A Thought for Today
Anyone with wisdom knows that they were born too late, for what has past will always seem superior to what is passing now.
Rod McKuen in Concert
8:00 PM Paramount Arts Center, March 10, 2001
23 East Galena Blvd. Aurora, IL (Chicago Suburb)
Ticket info: Prices: $22.50
Phone orders: 630-896-6666 Fax Orders: 630-892-1048
don't know about you but I'm still on a high from yesterday - and here we
go again! Thank goodness Rod's only doing two shows right now 'cause I
don't think I could cope with the excitement of too many more.
OK, the show
tonight was the first one to be announced so I guess it's fair to say this
is the BIG one. Fans are flying in from all corners of the globe to
celebrate with Rod and the atmosphere should be absolutely electric.
Jay and Melinda, I know how excited you both are - bet you don't get much
sleep over the next few days. Rita sounds as though she has a major
party brewing so Aurora should be rockin' just a couple of hours from now.
I have the
advantage here because, thanks to Wes and everyone else who wrote in about
the Thousand Oaks show, I know what's in store for you and trust me,
you're in for one helluva evening. Enjoy the show and have a ton of fun.
THOUSAND OAKS FEEDBACK.
BJ seems to
have recovered sufficiently to expand on her contribution of yesterday.
A "slight" expansion on my impression comments from yesterday.
I was seated front row, center (actually next to the good Scout master, Wes) so my take on the audience during the performance is minimal. However, during intermission and after the show, it was obvious that something special had taken place. Something that gave each person there a personal gift to cherish always.
To give you an idea of the level of intimacy Rod created - during intermission, in the ladies room, there was no chatter (when have you ever known a full ladies room to be quiet?) It was as if each one of us had entered a private arena of feelings and memories and needed the silence to reconcile and merge with those emotions.
Rod appeared very nervous when he first came on, I got the impression that maybe what he was doing (for the first time in so many years) didn't really hit him until he found himself, alone, center stage. Of course, he wasn't alone for long because the love in the room moved forward and wrapped him in its embrace. By the third number, he seemed to have reached that realm of "oh yeah, I remember this feeling and I like it."
The blending of new and old material was perfect, drawing forth old memories and creating new ones. And when Rod makes eye contact - time stops and somewhere deep inside, he's speaking only to you, despite the crowd.
This whole rambling might very well be boiled down to: thank you Rod, thank you.
It sounds as though Thursday
was Carla's first McKuen concert. Way to go, Carla!
A warm and wonderful evening - that is what I will always remember about Rod's appearance at Thousand Oaks. I have enjoyed his writings and music for thirty years, and to finally have the opportunity to see him perform was a homecoming. Every moment was a gift.
Thank you for everything, Rod. Thank you ...
obviously agrees with Wes as it's enabled him to contribute a few more
Thousand Oaks anecdotes.
Hello Again Ken,
There was a couple sitting next to me who had been married a long time. They'd had "I'll Catch the Sun" sung at their wedding and I think they told Rod it was their anniversary. When he sang the
song they were really emotional, clasping hands very firmly. They'd driven up from San Diego, about 130 miles.
We had at least three from Arizona, and one, Rhonda, all the way from Idaho. Just about everyone I spoke to found out about the concert through "A Safe Place to
Land" though many of them were not frequenters of the boards. The radio station girl did not know of the
site but was aware of local theater listings.
Well, today will be the kicker. Edward said that there are people flying in from all over the world for Chicago. He is really
disappointed that he is staying in California. Oh yeah, Bob Gentry and his bass player (Bryan ?) were there also. Nice young
guys and the bassist told me how honored and awed he was to visit at Rod's house while Rod and
Bob were working on something. He seemed to truly respect Rod and his accomplishments.
Just before I left I asked Rod specifically if there was anything he wanted me to relay to the board. He said simply, "it's great to be back. I really appreciate the enthusiastic audience".
compulsive McKuen concert-goer back in the seventies, gives us her
impressions of the Thursday show.
On the drive home from Thousand Oaks, in the wee small hours of the morning, I tried to compose a letter to tell you about the concert. But the words that would describe it, if they exist at all, don't come easily and those that do just don't tell the whole story. The day was perfect - meeting up with old and new friends - visiting with Edward before the show (he was every bit as excited as we were) . And finally the big moment.....lights dimmed.....and there he is....at long last!
Between 1969 and 1979 I saw him perform 9 times and it was never like this. Never. His voice is so strong and clear and he looks great. And that smile.....they wouldn't have needed the spotlights because that smile after every song lit up the stage. I do believe he enjoyed himself
as much as we did - maybe even more.
Song after song, poem after poem - it couldn't have been any better. And, after spending more than 2 1/2 hours on stage, there he was in the lobby - giving us more. Over a hundred people were there and he greeted each and every one. The man is not only incredibly talented, he's also
generous and caring and funny. When we left Edward was trying to drag him home but, true to form, Rod was making sure everybody had a chance to speak to him.
So, how to describe the emotions? I don't have the words - just a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes
every time I try. In "Pushing the Clouds Away" he says we have to save the times that are allright for the ones that aren't so good. This "allright" time will last a lifetime, and beyond.
I wish you could have joined us. Oh well, there's always next time.
And there WILL
be a next time, Ann. Carnegie Hall here we come!
If any of our
readers within striking distance of Aurora haven't yet got a ticket and
are wondering "should I, shouldn't I", stop wondering and just
do it! Get on down to the Paramount tonight and have yourself the time of
I'll be back tomorrow
with some feedback from our intrepid reporters at Aurora. Join me then.
- Ken, Johannesburg, March 10
Details of Rod's upcoming concerts
and appearances can be obtained via the link below:
McKuen Concerts & Appearances