A Thought for Today
If you've got time to kill do it on your own watch. Don't interrupt someone else's rhythm.
Let me tell you, sitting here half a world away from all the action at Thousand
Oaks, waiting for feedback, has been absolutely excruciating!
I was up at 5.00am attending
to the mail before settling down to my mini McKuen concert as outlined in
the Flight Plan yesterday. Sadly Tyra, my four-footed companion, has yet
to acquire a taste for Rod's music and she deserted me pretty early in the
proceedings. Seems she's leaning more to Barry Manilow and Savage Garden
these days so I have some work to do on this front.
Then the wait. You can guess
the thoughts running through my head - Rod should be on stage by now ... wonder what he's
singing right at this moment ... wonder what the audience is like. Then, a couple of
hours later, right, the
show must be over by now ... wonder who's gone backstage ... what will the
reviews be like.
Also, just where is this
secret destination he's heading off to after the show? Rod's pretty
good at letting me know his movements when he's away on business but not
this time. Must be something special so I hope he has fun!
Finally, Bob Ryan saved the
the day with this first-in report.
It's midnight here in L.A. Just back from the concert. Tried to stay and have Rod sign an old book, but it was getting too late. The new book and cd's were held up at customs.
Rod put on a great show. His voice sounded just like it did 30 years ago. I thought of you while we were watching. I had third row center seats, about 12 feet from Rod. He was a little nervous at the start and forgot a few versus of his opening song, but the audience were such big fans it didn't really matter.
The venue held 380 with great acoustics. There were about 200 there, very intimate and warm. My wife really enjoyed the concert even though she really isn't into Rod (she's a big BeeGee's fan). Rod forgot the words to a couple of poems he wanted to read and asked " if anyone in the audience had a copy". Sure enough a guy brought one up and saved the day.
All in all it was a great evening. You have a great day yourself.
this, Bob, and who can blame Rod for being a bit nervous after such a long
break from the stage?
Pity about the
new book and CD's not being available but I'm not really surprised. It was
an incredibly tight deadline and the upside is we have something new to
look forward to in a couple of weeks.
for burning the proverbial midnight oil, Bob, and putting my agonizing wait to an end.
Gail and Ben
obviously enjoyed the show.
Thank you for a wonderful evening. I will treasure it always. I am so glad you came to Thousand Oaks tonight.
With love and appreciation for all you have given us,
Just got back from your Thousand Oaks show and was blown away.
Look forward to hearing/ reading your new CDs/ book. Have you ever
thought about a week long engagement at the Cinegrill? Just a thought.
Thanks for the great performance.
P.S. I was the guy with the book.
isn't able to reply in person, Gail and Ben, but we're all grateful you
took the time to write and express your appreciation.
And Ben, I
know Rod would want me to thank you on his behalf for coming to his rescue
with your book. Well done!
BJ made her report short,
sweet and meaningful.
Just walked in the door - this may be too late for the Flight Plan.
Impression - when I get this silly grin off my face, wipe the tears from my eyes, and start to breath again, I'll let you know.
late, BJ, I've been holding it back especially for you. Glad you enjoyed
And finally Wes, wonderful man
that he is, kept a running diary yesterday which he kindly shares with all
of us. This was the first time Wes had seen Rod in concert.
The day dawned overcast in Ventura County, but with bright prospects on the horizon. After checking the flight plan and message boards about 8AM, and posting a message reminding everyone how lucky I was to be going tonight, I left to meet up with Sonja and Keith who had driven in from Arizona. We had a great conversational get to know each other
breakfast, surrounded by murals of frogs and local art, at the local eclectic eatery called Franky's. They serve a wonderful egg sandwich with specially prepared potatoes.
After a short tour of downtown Ventura and a visit to the local Book Mall where Sonja bought two Rod books, we went back to their hotel and met Ann from Bakersfield. We had more visiting and story telling about past Rod events, and the recent benefit, then left for my place with the infamous killer stairs. Here Sonja and Keith poured over my wonderful Rod shelf and a half while Ann, who had seen them before, kibitzed.
It is now going on 3PM, and I have gotten the sad news about the book and CD's. Called the hotel to relay the message. Nan and Dave have arrived from Hemet. They are all going down early to Thousand Oaks so the tailgate party can begin. Had an email from BJ who is driving in sometime around 6PM from Palm Desert. Will look for her, but of course will not know exactly who I am looking for. The sun is out again and it seems to be clearing. Another good omen. Ann said Rod was in great form and spirits at last weekend's benefit. She has not yet washed her cheek where he gave her a peck after the show.
Arrived at the Civic Arts Theater at about 7PM. The "group" had staked out an area in the lobby that they considered the best
vantage point. According to Ann they had looked for the stage entrance with little success, so next to the tee-shirt table was good. Sharon has arrived by now and the Rod one-up's have begun. Most of them have seen shows in the past, so they all have stories. A teenage girl arrives, accompanying her mother. She says she could not avoid knowing who Rod is, and likes some of his writing.
Edward shows up and Ann starts a conversation, explaining that we will go to customs and get the book ourselves. He says how frustrated he is with the situation and how excited he is to see Rod perform again. We meet a young woman in her late 20's or early 30's who has an L.A. radio show on which she plays a lot of Rod's music. She is really looking forward to the concert.
It is almost show time. I find my seat. Sure enough, it is directly in the center of the front row. When Rod comes out I am looking directly at him as we all stand to greet him with a standing ovation. He is wearing rumpled dark green jeans, a brown sweatshirt over a white button down shirt, and brown and white converse style sneakers. Seems just a bit nervous initially.
(Wes goes on to give a complete breakdown of the show, including all the numbers Rod performed. Now we don't want to spoil things for those attending the Aurora show on Saturday so I've
omitted this part).
I was impressed with Rod's stage presence and the genuine emotion and pleasure
he radiated. He really seemed to be enjoying himself and got stronger as the show went on.
According to a few of the others who had seen earlier shows, he was every
bit as good tonight as when they saw him in the past.
After the show, as much of the crowd milled about waiting to get things signed, talk to Rod, and have their picture taken, I spoke to a couple of teens who were obviously not familiar with him. Their mother, who apparently went to school with Rod, had brought them. The young man told me that he really related Rod's words, that he had often felt exactly like the songs and
poems described. And that is why Rod has been, and will continue to be, as popular as he is, even with a new audience. He speaks the feelings and thoughts many of us are unable to say for ourselves. We understand him because he understands us.
OK, gang, that's it for today.
As I finish this Flight Plan it's the middle of the night in California so
I doubt there'll be any more feedback today.
Last word on this memorable
day goes to Wes. On his covering mail to me he says:
Great evening; wonderful show; many new friends.
Who could ask
for anything more.
Back with more tomorrow - join
Ken, Johannesburg, March 9
Details of Rod's upcoming concerts
and appearances can be obtained via the link below:
McKuen Concerts & Appearances