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       FRIDAY FEEDBACK &
PASS IT ALONG

Photo by Bob Gentry 2001 Stanyan Entertainment

A Thought for Today

It's not how hard you work that gets the raise, it's how hard the boss thinks you work.

 

Here's some feedback from recent Flight Plans.

FEEDBACK: SINATRA SONG

Last week a letter came in quoting a few lines from a song Sinatra recorded. I was unable to identify it and asked for reader help. The first letter to come in was from Wade: 

"Was it "I Loved Her" recorded by FS in NYC on 7/20/81? I always get that song mixed up with "Monday Morning Quarterback" so I may be wrong. But now that damn song will stick in my head all day."

The next day I had a letter from super Sinatra fan Jack Goodwin:

"The Sinatra song the person was looking for in Thursday's Flight Plan is called "I Loved Her", written by Gordon Jenkins. It was issued on Sinatra's most courageous late career album called "She Shot Me Down" (1981). I don't know if it's still in print or not.

If you'd care to quote it, it's marvelous:


I LOVED HER

She was Boston, I was Vegas
She was crepe suzette, I was pie
She was lectures, I was movies
But I loved her

She was Mozart, I was Basie
She was afternoon tea, I was saloon
She was junior league, I was Dodgers
But I loved her morning, night, and noon

Opposites attract the wise men claim
Still I wish we had been a little more the same
It might have been a shorter war
If we had known each other more

She was polo, I was racetrack
She was museums, I was TV
She did her best to change me
Though she never knew quite how
But I loved her almost as much as I do now

She was Wall Street, I was pawnshop
She was French champagne, I was beer
She knew much more than I did
But there was one thing she didn't know
That I loved her because I never told her so

Words & Music by Gordon Jenkins, 1980.
Published by Robbins Music.


This is how much of a Sinatra fan I am: the first time I met you after a show in Chicago (1974?) I asked you if you liked Sinatra's "Watertown" album. Looking back I suppose that was rather rude, but I knew you were a fan and his friend. Jack G

Dear Wade and Jack. Thanks. It's not a rude question at all. By the way I think both "Watertown" & "She Shot Me Down" are underrated Sinatra albums. Both contain some interesting material sung by 'the master' with great feeling.

By the way Bob Gaudio (who composed the music for "Watertown" was one of the singers and instrumentalists that Don Costa rounded up to back me on the "Mr. Oliver Twist" album he produced. Others included Kenny Rankin, Frankie Valli & Freddy Cannon. You can easily pick out some of the solo voices on "What'd I Say" and "Dear Lady Twist." RM

POETICS & POLITICS

Here's some 'back-talk' on Tuesday's Flight Plan.

ARE REPUBLICANS EVIL? 

(Marc's headline, not mine) 

Dear Rod: I am a long-time fan of your music, but I must respectfully disagree with your political stance. Many of the President's detractors are criticizing the President personally with the very vitriolic language (as evidenced in today's Flight Plan). Stepping back from emotions, I wish that liberals could at least understand that conservatives want what they think is best for this country, just as liberals formulate policies to help people. Unfortunately, most liberals have such a hatred for anything conservative that it becomes impossible for them to dialog on the issues -- demagoguery is their easy reply.

As Dennis Prager often says: Conservatives think liberals are wrong; liberals believe conservatives are evil.

If we could get beyond the name-calling and move towards substantive issue discussions, this country's level of discourse and civility could be greatly elevated. If we could see that both sides want what's best for the country, our politics would not be so polarized. Will this day ever come? Peace, Mark Perl, Los Angeles


Dear Marc, No Republicans aren't evil, nor do I hate "anything conservative," and nothing I've ever written or said was ever meant to imply that distorted opinion. Hey, I don't even vote the straight Democratic ticket. My vote is based on the issues and the women and men I think can best address those that matter to me and my country.

You say we should "get beyond the name-calling and move towards substantive issue discussions." If the environment isn't a substantive issue, what is?

Citing Dennis Prager doesn't do much for your argument since he rejects the notion of global warming and doesn't even believe second hand smoke causes cancer (despite the hundreds of scientific studies to the contrary.) Here is a man who claims to care about the welfare of children yet is so bigoted as to rail against single mothers and same sex couples providing a loving home for them - this while many thousands of kids go unwanted and unadopted in this country every year.

Thanks for the feedback, Marc. Peace to you too and to all of us. Rod

Dear Rod, I really enjoyed Barbara Kinglover's article the most. I guess it is because I agreed with her (good reason) and could associate with her thinking. "Spend at least some part of every week protecting the truths and places I treasure". Nan

###

Rod: It's time to get out the Round-up and show Shrub that he needs to be reduced in size. Keep up the fight. We need all the help we can get in this world.

Love means standing up for the greater good and that is what you are doing. Bill

###

dear rod, poets aren't supposed to be political? lol! i'm still in denial about the shrub II, but the negative impact of his reign still permeates my everyday life. i liken it to a staph infection.

overturning just about every piece of environmental legislation enacted during the last eight years, ripping up treaties concerning global warming because it 'hurts industry', his ineptitude that touches everything HE touches..... the sickening little list goes on. i couldn't stomach his daddy. the spoiled brat son is even worse. 

if you've ever had the misfortune to work in a family-run business, you already know that while father attends more pressing details, the son tends to run roughshod. doing nothing (except making things a living hell for employees, sitting in an overstuffed chair, picking his nose, and harassing workers, to broaden his overstuffed ego.) this is what all of us have to contend with. at least i can find some small solace that the worst joke ever played on the american people will be over in four years. if the country manages to survive, that is. this shrub is ornamental and poisonous. somewhat like oleander. maybe we should name shrub II just that! warmest regards, robert levin

###

Dear Rod, Please, never apologize for nor change your views in any way whatsoever. I read every word you write and have agreed with everything you have said. Dubya just does not understand, and perhaps he just doesn't care. 

Maureen Dowd of the NY Times is correct--He seems to have
no engagement with contemporary America. I watch him on the news and listen intently, and he simply is not connected on any level. This country, and the world, has a difficult four years ahead of us. I will definitely follow the advice of Barbara Kingsolver, who also happens to be one of my favorite authors. 

As you have guessed, I'm a never-ending Clinton supporter and I really don't care who he plays with. Our country has never been in better shape than when Bill was in office and every one of the world leaders had great respect for him. I cannot begin to imagine what this world will be like four years from now.

Maybe we'll get lucky in a years or two and Dubya will just quit and go back to Texas. Thank you for all your hard work. With respect and admiration, Judy Piemme


Dear Nan, Bill, Robert & Judy, Shredding the Global Earth Treaty, antagonizing Russia, threatening China (by dropping hints that we are willing to send weapons to Taiwan) and scuttling any hope for near term peace on the Korean peninsula is not the best way to start off an administration. We are one planet and everybody's problems are our problems and that's why each of us has to care about the environment and work in our own way to protect it. To do anything less would show ingratitude at being part of this wonderful earth. 

Incidentally, I think this administrations handling of the current hostage crisis (and our service men and women are being held hostage) is as it should be. How can we offer a blanket apology before any of the facts are in? Luv, Rod 

FEEDBACK: NEW STUFF

Holy Cow ! A set of digitally remastered concerts from around the world- a 2 disc set called "Chansons" - and "Whoops, did I mention a possible concert this summer?"

Whoops, how am I supposed to go back to sleep now ? Ann


FEEDBACK: CONCERTS ON DISC

Hi Rod, With reference to Thursday's Flight Plan, I was delighted to read about your proposed project of releasing your Concerts on CD. I would like to offer you my every encouragement in taking up that challenge! Next to having Concert footage of you on video, Concert audio on CD would be ideal. I have listened to your Concerts on vinyl/cassette, but having them available on CD together with previously unreleased tracks is a very exciting prospect.

I appreciate that you have many projects on the go (including the Warner Bros. Set, RCA Set, Nashville Concert Recording, unreleased Brel/McKuen songs, BBC TV Series), but as there is only one Rod McKuen you may feel a need to prioritize those tasks. Is it possible for you to list those projects that you are keen to pursue, so that we can log-on and register our interest (in purchasing) in your CD's/videos. I can well imagine that most fans will be interesting in purchasing everything that you make available to us, but at least you will get an indication of the level of support and whether it is a commercially viable proposition. Alternatively, you could list your projects and allow us to rate them in order of preference; this will show you which projects we are most keen on.

Rod, whilst you are performing / writing / producing / recording / mastering don't forget to take rests in-between. [GRIN] best wishes Alex Butler


Dear Ann and Alex, Fortunately since several companies are involved with the re-issuing albums on CD and issuing new ones, Stanyan doesn't have to foot all of the bills. The only priorities involved are my own in deciding what order I master them in. Since I'm used to working on several projects at once, I'm doing just that at the moment. 

"The Riverton Rendezvous" looms and after that three weeks in Paris. Gotta get the decks cleared by July. As ever, Rod

PASS IT ALONG

Sifting through the E-mail bag, here's what came to the top this week

A FISH STORY

Ellen passed along this tall Texas tale.

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY

A young guy from Texas moves to California and goes to a big department store looking for a job. The manager says, "Do you have any sales experience?" 

The kid says, "Yeah, I was a salesman back home in Texas." 

Well, the boss liked the kid so he gave him the job. "You start tomorrow. I'll come down after we close and see how you did." 

His first day on the job was rough but he got through it. After the store was locked up, the boss came down. "How many sales did you make today?" 

Kid says, "One." 

The boss says, "Just one? Our sales people average 20 or 30 
sales a day. How much was the sale for?" 

Kid says, "$101,237.64." 

Boss says, "$101,237.64? What the hell did you sell?" 

Kid says, "First I sold this guy a small fish hook. Then I sold him a medium fishhook. Then I sold him a larger fishhook. Then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down at the coast, so I told him he was gonna need a boat, so we went down to the boat department and I sold him that twin engine Chris Craft. Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4X4 Blazer." 

The boss said, "A guy came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him boat and truck?" 

Kid says, "No, he came in here to buy a box of tampons for his wife and I said, 'Well, your weekend's shot, you might as well go fishing.'" 


SOMETHING LOST IN TRANSLATION

Nicky Williams must have just returned from a world tour. Where else would she have come upon the following collection? 

SIGNS FOUND 'ROUND THE WORLD

Cocktail lounge, Norway:
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN
THE BAR.

At a Budapest zoo:
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. IF YOU HAVE ANY
SUITABLE FOOD, GIVE IT TO THE GUARD ON DUTY.

Doctors office, Rome:
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.

Hotel, Acapulco:
THE MANAGER HAS PERSONALLY PASSED ALL THE WATER SERVED HERE.

Booklet about using a hotel air conditioner, Japan:
COOLES AND HEATES: IF YOU WANT JUST CONDITION OF WARM AIR IN YOUR ROOM, PLEASE CONTROL YOURSELF.

Car rental brochure, Tokyo:
WHEN PASSENGER OF FOOT HEAVE IN SIGHT, TOOTLE
THE HORN. TRUMPET HIM MELODIOUSLY AT FIRST, BUT IF HE STILL OBSTACLES YOUR PASSAGE THEN TOOTLE HIM WITH VIGOR.

Dry cleaner's, Bangkok:
DROP YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.

Sign in men's rest room in Japan:
TO STOP LEAK TURN COCK TO THE RIGHT.

In a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND OUR WAITRESSES RUDE OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.

On the grounds of a private school:
NO TRESPASSING WITHOUT PERMISSION.

On an Athi River highway:
TAKE NOTICE: WHEN THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS IMPASSABLE.

On a poster at Kencom:
ARE YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO, WE CAN HELP.

In a City restaurant:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.

One of the Mathare buildings: 
MENTAL HEALTH PREVENTION CENTRE.

A sign seen on an automatic restroom hand dryer: 
DO NOT ACTIVATE WITH WET HANDS.

In a Pumwani maternity ward: 
NO CHILDREN ALLOWED.

In a cemetery: 
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES.

Sign in Japanese public bath: 
FOREIGN GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO PULL COCK IN TUB.

Tokyo hotel's rules and regulations:
GUESTS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN BED.

Hotel notice, Tokyo: 
IS FORBIDDEN TO STEAL HOTEL TOWELS PLEASE. IF YOU ARE NOT A PERSON TO DO SUCH A THING IS PLEASE NOT TO HAD NOTIS.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant: 
OUR WINES LEAVE YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.


OH NO!

My friend Jane of Ark, who's only previous transgression was burning the steaks last summer, now has this to answer for. 

OH YES!

One night a father overheard his son's bedtime prayers.

"God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grammy, Goodbye Grampa."

Well the father thought it was strange, but he soon forgot it.

The next day, the Grandfather died.

About a month or two later, the father overheard his son saying his prayers once again, "God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, Goodbye Grammy."

The next day, the Grandmother died.

Well the father was getting more than worried about the whole situation. Two weeks later, the father once again overheard his son's bedtime prayers: "God bless Mommy, Goodbye Daddy."

This alone nearly gave the father a heart attack.

He didn't say anything, but he got up early to go to work so he would miss the traffic. He stayed all through lunch and dinner. Finally after midnight, he went home. He was still alive!

When he got home, he apologized to his wife, "I am sorry Honey, I had a very bad day at work today."

"You think you've had a bad day," the wife yelled, "The mailman dropped dead on my doorstep this morning!"


A SHAGGY PASTA STORY

Jane Hernandez sends us this very high in carbohydrates tale.

THE SPAGHETTI PAPERS

An attorney was having an affair with his secretary. Shortly
afterward, she told him she was pregnant. Not wanting his wife to know, he gave the secretary a sum of money and asked her to go to Italy and have the baby there.

"But how will I let you know the baby is born?" she asked.

He replied, "Just send me a postcard and write "spaghetti" on the back. I'll take care of the child's expenses."

Not knowing what else to do, the secretary took the money and flew to Italy. Six months went by and then one day the Attorney's wife called him at the office and explained, "Dear, you received a very strange postcard in the mail today from Europe, and I don't understand what it means."

The attorney said, "Just wait until I get home, and I will explain it to you." Later that evening the attorney came home, read the postcard, and fell to the floor with a heart attack. Paramedics rushed him to the ER. The lead medic stayed back to comfort the wife. He asked what trauma had caused her husband to have a cardiac arrest, so the wife picked up the card and read:

"Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti - Two with sausage and meatballs, two without."


NOT TO WORRY

Good old Rose, spreading spring cheer like petals on the wind. On second thoughts, make that 'like blossoms in the dust.'

A FEW SIGNS THAT YOU MAY BE GETTING OLDER

The only reason you're still awake at 4am is indigestion.

Your arms are almost too short to read the newspaper.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

Your back goes out more than you do..

You no longer laugh at Preparation H commercials...

You're asleep but others worry that you're dead....

Your best friend is dating someone half his age .. and isn't breaking any laws...

You start singing along with the elevator music...

An old lady offers you her seat on the bus...

Your car must have 4 doors....

The phone rings and you hope it's not for you...

You've owned clothes so long that they've come back into style ..... twice

You consider coffee one of the most important things in life...

8 am is your idea of sleeping in...

Your biggest concern when dancing is falling....

People call you at 9 PM and ask "Did I wake you?"

You no longer answer "Fine" when people ask how you are...

The end of your tie doesn't come anywhere near the top of your pants....

You don't like to drive after dark...

You read the obituaries daily......

You begin a sentence by saying, "When I was your age..."

You know all the warning signs of a heart attack...

Nobody ever tells you to slow down...

Your eyebrows look like shrubbery and your wife's have disappeared.

You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it...

You have to get a permit to light the candles on your birthday cake...

Comfort takes the place of fashion...

Someone sees you naked and screams...

When you talk about "good grass" you're referring to someone's lawn.

Strangers ask you to please put on a bra.....

You can't sit still without falling asleep...

Your idea of the perfect nightcap is Metamusil

Nobody wants to see your cleavage

You start believing that you really did walk five miles to school barefoot and in the snow.


THE FINAL WORD

Belongs to Ellen who reports:

You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

Tomorrow I'll be on board with 'Saturday Stuff' and on Sunday a tribute to Jacques Brel.

                           
4/5/2001 Previously unpublished

Summer concert just announced! Details can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

Make sure you're advised of upcoming McKuen happenings - add your name to the Rod McKuen Mailing List.

notable birthdays Philip Austin o Mimi Benzell o Candace Cameron Bure o Butch Cassidy o Baba Ram Dass o Merle Haggard o Marilu Henner o William George Hooper o Harry Houdini o Barry Levinson o Ari Meyers o Gerry Mulligan o Michelle Phillips o Andre Previn o Raphael o John Ratzenberger o Paul Rudd o Lincoln Steffens o Roy Thinnes o Lowell Thomas o Billy Dee Williams
Rod's random thoughts Patience comforts the poor and moderates the rich.

Chance is fine in a writer just beginning but pray that talent takes over.

Love wards off everything but indifference.

ENDORSEMENT

I love your glances meeting mine
across forever or the room,
your touch is strong enough for me
to hang my aspirations on.
When we hold on to one the other
stars could fall, kingdoms tumble,
dust would never settle on us.

I love your name attached to mine
or stationary on the door,
it gives me new importance.
It's pleasure to be gone from you
because the road leads ever home.
I love your glances meeting mine
across forever or the room. 

                            
- from "Valentines," 1986
1969, 1986, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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