A Thought for Today
I measure success by the ones who come back.
An Evening with ROD McKUEN
Thursday, March 8th 2001 8:00 PM
THOUSAND OAKS CIVIC ARTS - SCHERR FORUM
2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA
All seats $35.00 each
Only West Coast Concert This Season
OK, let me see if I've got all of this straight. At the beginning of 1998
nobody knew what had happened to Rod McKuen, where he was or what he was
doing. In the past three years
we've had him make his debut on the Web, a ton of new writing, a couple of new CD's released and we're
now on the brink
of seeing and hearing him in concert for the first time in almost twenty
years. Oh, and the book/CD version of "A Safe Place to Land", a
first in the publishing industry, will be released this week. Am I dreaming?
I'm constantly amazed at what
Rod has managed to achieve in the past three years, this at a time in life
when most people would be content to break out the cardigan and slippers
and put their feet up. Not our Rodney! Now, tonight, he's about to take the
next step in what I call the McKuen Renaissance by appearing in the first
of his two March concerts.
I remember so well the only
time I managed to see him in concert. The venue was the Durban City Hall,
the year 1975 when an event of this nature was considered a real night out
on the town. You got dressed up - I wore a suit, for goodness sake! I
attended the show on two consecutive evenings, the first with my wife the
second with a whole bunch of friends who, over the years, had been
subjected to me warbling McKuen songs as well as being the recipients of various
books of his poetry. I felt I owed them one for putting up with me.
Strangely enough I don't
remember too much of the concert itself but two things remain crystal
clear. First, Rod's entrance. Not for him the casual stroll onto the
stage, rather an exuberant sprint down the center isle from the back of
the hall, shaking hands with those lucky enough to have secured an isle
Second, the look on the faces
of my friends at intermission. I won't say they were exactly there under
sufferance but they certainly weren't in the first team as far as McKuen fans
were concerned. By interval, this had changed irrevocably. They glowed,
were all a-glitter and I could see they just knew they were
experiencing a unique event by a unique performer. To my everlasting
credit I managed to contain the "I told you so" retort that
sprang to mind.
And so to March 2001 and the next chapter. Rod,
remember that thousands of your friends and fans all over the world are with you in spirit tonight. Your audience will extend far beyond the boundaries of the concert venue and I hope this knowledge will help
make it even more of a special occasion for you. Good luck, my friend, may tonight and Saturday turn out to be all that you
wish for - and more.
My thanks to those who
wrote to say they hoped to see me at Thousand Oaks and Aurora. I would
have liked nothing better than to be with you all this week but hey,
someone has to mind the store while Rod's away. Don't you hate it when real life gets in the way of your
daydreams? Besides, I'm saving my first USA trip for his return to
Carnegie Hall. When that happens I'll swim over if I have to but I'll be
So my drill for Friday morning
(Thursday night California time) is as follows; up at 5.30am, get the
coffee going, feed the birds then settle down at 6.00am (8.00pm Thursday
California time) with Tyra, the four-legged love of my life, to listen to
the Carnegie Hall concert on CD. If I close my eyes and really let my
imagination run riot, it could be almost like being there. And Rod,
if you get the chance, please sing "I'll Catch The Sun" for me.
If I were forced to pick an all-time favorite, this would be it.
I'll be back with you tomorrow and for the next couple of days while Rod's doing his thing on the road. Some friends who are attending the Thousand Oaks and Aurora shows have promised to send me their thoughts as soon as they get home so we'll have a couple of
first-hand reviews to enjoy in forthcoming Flight Plans. If you're attending one of the shows and would like to submit some feedback, drop me a line at
firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do my best to include it.
Join me then.
- Ken, Johannesburg, March 8
Details of Rod's upcoming concerts
and appearances can be obtained via the link below:
McKuen Concerts & Appearances