FLIGHT FROM THE
22 July, 1999
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Rod in action at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001.
Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.
A Thought for Today
Iíve never known a man who didnít wish
aloud or beneath his breath to be thought of as a sex symbol.
Rod is on the road for a
couple of weeks and will be back with you at the beginning of September.
WORDS ABOUT MUSIC
Every now and again I like to talk about some
of the music I'm listening to or the books I'm reading. The other night I went off with
some friends to The Hollywood Bowl to see one of my favorite new singers, the wonderful
Diana Krall. It was a great evening, a picnic with cold salmon, champagne and best of all
good friends on a starry night. Miss Krall could not have been better. Do yourself a favor
and pick up her latest CD "When I Look In Your Eyes," I promise you won't be
Meanwhile today I came home from my local Tower with an indispensable CD for any Petula
Clark fan. Jim Pierson's "Petula Clark: The International Collection." It
contains over a hundred tracks by Pet in Spanish, Italian and German. Pet in any language
is one of the most superb singers of popular songs anywhere. Producer, collector,
annotator Pierson is dedicated to preserving the performances of the great singers of the
last part of this century. Add this one to his important restorations.
The 4 CD's that make up the collection come with a lavishly illustrated book, typical of
the German Bear Family label. The sound is quite remarkable and best of all it contains
not only her hits sung in translation, but much unfamiliar and previously unreleased
material. Every track, even in a foreign language, shows again and again why so many
critics consider Pet Clark one of the best singers of the later part of this century.
While hit after hit made her a household name around the world, she was trapped by her
enormous success. Thank God she came to us in the era of the LP, because she was able to
pack her albums (usually named after her hits) with all manor of material. Many of her
best songs were written by Pet herself and the dozen or so covers of Lennon &
McCartney material over the years prove that apart from The Beatles themselves, she was
the best interpreter of their material.
Pierson's notes, relying on his personal knowledge and friendship with Miss Clark and
extensive quotes from the artist herself, are a model of what documentation for this kind
of production should be. Thumbs up, four stars, whatever. This is the album of the year as
far as I'm concerned.
Now, on to some mail.
WHAT IS IT?
Dear Rod, I was recently
at a wedding where a beautiful poem of yours about Love was read. I don't know the title
but it spoke in part about being able to let someone go, confident that they would return
if their love was true and I would very much like to read the poem again and share it with
someone that I think could benefit greatly from this idea. Would you be kind enough to
e-mail me a copy or let me know how I could do further research to track it down? I would
be very grateful. Thanks so much, yours hopefully, Frances Moore
Dear Frances, The letter that follows may answer your question. If so, the poem is
entitled "Taking The Time" and is from my 1974 book "Seasons In the
Sun" and can be ordered from Stanyan By Mail. Since it was printed in the July 12th
Flight Plan you can even download it from The Archives. Hope this is the poem you're
talking about, if not let me know and I'll do some more detective work. Cheers, Rod
TAKING THE TIME
Dear Rod, Thank you for publishing on
your page the poem "Taking the Time" from Seasons in the Sun (1974). I have long
been an admirer of yours since a 70's concert at the Albert Hall in London. After
searching for and reading a lot of your work I came across "Taking the time" and
read it at my Daughters wedding on 5/1/99. It was very well received not only by her and
her new husband, but also by the other guests. Many wanted to know where I got it, who the
author of such meaningful, truthful words was. It really made my day seeing it printed on
your flight plan of 7/12/99, thank you again for those beautiful words and sentiments.
Yours.. John Warren, Myrtle Beach SC
Dear John, What an honor to be a small part of the ceremony involving two people starting
a life together. It means a great deal to me. Please extend my happiness and best wishes
to the bride and groom. And, John, thank you very much for including me on the wedding
guest list. Affectionately, Rod
UNFILED FLIGHT PLAN 23 JUNE
I am probably the 2387th person to advise you that the Flight Plan
did not fly today. A day without the Flight Plan is like a day without sunshine. It was a
downer not having it to start the day. I fear the Apple has a worm in it. Warmest regards,
Fred O. Bartlett, Jr.
Dear Fred, You're right, from time to time my Apple does get a worm or two in it. Alas,
though, our server is DOS, Windows, shutters or whatever you guys on 'the other side' call
THAT operating system these days. Would that Apple hard and software was used exclusively
by our server. It works.
As we all know, though, even the biggest and best sites have their share of down time. You
think you get crazed when you can't access ASPTL, I had a full head of hair when I started
all this nonsense. Poor Ken, he usually gets all the blame so I'm not unhappy at all with
your letter, besides, Fred, I'm delighted you care that much. The June 23rd FP did finally
get up and it has settled into the archives. Regards, Rod
TOUCHED THE FACE OF GOD
Dear Rod: Some years ago, at the end of
television programming day, I believe they call it signing off, there was a poem recited
while a jet was soaring across the sky. I thought it was by you, but forgive my ignorance,
I'm not sure. Unfortunately the only line I can remember is the last. It goes: "I
Reached Up and Touched The Face of God" I found it so awe inspiring, I've never
forgotten the feeling, however, I have never been able to find out who recited or wrote
it. And I would truly love to have all the words. I tried contacting the TV stations, but
so far no response. Is this something you are familiar with? I would appreciate any help
you can give me. A new fan, thanks to a new friend. Regards, Maggie
Dear Maggie, I know the piece your talking about and I didn't write it. Alas I don't know
who the author is. I do know it's a great favorite of Air Force personnel and I'm hoping
that one of them might tell me who the author is and send me the text. I'm pretty sure
someone will. If and when it happens I'll share the information with you and other
readers. For awhile a song I wrote with Anita Kerr, "Who Has Touched The Sky"
was used by some stations as a sign off, but the poem you're talking about had a much
longer run than ours did. All the best, Maggie. Rod
HAVE I EVER PLAYED IN DENMARK?
Have you ever played in Denmark, Copenhagen? Would you like to?
ROGER OVER. Signesays.
Dear Signesays, The closest I ever got to performing in Denmark came about when Jazz great
Chet Baker and I got sideways drunk in Amsterdam and he talked me into accompanying him to
Copenhagen where he had a club gig. I watched all the shows and got up a couple of times
and shared a song with him.
Would I like to do a concert or concerts in Denmark? You bet your life I would. ROGER,
OVER & OUT. Rod
You used to be interested in and fly Bi-Planes. Stanyan News told
about you going to Wyoming and taking lessons. You even had a Bi-Plane logo at one time.
Do you still fly Bi-Planes.? The FP is a daily stop on mine right from the very first one.
I join the thousands who thank you for "landing", a nice smooth 3 pointer at
that. Keith Kidder
Dear Keith, I haven't been up in a Bi-Plane for too long. For one thing my pilot friends
all live in different cities. I took enough lessons to nearly qualify for my license, but
remember those were the years of heavy concert tours and private time for such pursuits
was in short supply. Flying well takes practice and dedication and time. I certainly was
up enough though to inspire a bunch of 'sky songs' "I'll Catch The Sun."
"If I Could Fly" "Flying Free," the libretto for "The Black Eagle
. . . Then I took up ballooning. And speaking of that . . .
OLD BALLOONING FRIENDS
Hello Rod : I hope all is well with you. Ray and I were just talking
about a good friend who just passed away and it got us thinking about other old friends we
hadn't seen for awhile and your name came up. I said you must have a Web site and went
looking. It didn't take long. We both hope your doing well and in good health.\ Dean and
Dear Dean and Ray, Gad! You never know who you'll run into on the net! It's a big deal for
me to hear from you guys (Ray taught me ballooning. I even agreed to do an extra concert
in South Africa and got the promoters to pay for Ray and his balloon to come to Africa, so
that we could sail through the countryside. Dean is a talented photographer who has taken
many published photographs of ballooning and other outdoor sports.)
You guys would have loved a barge trip I took through the canals of Southern France a
couple of years ago. One morning I had a balloon ride with a pilot so inexperienced he
kept clipping the tops of trees. The other passengers were not amused. I'm healthy and
happy and now that you know where I am, don't be strangers. Love, Rod
- RM 7/21/99 Previously unpublished.
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