Posts Tagged ‘Surrender To The Sun’

Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band @ Gullifty’s Camp Hill PA.

December 7, 2013 Leave a comment

Scott Fagan And The MAAC Island Band @ Gullifty's Camp Hill PA.

Here’s a picture taken by our beautiful friend and Producer “Digital Dave” recently at Gullifty’s a great spot in Camp Hill Pa. Just behind and to my right is the great Bass Player “Bobby Fry JR”. It was a Wonderful Gig, I wish you had been there with us. We look forward to seeing you soon!

In Honor Of Bastille Day! “Granfaddah Buckra An De Bo’Hog”

July 13, 2013 Leave a comment



Click The Link for the recording…

Granfaddah Buckra and the Bo’hog

Well… now it happen so dat Gran Faddah Buckra had de biggest, de schupides, de ugliest, de stinkis, de noisiest and de nastyiest Bo Hog  anybody had evah seen..

de Buckra liked to call him King George, and he loved dat Bo Hog like a Bruddah

One day de neighbor dem come sae…,

 “Buckra, you know Black people is good people, an de don mine if yu wan tu live wid dem an roun dem an side a dem oh undah neet a dem oh on top a dem or all in de middle an in between a dem  excepin’ when dat big  stinkin ugly’ bo’ hog of yours own “dat yu likes tu call King George”, du knock doun he pig pen “dat yu likes tu call he Castle of King George” an wha yu set up right in de middle a de yad, dat yu likes tu call “de Kingdom of King George” when dat Bo’ hog come  rootin up in every body business all ovah de yad, an throwin’ doun de cloths line wid all de chirren dem clean clothes on it, an rootin’ up an rollin up in all de woman dem clean panty, rootin up and rollng ovah doung  in de dutty mud an stinkin’ up de place an oinkin up de place an squealin up de place like de las pig outta hell an  wakin’ up all de people dem in de yad which of late has  happen almos every  single  night a de week an twice on Sunday,

 An Buckra, like we say, yu n kno black people is good people an we don mine, but Buckra OH God Buckra,.we tink is time you should go live among yu own kine”..

Me own kine? sae de Buckra, me own kine? Wha kina kine yu tink is me own kine?

De boldest of de Neighbah dem sae “we have contemplated and conclude you should go live doun in Cha Cha tuun”,

 “Cha Cha toun? Say de Buckra, Cha Cha Toun?”

Yes sah Buckra we have decided that you should go live  wid de res a dem Cha Cha doun in  Cha Cha toun”

“Yu tink oy is a Cha cha? Yu tink oy is a Cha Cha?

Yu loy,! Yu don kno I is a white man?

 I ain no Cha Cha, yu Muddah is a Cha Cha!”

 No no! de uddah Neighbah say, no no not a Cha Cha, St. Thomas ain ga no Cha Cha no more, We doesn use that expression no more, she mean tu sae you should go live wid de res a dem doun Carenage..ers doun in Carenage..

Carenage? Carenage? Who yu callin a Carenage?  yu Muddah is aa Carenage!

No No Mistah Buckra, das de Frenchie dem way tu say  French Toun, 

French Toun? French Toun? Yu tink I should go live in French Toun?

Yes sah Mistah Buckra, Everybody in de yad say yu is  a Balahoo..

Das why yu should go livewid de res a de balahoo dem  doun in Cha Cha, ah mean French ah mean Carenage Toun!

Anuddah neibah pipe in

“Yes man yu keeian see how it is?

Guana should live wid Guana,

Mongoose should live wid Mongoose,

Guava don grow onna Cenepe Tree and yu shluld be wid de res a de Frenchie, Doun in Frenchie Toun”

De Buckra hot now, he say Guana? Guana? Who yu callin a Guana? Yu muddah is a Guana!

Not a Guana, de neighbah sae, not a Guana, yu is a Frenchie.

“Oy? Oy? You schupid oh sumting? Yu damn forward  AN schupiddy Oy ain no Frenchie,  Oy Is a white man yu talking to… Any body cou see I is a white man,.. wha wrang wid yu, anybody cou see Buckra De Paehae is a white man!”

Buckra, (say de very darkest a de neighbah dem)  Buckra, If you is a white man I is a Frenchie, if yu is a white man, why we don hear yu Yankin, Buckra, why we don hear yu yankin?”

 “Yankin? Yankin? Sae de Buckra,  yu want tu hear me Yankin?”

“Ok den.



“Yu see wha ah tell yu? Yu see wha ah tell yu? De neighbah sae, he ain no white man, he ain no white man. He keeian yank! Bou he is a white man, a white man wha keeian Yank? Yu evah see a white man wha keeian yank? De Buckra ain no white man, he is nuttin’ but a mushay! Ah say Sen im doun French Town!




Yes Yes, Buckra de neighbah dem say, yes yes das de bes ting Buckra,  mosey on doun west to Cha Cha toun… 

An Me Boy, das when de REAL trouble start!

Buckra and  de Bo’ Hog went straight doun to French Town an walk right in to de famous Normandy Bah, it wa round 11 a clock in de mawnin so naturally de place wa almos full. Half a de man dem wa teachin’   high school and mos a de legislatue was doun dare tu get a good head start on de day. Plus a few Sailah Man…

Now de Bucvkra had done make up he mine dat  he ain talking no mo Island talk, because he ain wan nobody to make no mo mistake bou de fac dat  is a white man through an through, from den on he Yankin straight,

Well… maybe a white man wid a lil someting else throw in in dare but all de same de Buckra say he  Yankin’ straight.


Dat time a man name Magras, sae “ 

“Hey hey wait meson wait, Wha yu tink yu goin wid dat Bo hog?”Dis is de Narmandy Bah, only de bes a people cu come in in side a heah an we don deal wid no Bo Hag doun French Toun , We is fishah man doug here, RIDERS ON THE SEA!  You in de wrang place me boy, yu bettah go Nart side whea yu cou join up wid de res a dem RIDERS ON A DONKEY, an fuddah mo you ain no Frenchie!  You mubbee som kina doublebreed Daneman  an Putto Rician from Sain Croix!

All dis time three or fo drunken Sailah done feed King George de Bo Hog  mo dan a quart a rum and coke chase down wid bou five or six cold schafah beer me boy, and de Bo Hog  feelin’ it now. 


Den he take off trunning roung and roung in de Normandy Bah, tunnin up and knockin doun table a chair, lef and right, all ovah de place, dis time he change he tune he  bawling out “ (SQUEEYAW SQUEEYAW OINK OINK! SQUEEYAW! SQUEEYAW!   De nex ting yu know de Bo Hag stop an start tu swing and sawy. He open he eye dem wide wide and den… he vomit up a Green an Yellow tidal wave of de wus stinkin frat full a ole drawers and panty yu evah see.

De sailah dem killing dey self wid de laugh, but de Frenchie dem don tink it’s so funny ah tall. 

Well me boy, Buckra an de Bo Hag had tu haul dey “humpf” outta French Town man dey two a dem run straight an all de way up Demarara Gut through mo jackspania and catchankee… dem boy ain stop til de reach de very top a Crown  an some ways doun de uddah side.

An dats how Buckra and de Bo Hag fus arrive in Nelteburg.

But befo yu know it dat Bo Hog King George wa makin trouble an terrorizing de poor people dem out dare, rooting up in de peppah patch and knockin doun de cloths line.. well until he disappeared one day.

 Some people say King George de Bo’ Hog decided tu go St. John an is de Faddah and de Gran Faddah of mos a de wus a de wile pig an even some a de wile donkey dem   harassin de people dem up dare in St. John,

Som uddah people say dem Nart side French man finally get tu hol de Bo’ hog,, an had de biggis roas pig  of all time, evah dat Bastille Day doun Hull bay,

But mos of all a taxi man say he know fo a fac dat dem boy from the de Agricultural Station out Dorithia catch King George an dress him up like a touris an put him onna touris boat, an nobody didn’t  notice de difference between he an de res a dem til’ dey reach back Florida me boy.

I don kno about dat, but de pert I tell yu, is wha happen an das de trut de whole trut an nuttin but de trut… So help me Miss Gearty!


Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band Release New Album “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience”

Book 4. Scott Fagan and The  MAAC Island Band, Release New Album “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience”

That’s the headline, here’s the story…These songs (and many other songs of mine) have not found their audiences because, after all is said and done, I have not been successful at promoting myself  to the point where audiences have heard these songs and accepted or rejected them.  Complexly, It’s simply that simple.

For one reason and another I have always been inhibited about promoting myself. At this point that is unlikely to change. I am really relieved for my son Stephin (Merritt) that he has Claudia (Gonson) to help  him with that, because if  left entirely to the elements for self promotion that he inherited from his dear mudder dear and his fine pater fer’tater, the boy might be raising Chihuahuas. Not unlike his Grand Father the Great Frankie “Tic Tac Toe Trio” Galvin, who couldn’t promote himself either, and wound up in a skeeter riddled rust bucket trailer in “El Swampo De Los  Everglades” with little Beau “The Father Abraham of Chihuahuas”, and Beau’s multiple wifeys and Babble barking  nations of offspring.

So the point is.. this release, this album, is about the songs and not the dude that yodels ’em.  That is why it is titled as it is and why it is a mix of sessions here, there and everywhere. The trick is to get the songs to the people that will love them or leave them alone. Songs are born to have a life (and relationships) of their own, but they have to get out there in order for that to occur. My job (after  wrassling the thing out of the ether)  is to get the song heard by whatever means possible. I love these songs and have spent many years trying to get them to you. I’m going to try my very best to promote them. I sincerely hope they find you this time. That’s the story Morning Glory.

P.S. Oh yes!  Please go and give them a listen, and if you like one or more, then please pass them on   Thank you, Scott Fagan 2012

Book 4. “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience”

March 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve  just started a kickstarter project called  “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience” which is the title of the new album that ! (along with the MAAC Island Band)  am trying to finish up (we have four more tunes to go) If you have enjoyed my posts and identify at all with my passions and proclivities, then please by all means do what you can to support the project.

Just go to and look for 10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience and follow their directions!

I think that this could be the break through album (this is not to say that I don’t enjoy being your very own secret artist and that I’m anxious to abandon you in favor of  universal  accolades, pieces of eight, the lusty waterfront wenches of  Trader Dan’s, money in the bank, clean clothes, a new set of guitar strings and something to eat) rather it  means I’d very much like to have something tangible to leave for my long sufferin’ little ones who have heard their dear father dear described, damned  and dismissed as everything but a success.

Ah well…Yes indeed, please do go and listen/see what these “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience” are all about and whether or not you like im’.

Here is our most recent recording from the album “10 Great Songs In Search Of An Audience”

  “Sure Has Been Good Loving You Baby”

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. 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 2. And Book 4. “Surrender To The Sun”

March 24, 2010 2 comments

Book 2. And Book 4. “SURRENDER TO THE SUN”

I wrote todays post recently, on the day of the vocal session for the new recording of “Surrender To The Sun” here’s the song and the lyric.

“Surrender To The Sun”            (by Scott Fagan and Susan Minsky)

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, your 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, your 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, 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, their’re tearing you apart…

 It’s a simple, surprisingly beautiful lyric that I wrote while visiting Patty and The Bix in their pad overlooking Hull Bay, in St. Thomas in 1976    We recorded it not long after as the “Theme Song” for a Canadian Film called “Recommendation For Mercy” (The film was about a young Canadian teenage boy, who had been accused and convicted of Murdering his sweetheart, lots of folks felt very strongly that he was innocent and had been railroaded by the authorities. I am happy to report that his conviction was recently set aside, he was declared innocent and released from prison. 

 (You can find the original recording on youtube or at Warren Schatz produced and arranged it, and it was released by RCA as a single with “Many Sunny Places” on the other side.

 “Surrender To The Sun” went to become #1 on what was then the #1 station in New York City, however it was never distributed beyond New York, so no one outside of New York ever heard it. It was a beautiful record, and led Sid Bernstien to the verge of singing me to a management deal. Had he done so things might heve been very different. Why no distribution? I don’t know. Why no signing? Yo no se…

Nevertheless the recording did bring about quite a positive change with at least one neighbor of mine, I lived on the NE corner of 76th and West End in those days and there was a fellow living at 76 and Broadway, who had a powerful resentment towards me, having to do with fire hydrants and curbing dogs (his dogs) and other city silliness. I couldn’t walk up 76 street at night ‘cause when I did, inevitably a baggie full of doggie nitro, would come flying down from his 10th floor window, I had some mighty close calls. When “Surrender To The Sun” was #1, he confronted me on the sidewalk one day wanting to know if I was the Scott Fagan on the record. Expecting God knows what, I confessed that I was. He stepped forward and stuck out his hand and said “My name is Bob Brown, and I think that your performance on “Surrender To The Sun” is the first perfect vocal that I’ve ever heard.

I was mighty relieved, Bob turned out to be a great piano player with his own state of the art eight track studio. We did a number of recordings together including the original sessions for “Sandy The Bluenosed Reindeer” (song and story) and a demo (the only recording anywhere) of “Sure Has Been Good Loving You Baby” which you can find here…

Bob Brown was a great and mighty piano player, singer and personality, I hope his is alive and well and rolling in the clover. Hiya Bob!

In any case “Surrender To The Sun” is one of a number of songs that I have written that I don’t believe have had a fair shot at finding their audience, (including “Sure Has Been Good” which I wrote with my partner “The Great Cocacola” Joe Kookoolis. In the 60’s) I have recorded a few of them more than once, in an effort to find their audience.

We recorded “Surrender To The Sun” for “Dreams Should Never Die” (The V.I. Songs Vol ll) as an interesting Latin Calypso arrangement, with a beautiful guitar solo by Jeff Medina. (Worlds champeen guitar from Trinidad by way of St. Thomas) When I wrote the Musical “The Virgin Islands Songs” I realized I wanted to reprise more of  what we had captured in the original recording. Interestingly, Jeff Medina and I have been working together on and off since I recorded the original, and put a band together called “ting”(as in Scott Fagan and Ting which has meaning in the islands) because Sid Bernstein was going to sign me and we thought that we would be going on the road to promote the record. Yo no se! 

In any case, life, fate, destiny, happenstance, persistence, determination, luck, irony, serendipity, Warren Schatz and God’s good Grace has allowed me another whack at the tune, another chance to record this beautiful song with this beautiful arrangement (and with what I have learned over these long years in spite of my self)

I will give it the very best of my heart and soul for once and for all.           I hope to make it one for the ages. Or as they say at the old Sixto Escobar stadium “Un Bataso Largo”

Ok now, the session is over and I have done my vocal, I was in good voice, I sang it with all my heart, it is a beautiful song, beautifully arranged, beautifully played, beautifully produced, and beautifully we shall see once again if we can get it to the people, and if we can, if they will embrace it.

I’m fully charged, it was done in one take. We did another as a “safety”  and now I feel ready to do at least four, four hour sets for forty thousand people..or carry on from here ‘til dawn.

There is always the question of what to do to come down. This (post performance time) is a dangerous time for singers and musicians, as we have such an intense level of energy, begging to be burned. It used to go to the wenches, but tonight I think I’ll walk it off. I’ll go down by the sea at Lindbergh, and surrender to the cool night breeze and sing to my self up and down the beach until the energy is back to manageable.

We sent the track with the vocals oback to Warren via “You Send” (an online company that allows for the transfer of large music files, fairly quickly) so that he can do the mix. I am anxious to see what he thinks of the work that we have done.

I have a long history with the Wonderschatz, whereas Derrick recorded my voice for the first (but hopefully not the last) time yesterday, Warren has been recording my voice for forty five years. Consequently he is familiar with the instrument and how to mike it (which microphones to use, at what volume, what the bass, mid range and treble concerns and settings ought to be and so on) He started as a recording engineer at Associated Studios on 7th Avenue (above the Metropole) between 48th and 49th streets in New York City, just after I came to New York and started doing demos there in 1964. Many young singers (my self among them) got their early recording experience in demo sessions, doing the vocals for the “latest and greatest” new song from this, that or the next writing team or publishing company. Demo sessions were often stressful and certainly hard work.

You would show up, and there would be a song or two or three that you had never heard before in your life. A collection of professional studio musicians and other, often female, background singers (each one more beautiful and exciting than the next..and all very very good). And you. Often the youngest, and in the beginning at least, certainly the greenest. And above all (yes pun intended) there was the omnipresent tick tock “every moment is money” clock on the wall.

Demo sessions were scheduled for one to two hours at the most. The expectation was that without question, the tracks and vocals were all going to get done within the time allotted. No ifs ands or buhbuhbuhbut’s about it and boy, you don’t want to be the one who is gumming up the works. It was like a crazy musical version of “The Weakest Link”.

“Dear Lord don’t let me forget how this odd melodic change goes in the second release, and have to go back to the islands to explain to one and all why the singin’ fool of a white boy from dung de road is a big fat failure already,”..Or “Dear God don’t let me have to go back and tell Doc that he was wrong about me, that I am just a goofy teenager (with a fondness for drink) from the Islands, who ought to be learning how to whittle coconut trees into toothpicks or free dive Queen Conch sixty at a time, a hundred feet down off hammerhead point” . or “Dear Lord God, what about me poor Mudder”

These and many other things were banging around in my head as I would step into the vocal booth to sing the lead and “make this song a hit!” but I have to confess that there was no more powerful consideration or, immeadiate, heart pounding inspiration for me, than to be singing with the “oh so ultra divine Angeles of the ‘OU WAA”. The background singer girls. I loved them then and I love them now.

Good God awmighty, I just love those girls.

Any way, Warren was the engineer on many of those sessions, and he, like all the rest of us was subject to the tyranny of the tick tock and the idea of the instant elimination of he that faltered. In short, he learned to get it right, quick! (And has been getting it right for forty five years). Those demo sessions were, all things considered, heady, exciting, great fun and above all intensely educational. (Did I mention the beautiful background singer girls?)

Will the Wonderschatz listen and say, “oh poor Scotty, his future is way behind him. They were right, he left his best performance echoing through the catacombs beneath the Pilgrimage Theater in Los Angeles, thirty seven years ago, or, unfortunately I left his best performance in the trash bin, on twenty feet of edited eight track in 1976”. Or might he say “Hmm, the boy has finally learned how to sing a little, s’bout time” or “Too bad he’s finally learned how to sing, but now his instrument’s gone all wavery and quavery all over the place”.

At least I have a comeback prepared for the last possibility. It goes like this, “Oh Yeah? Well If you were sixty four and you tried to sing a song like that, I bet you’d sound all wavery and quavery all over the place too!”  The fact is, if all I can do is waver and quaver all over the place, even I would acknowledge that perhaps I really ought to reconsider “whittling as a way of life”.

Ah well, I do hope he likes it, I just have to wait and see…I’ll be looking for his email today And here it is, is what Warren had to say.. “I LOVE this vocal! So heartfelt and special. Boy!!! You still got it son!”

Sheesh!! What a relief! God bless the Wonderschatz. And now the work begins. We have to accomplish something that we have never been able to do before, and that is to get a Scott Fagan recording to its audience. How to do it? How to do it? We will have to work on that next.

Book 3. The Vigil… Conclusion.

December 28, 2009 1 comment

Book 3. The Vigil… Conclusion.

Remarkably, along the long zig zaggy journey to uncovering and discovering “who yu tink yu is?” or more precisely, “Who is you is you is?”  these good folks have for the most part, found their way to being themselves. 

 It is long past time that we stop telling people who they should be, (based on the old racist  models, or the newer racist bullying of the “who’s blacker than who prison gang model”) and allow people to decide for themselves who they are, and how they wish to be..and further, to welcome them there

 You might think that I’ve been on some kind of a socio/religiological dig, or vigiling for reasons to rant and rave, but I’ve been thinking about these things long and hard since my own childhood and particularly since I (as a young white boy) became the older brother  to one and then another younger brother of color.Trying my big brother best to help each of them find their way in the world; as children of color and young men of color and then, as  men of color, with children of their own, of color.

 In addition to these thoughts and concerns swirling in and out of my head and around and through the solemnity of the occasion,  I confess that I have also been holding close, a secret hope, to see a certain smile.

 I am watching and waiting for the one who inspired my poem  “The Girl With The Golden Skin”

“The Girl With The Golden Skin”

When I was a boy I fell in love with the girl with the golden skin
Gold dust is her face, she glowed as if she were little sister to the sun
I whispered her name to the moon, I sang, she was music to me

Can you imagine?.. A girl with golden skin..

She fought in the street for me when another girl said, “he’s mine”
And again when her Mother said “he will never do”
he is too Splotchy  and blotchy and pink and red and foolish
to think of you,
the girl with the golden skin.

You are our pride and our joy
You are our prized possession
the peak of perfection
he will never do, he is not for you.

The sky was blue in those days,
The air like frangipangi  soup
the world a ruckus of color and sound
my head pounded to think of her,
I could never catch my breath

You are not for him, her father said
We have suffered for centuries to make you as you are
denied our destiny from Africa to Colon
slaved in increments of a hundred, hundred years
To make you
You are not for him

I was a hero in those days, a little one but still..macho
A splotchi-ty blotchi-ty pink and red, 85 pound macho man
A hero for justice and equality, a fly weight street fighting “doun de road” boy
Against the drunken U.S. Navy. Once, twice three times a week

“But he’s good Mam’ere and he’s a hero” she said, “I love him”
“He is not for you,” said her Grand Mother “he is nothing but a ragamuffin pae-hae
his Mother is a drunken white woman married to a drunken black man
life will trample him, time will explode his illusions
like balloons on a string
bang, bang, bang, in his empty and presumptuous  big head

You are our triumph, our future story. We vanquished Portugal and Spain,
Africa and the Aztec. the Dutch and Dane, the Carib and the Ciboney
All are in you, the girl with the golden skin, the apex of our intention
the vessel of our arrival, the dawn of our day, the virgin saint of our freedom come

There were trade winds in those days, and I would put my face in them
I knew that they came from Sahara,
I knew that they carried truth across time
to those that cared to listen.
and so I came to know my place..

Still, a lifetime later,
I can never catch my breath
my temples pound  
I will love forever, the girl with the golden skin
Gold dust is her face, little sister to the sun
I whisper her name to the moon, I sing, she is music to me

The apex of perfection, the virgin saint of freedom come, the girl with the golden skin
The one that they would bless for you, could never be me.
because he must never be… less than golden too…

 I had been at the vigil for over an hour, and  had promised my friend Nicky Russel (The Mighty Whitey) that I would come and do some tunes at his open mike night at “Tickles”, a bar and restaurant in the Crown Bay Marina. I was beginning to go back and forth between the idea that it was time to go home to start tuning up the pipes for the performance, and staying right where I was, to hear the service and especially the singing of the old spirituals. (And yes, I’ve confessed that a certain lady girl was on my mind).

I struggled back and forth and finally, my sense of artistic responsibility won. I got up and excused my self along the pew and headed out.

When I got to the foyer, I ran right into the girl with the golden skin.

She looked at me with her aquamarine eyes and said in a melodious voice that moves me like a Philharmonic  “I heard your new song (Surrender To The Sun) on the radio this morning”  My dear friends,..can you imagine what those words mean and meant to me?  As I cooly stammered out “Yee ya yo ya yu did?” my shoulder was grabbed from the other side by my old friend Freddie, the Chief of the  Carib/Arawak Federation, and in that moment she was gone.

 I stared in amazement as the crowd that I had just come through, closed around her.

Friends, I have loved this girl for over fifty years. That’s a long time for a boy of thirteen to hold on to that kind of feeling, but there it is. In all that time, in all the years that I have known her, we have not exchanged more than a hundred words with one another, and sixteen of the best of them were spoken and sputtered just moments ago.

 I would like you to know, that I know that she is a married Lady, (and unbelievably, a mother and grand mother even) and that I would never intentionally disrupt her situation in any way (well in ultra-truth, I would hope that she still holds at least a sparkle of affection (if not a raging wildfire) for me, but I will not be  disrespectful of her situation or her sweetheart, and will behave appropriately..(This despite my dear friend and long time advisor in matters of relationships and the heart, (who shall remain anonymous,) insisting over and again that clearlyI should have grabbed her and pulled her into the room where they keep the frozen dead people, and given her a big fat smooch)

 Anyway..I struggled with the irony and a cascade of ephemeral but insistent emotions and concluded that the Great God almighty was saving at least two of his star-crossed children from further heartbreak and mayhem, and that my shoulder grabbing friend Freddy, Attorney at Law, Chief Of The Carib and Arawak Federation, ultimate Wazam of The Knights of The Mysterioso, was used this day by the divine as an interventionary angel. I wondered if Freddie had felt the gentle hand of the Eternal directing him as he reached out and distracted me from pursuing what might have become (and still could be) a  disasterous and dastardly destiny.

Whatever else, “The girl with the golden skin” has always been an inspiration to me and will be forever. I do hope that she knows or at least suspects how grateful I am to her, for her…