Posts Tagged ‘DEM BOY’

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”