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A Thought for Today

Those who fear an overthrow are those most easily conquered.


Hey, I can't remember the last time I had so much fun and I wasn't even remotely near Thousand Oaks and Aurora this weekend. The reports coming in have been of such quality, though, that I felt I was right there alongside you all.

I'm a tad concerned that some of our designated correspondents failed to report back but let's be charitable and assume the emotion of the occasion got the better of them. If this wasn't the case there must have been one helluva party after the show so if anyone is missing a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or significant other please report the loss to the Stanyan offices and we'll see what we can do about it. You might even get them back.

Here's the final couple of letters.

Dear Ken,

This being the first time close to a computer after the Evening With Rod in Thousand Oaks, I am writing Aftermath thoughts to you. 

I thought I was so "cool" with seeing Rod again...why, I had just seen him perform at a benefit hadn't I. Shook his hand, talked at some length and had my picture taken with him. Besides, I've done this before. The lights dim, as in performances past, Rod appears. "Oh God" I whisper, standing ... tumbling all that was resting in my lap to the floor (purse, program, KLEENEX) ...and could not keep from crying nor could I applaud loudly enough. 

I was not prepared for the feelings of long ago to revisit this person. Not prepared for the sound of his REAL voice nor the AURA of his presence speaking those words. After all these years, I still know how to LOVE LIVING.

And I am thankful. 

Another interesting thing I learned. Hope you find it so too. Yes, Rod did forget a few words for which he felt the need to say "I Am Sorry" to his fans. However, he taught a valuable lesson without realizing it...as he is so want to do. I had the extreme pleasure of speaking with Bob Gentry and Michael Stimler, of MOISTURE fame, during intermission and after the performance. They both commented that it took SOOOO much courage (of which they have not found yet) to stop in the middle of a song that is not going well, say "I cannot hit these notes. Lets go on to the next song".. and at another point laughingly saying "pray for me, I cannot remember the words, I have drawn a blank."

They both said they hope they can become so good, so at ease with their work and fans that they will be able to do the same thing....admit they are not perfect, knowing their fans will not care or love them less. Valuable lesson taught. Valuable lesson learned. 

Mike was really taken with Rod's "The Ivy That Clings To The Wall." Bob's favorite of the evening was "The Single Man." They both kept talking about how wonderful the music and words are and how Rod is so good at conveying the FEEL. It was wonderful to talk with them and see the excitement from these two young men of much talent. Listen to them talk about how much they enjoyed watching Rod relate to and with his fans and are taking lessons. From The Best. Rod speaks to all...including the young and talented, MOISTURE! :) 

Wish you could have been there, Ken....perhaps soon!!! I would love to meet you. 



Ah, Sonja, as you say, perhaps soon! Thanks for the Moisture input - I have a feeling we're going to be hearing a lot more of these talented guys.

Julie is a newbie and boy, are we glad to have such an enthusiastic fan on board.

Dear Ken,

Hello! I'm brand new to your website. For many years I didn't know what had become of Rod. I missed him terribly but life's challenges always sidetracked me from searching him out. He was my hero as a teenager and I still can recite much of his poetry by heart. Actually, my husband downloaded, "The Sea" for me from Napster and my search began. 

I was reading our local paper last week and low and behold there was Rod and if anyone could have heard my gasp and felt my heart fall when I read he would be 10 miles from me a week from now, they wouldn't have believed it. Rod had been found. It was like he just came to me because he knew that I needed him. 

Sorry for rambling, the concert was fantastic. The tears that filled my eyes when Rod came on stage reinforced how much I have longed to hear him live again, to hear him at all. He was a little nervous at first but then the magic came through and he shone. It was just like 25 years ago, the last time I saw him live. I was with my mom and we both cried so hard, we thought they would kick us out. 

Anyway, Ken he was great. I was sorry I couldn't stay after he was done but I had kids at home and it was late. Maybe next time and I sure hope there is a next time. Tell him his new poetry is just beautiful and even my husband who was very hesitant to go with me enjoyed it. He called him the Jurassic poet (a compliment I assure you). 

Thank you Rod for a great evening!

My best,

Julie McInnis

Welcome to "A Safe Place to Land", Julie, and make sure you stop by on a regular basis. Every day would be just fine! In the meantime I'll try to figure out the "Jurassic Poet" thing. 

My most sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to write in over past couple of days, sharing their experiences of both the Thousand Oaks and Aurora concerts.

I'm well aware that in most cases these reports were written in the wee hours after a long, exciting and emotional day. That you still found time to keep all of us in the loop with regard to the happenings in both centers demonstrates not only enviable stamina but admirable commitment to the cause. Great job, guys!

And finally a HUGE thank you to the man who made this weekend possible and gave so much of himself under what must have been difficult circumstances. Rod, WELCOME BACK and know that hundreds of your fans will remember this weekend, with crystal clarity, for the rest of their lives. 

Love you, my friend.

                                      - Ken, Johannesburg, March 12

Details of Rod's upcoming concerts and appearances can be obtained via the link below:

Rod McKuen Concerts & Appearances

notable birthdays Edward Albee o Gabriele D'Annunzio o George Berkeley o Barbara Feldon o Marlon Jackson o Al Jarreau o Philip Jones o Paul Kantner o Jack Kerouac o Vern Law o Gordon MacRae o William H. Macy o Liza Minnelli o Vaslav Nijinsky o Wally Schirra o Roger Stevens o Darryl Strawberry o James Taylor o William (Buckwheat) Thomas o Paul Weston o Mary Alice Williams o Andrew Young
Rod's random thoughts Do not be afraid because things happen quickly. Who says that we should take our time.
-from "The Rod McKuen Omnibus"

Slander's tongue is never tired.

The sweetest leisure is that we've earned.

for Julie Harris

I am the blade
that slices the rose
from off its stem
         to the bottle.

I am the table
the chair is tucked under.
I am the engine's throttle.

I am the willow
with branch downcast
who never looks up
             at the sparrow.

I am the arrow
aimed at the jugular
that enters the heart of the heart.

I am the woman
who sat by the sea
and swallowed the world
                  as she waited.

I am the rock
who hit the king's eye
the first week in October.

I am justice,
a little one-sided,
ashamed to be part
                   of the system.

I am the name
that wasn't crossed off
pleased to have been invited.

I am the noun
that wants to be useful.
Why am I not a verb ?

I am the valentine
still unopened
that nobody ever sent.

I am the opening
you came through
to get to the other side.

I am the valentine
still unopened
that nobody's heart will ride.

               -from "Valentines," 1986
1970, 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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