Posts Tagged ‘MAAC’

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.


Book 4. Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band…

August 20, 2010 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

 Some reviews…

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

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

Book 4, Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band at The 35th Annual Middletown Fair

June 15, 2010 1 comment

BOOK 4. Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band at The 35th Annual Middletown Fair.

 Up in the states, I am a member of and involved with The MAAC (Middletown Area Arts Collective) MAAC is located in Middletown Pennsylvania, a gritty little town that was once a crossroads of the old canal system (The Union and Pennsylvania Canals met and joined here) then a railroad town, an/industrial center and finally the home of Olmstead Air Force Base.

 All of those economic engines have come and gone (the base closed in the sixties) and with them, much of the heart and spirit of the place and its people. The town is most recently known for being the location of the notorious and near catastrophic Three Mile Island Nuke plant meltdown. A not inappropriate illustration of the present state of the Middletown, and its burgers.

It’s the kind of environment in which art is not taken seriously, if, taken at all. The kind of “banged in the noggin” environment where art is likely to be considered (when considered) a serious waste of time.

It is the intention of MAAC or the Collective, to transform the town into a center for the arts and artists. I am a very active supporter of that idea for a number of reasons, and if you’ve been reading the Mem.wa?  Reasons, the genesis of which, I don’t have to explain.

 Moreover, however and in addition, I am strumulated by  (as if I needed any more challenges)  the idea of  collective consciousness in action and  the fun in  making music with folks lacking in big city disillusionment, who actually still make music for the love of it.

(You certainly have my permission to assume or conclude that my own constellation of motivations for making music may be somewhat more constrangled with conflicting complexities than the simple pursuit of joy however, believe it or not, the joy  found in the “magic moments” in-side the transformational experience of singing/making music, is still the jumbo juice of it all.)

 We are going to be doing a one hour concert at the upcoming 35th Annual Middletown  Fair, and I am looking forward to the gig. Here is our little local one sheet and the boys (and girl) in the band.


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

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

Some reviews…

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


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

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

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

Barbara  Vajda… is a Croatian Steelton Guitar Goddess with a long musical history in Pennsylvania. After a hiatus to raise little ones, The Goddess is back with SCOTT FAGAN and the MAAC ISLAND BAND.

 Friends of MAAC may pop up or chime in as the spirit moves them and time will allow.

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

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

My little joke is that at sixty-four, opportunity is once again knocking at the door, the problem is finding my glasses my walker and my wig and then getting my shakity self to the door in time, or possibly, even hearing the blasted knocking in the first place, or if I do hear the K’ NOK  figgerin’ out what the heck it is. I’m a tellin’ ya..

 The gig is over, and we did a great job. I am very grateful to the “Great Artist” for giving me the gift and ability to sing, I just love to sing..And thanks to all that is good, I was able to sing like a banshee.

We have another gig,(this time a two hour concert) scheduled from five to seven on the 26th of June here in Middletown, at the old log cabin down by Swatara Creek. (No I’m not kidding,  for reals)

The new CD “Scott Fagan’s The Virgin Island Songs, Live in Concert” will be coming out in July with the new recording of “Surrender To The Sun” as the single. While we are trying to promote the release, we will be busy recording The MAAC Island Band and my self, live in Middletown.

Playing live shows and singing up a storm is great fun for me and I hope that we will be able to gig and that I will be able to  continue singing as well as I am for a long long time. In order to do that, we need to find an agent able to book the gigs.

It’s a new world and the dawning of a new paradigm for music and the relationship between music creators and them that love music. I wish that my beautiful partner the Great Cocacola (Kookoolis) and the many friends of “SOON” were still around to see this day. What a Cabruncle the Music Business did to the Music Business… We will sing and play and, “The Great Artist” willing, love, clear thinking and collective effort, will find a way…yep! Continues…


Book 4. Continued…Tales of The Second Coming.5 And Book 1. Isla Grande .4

April 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Book 4. Continued…Tales of The Second Coming .5

I am in the muddle of, ah…middle of, preparing for three very important occasions, and the April 15 tax deadline.

First, Sula’s One Hundred and Eighth Birthday, (the 22nd of April).

Second, The release of my new CD “The Virgin Islands Songs, The Musical. In Concert” Containing my new single “Surrender To The Sun” and

Third, A benefit Concert for COAST (The Council On Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, St. Thomas, St John) on April 25th at French Man’s Reef in St. Thomas, and…

 yes, I filed online, just in the nickel of dime.

 We have completed the production elements of “The Virgin islands Songs, The Musical, In Concert” and are now snaggled up in the manufacturing process.

Shari Brandt, Digitaldave (both from MAAC, the collective that I am involved with here in the states) and I spent much time on the cover last evening and that element looks great.  Shari had a photo of a “Golden Sky” that she took in the Virgin Islands.

The photograph is wonderfully representative of lines from “The Virgin Islands Song” 

The Virgin.Islands Song

 Have you ever been, to a Virgin Island?

If you answer no, come let’s go come let’s go

Have you ever seen what Virgin Islands mean?

If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

 In this world of gray on gray

I know where the rainbow day

Is born upon the golden sunrise

That scatters the stars turning diamonds to sky

Over Amalie… an emerald in the sea

Her perfumed mystery, bold as love longs to be.

 Have you ever seen what Virgin Islands mean?

If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

 In this world of grey on grey

I know where the rainbow day

Is born upon the golden sunrise

That scatters the stars turning diamonds to sky

Over sisters three… like emeralds in the sea

Their people’s history, bold as love, wild and free.

 Have you ever been, to a Virgin Island?

If you answer no, come let’s go come let’s go

Have you ever seen what Virgin Islands mean?

If you answer no come let’s go, come let’s go

If you answer no, come let’s go, come let’s go…

 And our upcoming single “Surrender To The Sun”.

 Surrender To The Sun

 Go down by the sea, surrender to the sun

Find the one you used to be, forget what time has done

 Go down by the sea and heal your heart,

Too many memories are tearing you apart

 Your eyes show you’re tired so

Of love of lose or win

Old friends know you’ve got to go

And let your heart begin again.


 Your eyes show you’re tired so

Of love of lose or win

Old friends know you’ve got to go

And let your heart begin again.

 Go down by the sea and heal your heart,

Too many memories are tearing you apart

 Go down by the sea, surrender to the sun

Find the one you used to be, forget what time has done

 Go down by the sea and heal your heart,

Too many memories are tearing you apart,

They’re tearing you apart…

 We need to work quickly as I am scheduled to travel back to St. Thomas on Tuesday the 20th of April, for Sula’s Birthday Party on the 24th and the Benefit Concert at French Mans Reef on the 25th. I would like to have at least fifty copies of the new CD to take along. The CD is a double album so we are actually burning and printing 100 discs to make 50 copies.

The package looks great (Thanks to Shari Brandt of MAAC) the production quality is great (thanks to Digital Dave of MAAC) and the content is interesting and unusual.

(The printing and burning is being done as I write, by John E. a once well-known New York City recording engineer who is also a part of the exciting MAAC collective)

In terms of content, the CD contains what I believe to be a selection of good and appropriate “Virgin Island Songs” (of which there could have been three times as many) poetry, and lots of what we call (down in the Islands) “schupidness” aka (in the USA), as “humor”. I think that folks will find it interesting, amusing, and worth their while.

 This is our first co-production with MAAC (The Middletown Area Arts Collective) and this afternoon the media committee is meeting to discuss and create an action plan for getting the product (most especially the single “Surrender To The Sun” to the public. We do believe that there is an audience for this song and this recording of it, and the trick is how to get the recording to its audience. Specifically,

1. How to get exposure for the recording.

2. How to make the recording available to those people who would like to have it

3. How to collect sufficient pennies, nickels, dimes and dollars from sales of the recording to be able to create more recordings…

We think that this recording is close to the perfect one to help us develop and establish a promotion and distribution (and collection?) process that we will be able to utilize for future products.

 Of course we have no freakin’ “mowker balowker” (moolah boolah) (At last report it took an investment of $250,000 to get a hit) to pursue the traditional or established promotion and distribution processes. Which includes printing thousands of promotional copies and shipping them to radio stations, hiring an “independent record promotions person” who would “get our release to the top of the pile” hiring a publicist to get us as much  “press” as needed, shipping copies to and getting the interest and attention of ”reviewers” inclined to “rave or even rant” about our humble offering, and mounting a “Promotional Tour” to get exposure and support for the release” so, we have to uncover and discover new ways to achieve our goal. Which is in a word,.. ah six words, “To make this record a hit”.

We are certainly interested to hear your ideas and to engage your help in this. Please write to me at with your thoughts, and suggestions. I (and we) thank you very much.

P.S someone is saying “Scott you’ve got to bribe folks! Urging me to offer “half a bag of Hershey’s Kisses as a grand prize” Continued…

 Book 1. Isla Grande .4

I walk right up to it and stop and stare almost every day. The house on South Catherine, it was my sister Gale’s home. We were here together loving each other as much as a brother and sister can. What fun we had rambling through the house shouting or mumbling silliness in English, Spanish and Calypso, in and out of yesterday, today and tomorrow. (incidentally, that’s the fun of being a “grown up” you get to  shout and laugh and yell as loud and as often as you want to, and turn the music way up high).

Who in the world could have imagined that Gale would have to split? Not to California, not to Florida, but completely. Clean gone outta here, off the Earth…Not here there or anywhere, and not back tomorrow either. Gone gone gone. It’s unbelievable.

So, I walk right up to the house and stop. Almost every day. I just can’t believe she’s gone.

 She would have loved “The Virgin Islands Songs, The Musical”,  The MAAC Collective (right here in her little town, Middletown,) and her brudder bonehead’s new recording of “Surrender To The Sun”.  After all, she was the one. She was the one that first heard the whispers in the wind, that realized a new kind of music was being birthed, one that she and her little brother Bonehead, belonged to, and were born to be part of.

It was the beginning of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Bill Haley and The Comets, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Elvis Presley,  The Platters, The Moon glows, The Flamingos, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, their music, the idea that their music was OUR music, that spoke, that sang our freedom became our strength, the sweet salve, solace and succor for the soul, that we, that Gale and I, in that time and in our place, so desperately needed. Continued…

Book 1. Isla Grande Continued…Book 4. “Tales of The Second Coming” Continues..

April 2, 2010 1 comment

Book 1. Isla Grande Continued…

While we were living at “Parada Vente Cinco, Y El Fangio” I was enrolled in “El Colejio de San Juan Bautista”, a fine and upstanding Escuela, wherein not a word of English was spoken..

None, no, nunca, nada, except of course for the odd combo/ patois dialect passing for English, spoken by yours truly.

The experience at San Juan Bautista was after all is said and done, one of the most instructive and educational of my entire academic career, and I would recommend it for anyone. The experience of becoming and being “El Estupido” simply because of language is like becoming the Hunchback of Notre Dame, or Louie the leper over night A most illuminating and ultimately, empathy producing exercise that I think ought to be a required part of every ones education.

 While at Parade Vente Cinco, I made a friend, Terry (who lived nearby, but away from El Fangito).  Through Terry, I was introduced to “Abuelitas” (a Spanish term for “little Grandmothers”).

My friend Terry’s Mother was “Puerto Ricania” his Father was a state-sider as I recall, but out of the picture at the time…  In any case Terry and his Mother were living with his Abuelita, in a beautiful old “Spanish Moroccan” style, mini Hacienda, A very “Castiliano” pad and atmosphere (in those days the “upper class” considered themselves “Castilians” or “Castilianos” pure or semi pure “Spaniards” as opposed to the “lower classes” which were made up of a mixture of Spanish, African, Indios, and, well you name it. All together known as Puerto Ricanios, Boricuas, Borenquenios, as fine a Sangria of humankind as can be found any where on the Earth.

Americans occupied a position in the Castiliano hierarchy  below the sub heading of “Vulgar” “Vulgarians” were tolerated more or less in direct relation to the individual’s power or financial status. And God pity the vulgarian who was “poor” “ese no vale nada”, their only redeeming quality was the fact that by their existence, they proved the natural superiority of Castilianos.

Castilianos who were of course, by divine preference, selected by Dios as most appropriate to “discover”, civilize and rule the new world.  Ah yes… there had been some mismanagement, setbacks and perhaps even a few mistakes, but as long as “los Castillianos” held true to their superior attitude and ideation, this too would pass, this too would pass. Terry’s Abuelita was one of those.

It was through her intervention in our friendship that I given my first introduction to an interesting new point of view on my natural place and relative worth in the world.

 Terry and I were talking about ways to make some money, (actually I suppose, I was the one concerned with making money because he always seemed to have all he needed, while I had none.)  One block over from Aveneda Fernandez Juncos, was “Aveneda De Diego” a far more ritzy Aveneda, than Fernandez Juncos, On Aveneda De Diego, was where you would find “El Nilo”, a well-known breakfast and  lunch type restaurant with these fabulous giant glazed donuts in the window (that I was dazzled and dizzyfied by but could never afford)  always on sale for only “un bejon” a nickel.

 Further along Aveneda De Diego, there was an empty lot in which a little traveling carnival set up a few rides. Among them, these great looking little cars that you got into and steered around a wooden track. I wanted more than anything in the world to be able to give them the quarter fare needed, and take my turn around the track. It happened that the day that my dear Mudder dear had sufficient discretionary funds to give her dear little bonehead dear a quarter, was the very day that the little cars had packed up and left. I was very sad and disappointed.

 I know that things were worse in the Fangito, that my self-centered materialistic material wants, were wants, not needs and in the grand scheme of things blah, blah, blah. However, the experience of “having not” and “getting not” over and again, brings a sadness to the spirit, and the question of “hey, wot th’ heck, what’s goin’ on?” and” hmm, what the matter with me?”, begins to bubble sweetly beneath the consciousness, silently building to the subtle burp and overt belching of odd and uninvited emotional and cognitive bub-splosions and disturbances from time to time. 

 There was a big air-conditioned movie theater on Calle De Diego that was advertising and showing a really interesting looking grown up movie “Carmen Jones” starring a really interesting grown up actress, Dorothy Dandridge. The posters outside showed a strikingly  beautiful lady of color in the starring role, (which even an eight year old knew was very unusual) I was really intrigued by the posters and knew there was no way that I would be able to pay my way in, so we decided to ask the movie theater man for a job. To our surprise and delight he said something like “sure, I’ll give you un peso each to sweep up and clean out the theater after each show”. With that he took us into the theater, it was enormous, but we got right to work…a sweepin’ and a pickin’ up and a moppin’ and a pickin’ up and a moppin’ and a sweepin’ and a “oh oh” a scrapin’ gum and a god knows what and a sweepin’ and as always, Terry’s Abuelita wanted him home for lunch, which meant that he had to leave before the job was over..Which meant that I had to do it alone, which was no fun, not even a little. 

When I saw Terry later, he said that his Abeulita had told him that he couldn’t do that kind of work, that theaters “were filthy and full of spit” and that she said “while I could do it, she wouldn’t allow him to go back there anymore”. When I heard that I wondered why if he couldn’t, I could? While I didn’t quite understand what that meant, I knew it implied something that didn’t “feel” right. Something was wrong and further, it left me cleaning up the whole filthy place all by my self.  

 Fortunately we moved to Cacique Street before my soul sank completely through the sidewalk and “el estupido” got demoted all the way back to the first grade.

 Cacique Street was interesting for a few reasons, One, because we lived in a house completely devoid of any furniture or furnishings (knives, forks, plates) of any kind, what so ever. And Two, because Gale and I had never been so all out blasted and interminably hungry in all our lives. It seems to me that all that Gale and I did on Cacique Street was wait and wait for an adult to bring us something to eat. It was crazy.

The only thing in the house other than our hunger and our suitcases was a radio…Gale and I played it day and night. Not surprisingly, the piece of music that I remember best from Calle Cacique was a bouncy melodic advertisement (in Spanish) for “Fruta Melocoton…..Libbys!” A jingle for Libby’s brand Peaches and Apricots, I’m telling you, it made a deep Impression…to this day  “Melocoton” is one of my favorites  of lip and lingo.

 In a stroke of good fortune, we were unable to pay the rent, and had to move again.

This time to a furnished apartment at 1700 Ashford Avenue, in “El Condado”. Condado was a relatively upscale section of Santurce, that ran parallel to Condado Beach. 1700 Ashford Avenue, was an eight to ten story wonderful Spanish style old world apartment building overlooking the ocean, The coconut trees swaying in the breeze along the silver strand,  the morning sun rising up golden and good out of the idyllic blue. It was beautiful.

We lived in a little apartment over the garage behind the main building blocked from the sea breeze and the view, still it beat the flaming heck out of tragico El Fangito and the crazy hungry nights and days of Cacique.,, Continued

 Book 4.  “Tales of The Second Coming” Continues..

Last evening, Your sixty four year old singer who will not take no for an answer, continued his voyage of discovery in pursuit of his ever elusive audience, up to and into the Capital of the great state of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. He was accompanied by un congero Puertoriciano que se jama Rafael, a blond Croatian guitarista Goddess that calls her self “Barbie” and a “visually challenged”, well…a blind stick tappin’, ex NYC recording engineer and whiz-bang computer wizzit, John “E”

The object of their objective was a small (but big inside) bookstore and coffee joint called “The Midtown Scholar’ where he would be auditioning via their “Open Mike”, for a coveted one hour slot in their performance schedule which and when, there-upon therein, he would be allowed to put out a tip jar and possibly pass the basket.

We were met at our Capital City objective by the spark plug and leader of the MAAC (Middletown Area Arts Collective), Shari Brandt (Middletown is “The Gritty little City that Glows” ever since Three Mile Island made it the shiniest place on the map) MAAC’s radical new Theater and Media group may be producing “the sixty four year old writer who won’t take no for an answer’s” new mini opus “Three Mile Island, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth, The Musical” we shall see…

Shari was accompanied by her husband handsome Dave and Bob The Train Engineer. All there to provide a kind and much appreciated collective support experience.

 Meanwhile, your boy knows more than a little about “passing the basket” being a veteran of Greenwich Village in the sixties and Washington Square Park, in particular. (The best spot was under the arch where a singer could count on a nice echo effect)  in fact the very spot in which and where in, he had accidentally discovered that the most astounding, surefire and guaranteed success with a singular “ basket pass” had little to do  with the quality of the performance and everything to do with the visual effect of the comely wench making the round of the crowd, basket in hand. Remembering clearly that his most successful basket pass of all time occurred when his wild redheaded earth mama sweetie Annie’s proud young gravity defying  pink and ivory breast had found it’s way out of her hippified peasant blouse to astound, electrify and thrill the crowd out of $80.00  (eighty dallah) cash money in Pennies, Nickels, Dimes. Quarters, Dollar bills (even a twenty) and sundry bells, buttons joints and medicinals. (yes, yes, I know, I’ve promised a “G” rated Memwa? but Annie is the Mother and Granny Mother of two of my girls and I think the story may be important and potentially  useful for them to reference, when heated discussions arise over their own behaviors and wardrobe choices)

The question tonight here in Harrisburg, will be will these neo-hip folks object if we skip the songs and go directly to having the Croatian Goddess Barbie, flip, or float one out, basket in hand, for a quick killing. We shall see…

 The problem turned out to be, that the person your singer needed to impress to get the gig, didn’t bother coming, and nether did the sound guy. So your boy stepped up to the mike, electric guitar in hand and offered up his performance in honor and remembrance of forty-five years of folkies, Earth Mothers, basket houses, bazooms, high falutin’ coffee house waitresses, rainy nights in the village, dark streets flashing reflections of red amber and green, neon lights and pouty lipped girls.

Your sixty-four year old “comeback kid” screeched a splendid and heartfelt medley of Zimmerman tunes artfully scrunched in between the Donovanian  epic “Catch The Wind” in a trans Atlantic, sense defying audition tribute to what was, what is, and what will be, this moment, that moment, and forever, etc. Quite something to hear as the vocal mike was live live live and the guitfiddle amp dead dead dead.

 Ah well, it certainly wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last… We arranged a second audition with the decider, and the singer will keep his spirits clean and sober and high high high, because it turns out that for him, life and love and music, is just better that way. Continued…