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“Scott Fagan Sings Stephin Merritt”

January 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Dear Friends,
Here’s an unusual “smiley” photograph taken at a recent Christmas gig. The only other “smiley” photo of me was on the back of the RCA Album “Many Sunny Places”. That smile was directly related to the 3/4 empty bottle of Mount Gay Rum there in the foreground. This new “smiley” one popped up I guess because well..we were playing a big benefit Christmas Dance, people were really having a ball and I just Love Christmas!Scott Fagan at Christmas Gig 2013

Our “Scott Fagan Sings Stephin Merritt” album project on kickstarter is generating interest in the media.
Here are six little articles about it, and a link to the project on kickstarter. Please take a look, it will be a great and historic album, the boy writes great songs and I intend to sing the holy heck out of ’em.

Pitchfork
http://pitchfork.com/news/53343-stephin-merritts-father-scott-fagan-launches-kickstarter-to-fund-scott-fagan-sings-stephin-merritt/

USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/popcandy/2014/01/09/crowdfunding/4390113/

The Line of Best Fit
http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/latest-news/stephin-merritts-father-to-release-magnetic-fields-covers-album-143087

Je Ne Sais Pop (Spanish)
http://jenesaispop.com/2013/12/16/stephin-merritt-versionado-por-su-desconocido-padre/

Il Post (Italian)
http://jenesaispop.com/2013/12/16/stephin-merritt-versionado-por-su-desconocido-padre/

The Vinyl District
http://www.thevinyldistrict.com/storefront/2014/01/forgotten-songs-case-scott-fagan-stephin-merritt/

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“SCOTT FAGAN And The MAAC Island Band” In CONCERT One Night Only HERSHEY AREA PLAYHOUSE, Hershey PA. August 3rd 2013, 7:00 PM

July 31, 2013 Leave a comment

 “SCOTT FAGAN And The MAAC Island Band” IN CONCERT One Night Only..THE HERSHEY AREA PLAYHOUSE, 830 Cherry Dr., Hershey, PA.  August 3rd , 7:00pm -CALL Box Office for Ticket Information: 717.533.8525

Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

 Scott Fagan (Singer/Songwriter) has been an international recording artist since he left high school in St. Thomas Virgin Islands to sign with Columbia Records in 1964. 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.” The MAAC ISLAND BAND is: Rafael “El Jefe” Martinez, (El Congero) From Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, he has been a “Congero” for over 25  years. Drew Washington, The BASS Man of Choice for the MAAC ISLAND BAND. Has played at the highest levels, for over 30 Years. Tim Griesemer, (El Maestro) Well known for his extraordinary gifts as a drummer. He is a master of percussion. Barbara Vajda, A Steelton guitar Goddess with a long history as a rocker. After a hiatus to raise little ones, the Goddess is back with Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band. Benny Danner, (El Estudeante) Percussion plus….Gary Smith, (El Nuevo) Back Ground Vocals and Percussion. Visit our website www.scottfaganandthemaacislandband.com  Listen to our latest singleSure has been Good Loving You Baby”  @ http://www.youtube.com   check out our latest album @ www.10greatsongsongsinsearchofanaudience.com   CONTACT INFO: Tim Griesemer, 717.439.1919 or Scott Fagan, 717.592.0853

 

 

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

July 13, 2013 Leave a comment

 

GRAN FADDAH  BUCKRA AN DE BO’ HOG

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.

AYHMM  COME FRUM ALABAMA

WID A BANJO ON MAH KNEE, BUT NOW AH MMM JES A SAILOR IN THE U.S NAYVEE”

“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!

Oh yeah say de Buckra, Oh Yeah? Ok, den.. “AH KIN SEE AHMM A GONNA HALF TA TALK REAL SERIOUS TU YAALLS SO YALL’S GONNA KNOW DAT YU IS TALKIN’ WID A BIG TIME AN  IMPORTANT WHITE MAN WHEN YU IS DEALING WID DE BUCKRA. 

NAH AHM A GONNA TELL YA SUNPIN, AH DON’T LIKE DE WAY SOMEFOLKS IS BEEN HARASSIN’ AN HOG TIEIN’ MY GOOD  KING GEORGE THE PO’K SWINE WID YER CLOTHLINES EVERY NIGHT AN AHMM A GITTIN’ TIURD AH TELLIN YA SO,

BUT JUS SOS,  DERES NO HARD FEELINS,AN DIS DON’T BECOME SOME KINA  FUGE, AH RECKON AHMM A GONNA PACK UP MAH SADDLEBAGS AN TAKE MA HERD, AH MEAN MA BO’HOAWAWG,  AN MOSEY ON DOUN WEST.

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.

“WAL MA GOOD FRENCHIE FELLOW” he say to de lil bahman “ LEMME HAVE DE BES RED SODA DAT YOU GOT IN DE PLACE AN PLUS AH WANTS TU RENT A LIL HOUSE FROM Y’ALL DOUN IN DIS HEAH FRENCH TOWN”

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. 

“OINK! OINK!  SQUEEE! SQUEEE! OINK! OINK!  SQUEEE! SQUEEE! Say de Bo Hag.

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” In CONCERT One Night Only HERSHEY AREA PLAYHOUSE, Hershey PA. August 3rd 2013, 7:00 PM

March 16, 2013 Leave a comment

 “SCOTT FAGAN And The MAAC Island Band” IN CONCERT One Night Only..THE HERSHEY AREA PLAYHOUSE, 830 Cherry Dr., Hershey, PA.  August 3rd , 7:00pm -CALL Box Office for Ticket Information: 717.533.8525

Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band

 Scott Fagan (Singer/Songwriter) has been an international recording artist since he left high school in St. Thomas Virgin Islands to sign with Columbia Records in 1964. 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.” The MAAC ISLAND BAND is: Rafael “El Jefe” Martinez, (El Congero) From Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, he has been a “Congero” for over 25  years. Drew Washington, The BASS Man of Choice for the MAAC ISLAND BAND. Has played at the highest levels, for over 30 Years. Tim Griesemer, (El Maestro) Well known for his extraordinary gifts as a drummer. He is a master of percussion. Barbara Vajda, A Steelton guitar Goddess with a long history as a rocker. After a hiatus to raise little ones, the Goddess is back with Scott Fagan and The MAAC Island Band. Benny Danner, (El Estudeante) Percussion plus….Gary Smith, (El Nuevo) Back Ground Vocals and Percussion. Visit our website www.scottfaganandthemaacislandband.com  Listen to our latest singleSure has been Good Loving You Baby”  @ http://www.youtube.com   check out our latest album @ www.10greatsongsongsinsearchofanaudience.com   CONTACT INFO: Tim Griesemer, 717.439.1919 or Scott Fagan, 717.592.0853

 

 

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” www.10greatsongsinsearchofanaudience.com

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 www.10greatsongsinsearchofanaudience.com   Thank you, Scott Fagan 2012

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 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”