Photo by Joel Brodsky
Scott Fagan’s life has been defined by a handful of chance discoveries. As a young songwriter, he discovered his mother’s friendship with a legendary New York songwriter and producer. As a fledgling artist, his debut album was repurposed by one of America’s most prominent visual artists. And as an adult, he discovered he was the father of an indie rock cult hero. By all accounts, Scott Fagan should be famous. But somehow, the singer, songwriter and musician, who was almost one of the first signees to the Beatles’ label Apple Music and called members of the Picasso and Pissarro family close friends, is still relatively unknown.
Born in 1945 New York to a saxophone player and a modern dancer, Fagan spent his early years living in an artist’s community in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. An aspiring musician, he hopped aboard a ship called “Success” as a deck hand in 1964 and eventually made his way from Miami to New York City. When he got there, his music career began instantly — the legendary Doc Pomus, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee known for writing songs for Ray Charles, Ben E. King and Elvis Presley, signed Fagan to personal management and production deals on his first day in New York, thanks to that particularly fortuitous family connection.
“When I was on my way to New York, my mother got a phone number from a friend of hers who was a friend of a friend whose husband would write with this professional songwriter sometimes,” Fagan says. “When I got to New York I had eleven cents and I used ten of it to call this number. [Pomus] said, ‘Well, come on over... Sign In to Keep Reading