whole a Sara Hill what was dare since de Island get belch up from de bottom of de deep blue sea, is gan, ah sae Tell me man, ah gotta know, wha goin on doun here?

 De man sae, “No entiendo, meson I no speakiddy de englee”Ah SaeWha? I mubbe gan Poto Rico.

 When ah did finally arrive at whea de Harry S. Truman airport suppose tu be, ah see all kina ting, but what I don see is de Harry S. Truman airport,

Ah see a kina fatty woman livin in a smally smally lil house right in de middle a de road, de woman stannin up wid she hand out side de door beggin money from de car dem, an every onea dem stopping to ge she some, Ladee me boy, Oy ain nevah see noting like dat an look a joke, I ain even reach close to de states yet

 But de ting wha ah keean see is de terminal, de big ol hangah  place whey de steelban dem used to be bawlin blood for we cu dance an wuk up wid dem Puerto Rican Gurl when de come  fo Carnival! Ah hol ah man ana sae “Hey, wha goin an here meson, wha dey hidin’ de airport?” He sae “Allah Akbar? Abdoul Ab Salamm, Abdoul Ab Salamm..

De fatty woman sae, look ovah de hill man, look ovah de hill.

 Lemme tell yu something, all I wan tu du is gemme plane ticket tu go tu de states tu see dem boy an fine out if I wantu join up wid de fresh watah yankee dem, but not only doan nobody know how tu sell a plane ticket tu de states, but now dey gan an change up de name and move de airport. Yu sure dis is dey way every body does get tu de states? Lard if is so had tu go, imagin how hard it mus be tu come back, wha yu tink?

 Meson when ah finally reach dung, tu de place wha dey suppose tu be selling de ticket dem, ah sae “ah wan tu buy a plane ticket tu de states” de woman sae “Ok where are yu goin” Ah sae Oh lard don’t tell me dis is dat again, ah sae Ah wan tu go tu de states! Wha wrang wid alyu people, ah wan yu go tu de states!

 Den de woman sae, ok which state. Now dis is  one Islan woman wha mussa had good states side training because das de fus time any body ask me dat question, ana wan yu know I were ready wid me ansah,  Ah sae ah wan tu go to de place wha name Miami, Atlanta, Florida, New Yawk, because das whea alla dem boy is.

 She sae I’m sorry, that’s impossible, there is no such place. I sae Yu lie, Yu Lie, Yu big bum ting yu, ah catch yu now, yu lie, das whea alaldem boy gan, wha wrang wid allyu crazy people, Ah sae, gimme me plane ticket an don frig me up no mo o I’ll broke off me foot in yu Batey!!

 When she hear dat De woman eye dem open wide wide and she say “of course Mr. Buckra De Paehae, just one moment please, wait here, I know exactly who can help you.

Ah sae now yu talking, dis is de way yu suppose tu treat a man who is all dress up an goin to de states.

Jus den two man hooks me up from behine, dey grab on tu de back a me pants an lif me up straight up in de air, me pants went up in me bum til ah had tu bawl out “Oh God Ah Dead, ah give up, ah give up! Den dey grab me han an me foot an thro me in de back like two hundred poun a wet sal fish.

 All dis time all de touris dem laughing me  boy, ana hear one a de chrerenn dem sae “Mommy whats the matter with that man?” De muddah sae “Nothin dear that’s just what too much rum and hot sun’ll do to ya, an thats exactly what’ll happen to your blasted Father if we don’t get ‘im back to Baltimore right away”

 When De man dem thro me doun, de bigges one sae

“C’mon now Buckrat boy, let’s hear some more of your noisy big lip about what you’re gonna do wid yer foot, an who your gonna do it to”

Ah sae Oh God, Oh God ah give up, ah give up, ah change me moine sah, ah change me moine, I ain want tu go tu de states, ah change me moine, ah wan tu go home.

 Walll… De man sae “It’s too late fer that  Buckrat, ya crazy little weasel, you’re goin ta Guantanamo wid the rest a dem terrorists. Ah sae “Oh Godee Oh Godee!, Ah give up Sah Ah Give up Sah!

Man, ah had tu beg dem, an beg dem, an beg dem boy tu loose me, an when de finally lemme getaway, Lord me boy, ah ain stop til ah pass Demarara. Wen ah catch meself, ah sae “Buckra, It look like yu bettah tell one a dem boy in de states tu sen doun a ticket fo yu, if dey wan yu come up tu play fresh watah yankee wid dem. An when dey sen doun me ticket, das how de Buckra finally get tu go tu de states,..  but das a whole uddah story meson, believe me..das a whole uddah story,

Laa-dy, me bouy… whata trelele!”

Book 4. Buckra De Paehae, Captain Hookfoot! Live At The J. Antonio Jarvis Museum, Pollyburg Hill, St.Thomas, Virgin Islands.

October 18, 2010 2 comments

POST 72. Buckra De Paehae…“CAPTAIN HOOKFOOT” LIVE AT THE J. ANTONIO JARVIS MUSEUM, Pollyburg Hill, St.. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

 Home folks appear to have enjoyed “Granfaddah Buckra An De Bo’ Hog” So, well…here is another. This one is a  live, “in performance” recording  of “Captain Hookfoot” recorded at the Jarvis Museum, on Pollyburg Hill, in St. Thomas Virgin Islands.

I hope that you will enjoy it as much as the audience and I did that wonderful evening at Jarvis.. lilfishrecords.com..(out of  St.Thomas, Virgin Islands) is currently preparing to release (This November) a Buckra CD entitles “So Sae Buckra De Paehae” Volume 1.

The CD contains eight Buckra stories, equaling a full 60 Minutes of good fus class Virgin Islands schupidness!.

Here it is…   Captain Hookfoot!                                     

 It came to pass that one day dem boy an me was warm up to go onna expedition way doung doung doung in de wes to Bordeaux Bay to fine de gol lef dare in de days of ol by de pirates of ol dat somebody say dey kno fo sure, was hide up in de top of a tamon tree.

We had quite a long ways to go an many a place to see before we would return home dat evening. Fus, on de way to Bordeaux we plan to stop by de ol Plantations at Filamingo Pon an de ol Plantation in Fortuna to pick up whatever treasure we could fine along de way den continue on to Botney Bay an clean out de treasure doung dere befo we dig up de big one at Bordeaux an bring it home.

My secret hope was dat we would only fine a likkle bit of treasure along de way, quick  quick so dat we would’n fine ourself all de way doung Bordeaux after de night fall in de ol winswep an abandoned ruins doung dere in de in de pitch black of de dark night.

Now, I kno how tu preten tu be brave when people watchin’ jus like anybody else, but lemme tell yu sumting, I have seen almost grown man bawlout fo de muddah when dey tink a Jumbie hol dem or see a Jumbie commin. An boy don tink fo a minute dat doung dae ain de home a Jumbie, hundreds a dem an more. Jumbie like sanfly me bouy, De minute de sun go down an shadows fall on dem, de Jumbie dem come pourin up out de groun an dropping doung ou de trees to see wha goin on… Laad meboy, yu don’t wan to be de ting dey fine. Jumbie frum all part a de worl me boy every one a dem wan to climb up in yu coconut,  an take ovah de driving 

 Jumbie fighting Jumbie all jumble up an top a one annudah, Carib Jumbie, trying to eat up de Arawak Jumbie wha fighting wid de Spaniard Jumbie who fighting wid de Cha Cha Jumbie, ah ah mean de french Man Jumbie,  who fightin wid de English Jumbie who clashin wid de Dane man and de wild eye African Jumbie an all a dem fighting wid Black tooth de Pirate Jumbie,  excepin if somebody who ain dead fall in wid dem, den every las one a dem Jumbie gon jump on he to see who could suck out he eye an climb in he coconut tu come back to life.

Das wha de Jumbie wan tu do yuh kno, take ovah yu coconut, an jump on yu donkey and go back town an preten like he is you, an take away yu wife an yu girlfrien, Yes man dat happens all de time.

 Well like ah sae, we was ready fo de high adventure, Bucky an Brudsie an Boomie an Tutie and Tutsie an Papoon an Joel an  de res a dem boy, de only problem was who gon be who, everybody wan to be Roy Rogers an ride in de front ah de donkey. Not me dough, I is Gene Autry de singing cowboy an nobody cain argue wid dat, I could be who I wan to be because is my donkey an I gon ride in de front. All de same, de Laad ha sen a bunch a donkey, man we had bou tree o fo a dem. Among dem is de one wha ah have to keep me eye on de mos because he is nuttin but a schupid jackass wha broke me bowstick when ah was protekkin me lil jenny gurl Madras, I wouldda stay behine ahe exceppin Gene Autry got to lead de geang, so ah wa goin tu have tu go doung de road kina sideways.

All de same alla dem Roy Rogers an Lash Larue an de Long Rangeah an Jungle Jim (wid de inscruchable Fu Man Chu thro in in dey) every one a dem tink dey should be leadin de ban, an das ok wid me becausin de only time I acktually really got tu be in front is when de Jumbie dem cumin frum behine.

 If yu wan tu kno de trut, when Jumbie cummin, I gon jump off de donkey an run fo me life on me own two foot. I done keaar wha yu say.. de ain a donkey in de worl gon run faser dan me when Jumbie cumin from behine

Jeesumbred what a ting dat would be..news flash tonight meboy, man dead doung Bordeaux, donkey bawlin blood, Jumbie biteup man head befo dey could climb up in de driver seat, but not me me boy, I gane like a  “flash of white in de night”. 

Dem boy could stan de wid dey schupidness how yu gon fight a Jumbie?Wha yu gon hol an tu when yu wan tu thro im doung? How yu gon thro him doung when yu fraid tu touch him? Who gon touch a Jumbie? Not me meboy. I jamming de ol gol in me pocket, an I gan. Who wan tu be in front a me den bettah cum good because when dem Jumbie cum pourin up ou de groun, I jumpin off de donkey an I gan.

Wall we moseyed on down de trail headin out wes singin de “yippi kai yi yoo get along little donkey song” an up an ovah de officers quarters hill and doung in de valley where de green grass grows, an up again to de top a de hill by Jahnbruisebay where upon we stopped to survey all dat lay before us.

 As we moseyed on doung to de bay, dem boy tinkin bou all de goobers an rasinetts dey gon buy wid de pirate treashah. I tinkin bou Jumbie,. when jus den, de closes ting to a Jumbie jump ou de bush an grabb on to me donkey head. It was de notorious “hookfoot” one a dem very ol an very crazy “ol crazy man”  wha live doung Jahnbruise, bunnin coal an drinking rum. Hookfoot was raving an wavin a cutlash.

In an instant I fell back on me yankin “Isn’t she.. Isn’t she a pretty donkey? I said in a quakey timid likkle voice, “Oh Yeah? yo lil red arm muddah skunk yu”, he thunderd, “I’ll kill yu muddah skunk hare today, a pretty donkey? A pretty donkey? Yu donkey teeffin Muddah $%^%$ yu!  I katch yu, yu yu lilred arm Buckra ting yu, Dis donkey is MINE. Get aff me donkey oh ah sweaa I’ll kill yu muddah skunk  rite here today”! All dis time he slashin de cutlash back an fort gains de asphalt an de sparks dem flyin up like de fort of July.

 Well ah had tu catch me self quick when ah realize all a dem boy watchin an ah cain let meself be embarrass like dat in front a dem, at de same time ah kina glad tu realize what evah gon happen here, I ain goin have tu deal wid de Jumbie dem doung Bordeaux tonight. 

“Well Mr. Hook Sah” I said, as I jumped doung off de donkey,  “I am glad to be de one who was able to fine an secure an return dis fine animal to you, mah name is Gene Autry de singing Cowboy an mah game is mekin everyting have a happy endin. An wid dat I’ll bid yu a good day sah, I have tu be getting back to de movies”.

An wid dat I turn aroung ana run rite home savin’ de pirate treasah fo annudah day, sometime early in de manin….Yes man,..an das de trut!

Book 4. Dear Carol and Book 4. De Barracks Yad Bay And Beach Club And Book 4. “Yeah But Can You Sell 300 Tickets?”

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

 Book 4. Dear Carol and Book 4. De Barracks Yad Bay And Beach Club And Book 4. “Yeah But Can You Sell 300 Tickets?”

 Dear Carol,

Please forgive me for not responding more quickly, I was away from my computer and in New York, as you will see later in today’s postings.

Gale and I have thought of you, your big sister Ruth your little brother Kent or “Kennet” (as people call him), and your parents, many more times than I can say. I am very sorry to report to you that Gale died not long ago (April of 08) and up and to that time we spoke about you and your family often and with great fondness.

I recently did a concert at the “J. Antonio Jarvis Museum and Learning Center” in Pollyburg, which is also the defacto home of “We from Upstreet” (an organization that you may be familiar with, or may find interesting to look into.)

In any case, because of the time that Gale and I spent living “Upstreet” (we had already moved twice, and had been in both Catholic and Nisky schools before coming  upstreet) I was invited to join the organization and I did with great pleasure.

 During  the concert I performed a spoken word piece called “De Barracks Yad Bay And Beach Club” which was very well received, I am posting it here again today in hopes that you will enjoy it. There is much more to write about the people, places and things of upstreet and you can be quite sure that you will find the Daniels family therein.

I have seen Kent from time to time through the years and have often asked about you and Ruth, I am glad to know that you are well and I certainly hope that she is also. Please pass my warmest regards along to her if you can, and know that because of your many kindnesses the memory of you and your family is always with me. Do you remember our little club and its Theme Song “Home Home on The Range”? Yep! And when we children would pack a little picnic lunch and follow Ruth along “Beljan Road” to go swimming at “Long Bay” (before Pearson Gardens and Yacht Haven?) Yep and.. and..well, God Bless you Carol, thank you for writing. My email address is scott@lilfish.com looking forward!  

Book 4. De Barracks Yad Bay An Beach Club

 It jus so happen dat one day roun de bay dere by de Barracks yad a big truck come an dump out a truck load a san. Wha! Yeh meboy, (I se to meself) now yu talking boy, now yu talkin’ lemme go lay doun in it.

 No sooner said dan done an I was de fus man dare. Boy, ah lay back an cross me leg an crass up me han dem behine me head like ah contemplating de clouds in de clear blue sky. De nex second, ah jump up ana run back home to de head a pave street for me Muddah towel ana umbrella fo style, den ah grab up a can a sardine, two French bread ana red soda ana fly back to de beautiful new san at wha I kno gon soon be “De Barracks Yad Bay an Beach Club” Yeh meboy, ah se to meself now yu talking now yu talking.

 By de time ah reach back, three o fo touris had done fin de spot, but ah tro doun me self right in de middle ah dem, put an me shades ana open me sardine.

Jus den a big hard face man se “Hey Buckra, wha de hell yu tink yu doin, yu can’ see we come tu mix up concrete an cement?” Ah se “wha? Yu crazy? Wha yu commin’ to de beach tu mix up concrete and cement” De man se “Is you is de one who crazy, who de hell tell you dis is a beach, we makin’ a watahfront fo  bigtruck cou pass here” Ah se “wha? Is YOU is de one who crazy, look de beautiful blue watah de, look de san here, look de people in de middle. We here in de Barracks Yad waitin’ bocoups an many years plus fo somebody to bring de san fo de beach. Man de people dem  been laydin doun in de mud full a crab hole an rock stone an badein’ in de watah  wha de bottom fulla broke shell an beer can. De chrirren dem billin san calsel outtah mud an don’ talk abou when de gut runnin and de nightsoil commin’ doun, den dey makin mud pie outta dat!

 No man, we waitin’ two hundred years an mo for dis san tu come (an fo somebody to plug up de gut) We ain’ wan no concrete and cement fo de beach, how de people dem gon lay doun on concrete and cement?, why yu wan tu have to jump up wid yu coal pot an yu fry fish and yu mabi an yu blanket an everyting, everytime some schupid muddah skunk ina bigtruck want tu pass. Yu crazy? No man, bring mo san! Dis is de place right here me boy, in fac we should exten de beach all de way from Wes Indian dock to Cha Cha Ta…ah.. ah mean French Toun!

Yu kno de beach belongs to de people dem and dat way every day will be like Christmas Mahnin fo de whole ah Charlotte Amalia me boy. Man sellin fraco an jumbi bead lef an right, woman sellin pate an benye by de poun. Touris frum all ovah de place commin to see de most beautiful town in de wurl, wid de bigges an de bes and de most beautiful beach in de wurl, rite in de middle ait. An de people dem will own de whole ting!. Man ah tell yu bring mo san! Bring mo san!

 Book 4. “Yeah But Can You Sell 300 Tickets?”

 I have been a Recording Artist since I first signed with Columbia Records in the fall of 1964, and have been subject or exposed to most every original and derivative permutation of art/music and business related bull jive steamin’. Every hipper than thou conceit, confabulation, confusion, slight of hand obfustication (compounded I confess by crock pots of chemistry guaranteed to lift the veil, and expose the heart of matter AND the matter too, listened to every triple speaking squeaky charlatan and predatory Piranha, every well intentioned honey, and her Father AND her Mother, Cuzuncle, Cuzauntie, Police Chief, School teacher, sponsor, Chaplin, shrink, business and financial advisor and attorney, music biz, patent, copyright, real estate, personal injury and divorce. Every cross-eyed, trembling lipped visionary, explicator, explainer, translator, voice from the clouds, fortune cookie, Gypsy and know it all, know nothing available. Every ambitious author, handbook scribbler, how to coach, wanna be publicist, agent, and queen bee, every bartender, dealer, secretary of the meeting, founding director, Psychologist, Professor, lunatic and even to my partner in lilfish records, Tutsie.  And nothing has ever been quite so clear, so illuminating, so to the point, so completely question AND answer in one, so insulting and inspirational so in out all and every thing, as the question put to me this past Friday October the 8th, 2010, in New York City.  “Yeah But Can You Sell 300 Tickets?”

Continues….