Rediscover Scott Fagan’s Lost Psych Folk Masterpiece At Rough Trade, Performance + Q+A With Matt Sweeney Nov. 17
Scott Fagan’s 1968 bewitching debut album ‘South Atlantic Blues’ will be reissued for the first time ever on November 20via Saint Cecilia Knows. In advance of its release, Scott will participate in an intimate performance of songs from his debut and discussion of his incredible life story with Matt Sweeney at Rough Trade NYC on November 17. Dangerous Minds, Stereogum and The Guardian have come on board with early praise for the reissue, which will be distributed by Light In The Attic in the United States.
‘South Atlantic Blues’ is steeped in delicate psych, soul and resonant acoustic guitars. It’s an epic song cycle about Fagan’s hard-scrabble life in the Virgin Islands, where he was raised until returning to his birthplace of New York City at 19, virtually homeless and with pennies to his name. The first call Scott made upon arrival in New York was to Doc Pomus at the Brill Building, who signed him on the spot. Scott gigged with Jimi Hendrix in Greenwich Village, almost became the first non-Beatle signed to Apple Records – it came down to him and James Taylor – and recorded sides for Bert Berns and Columbia before recording ‘South Atlantic Blues.’
Due to a series of confounding circumstances, the album was seldom heard upon its release – lost until it was discovered in a cut-out bin by Jasper Johns in 1969. Obsessed by the mysterious tracks, Johns based a series of artwork around the album, works that hang in the MET and MoMA today as ‘Scott Fagan Record.’
Scott is also the biological father of Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields, a fact that he first learned in 2000. The two met for the first time at a Doc Pomus documentary screening in 2013, and a conversation between father and son is included in the reissue’s liner notes.
TUE NOV 17 – 7PM
Rough Trade NYC
64 N. 9th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211