on the Stanyan logo to subscribe to the McKuen Mailing List
Christmas Eve 2001: Photo by Edward McKuen.
©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group
A Thought for Today
A toast to everything that touched us all
year long - friends newly met and old friends here and gone but still
SEE YOU MAY
17, 2002 IN NEW YORK CITY
at B. B. King Blues Club
Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 day of the show.
AN EVENING WITH ROD MCKUEN Friday May 17, 2002. Doors open 6:00 PM •
Showtime 7:30 PM
AN EVENING WITH ROD MCKUEN Friday May 17, 2002.
Doors open 9:45 PM • Showtime 10:30 PM
By phone charge: 212-307-7171
Tickets can also be purchased @ B.B. King Box Office (11am-11pm daily -
B.B. King Blues Club, 237 W. 42nd St. Bet. 7&8 Ave, New York City. Club
OUT OF THE PAST
On this final day of 2001 I’d
like to start by thanking all of you for sticking with me through the year
and offer my love and best wishes for all the years to come.
McKuen, when my parents divorced in 1972, I was 5. My dad used to play the
guitar and sing Charlie Rich (If you happen to see the most beautiful
girl, in the world (Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone), Ray
Price (Lay your head upon my pillow hold your warm and tender body close
to mine) and Rod McKuen (We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the
sun) songs, I guess just to make himself feel better.
But I used to sit at his feet and listen. Something about all those words
and the sorrow of a six year old boy who for all intents and purposes had
lost his Mother, just found their way home deep inside. Then Dad had
several of your paperbacks, and when I found them, I devoured them;
starting with Seasons in the Sun.
To this day, my wife purchased for me a used Rod McKuen book for my
birthday(2001) because she knows how much I have connected with your
works. There are only a couple of things in my life that I have connected
to like that. The other being a particular translation of the Tao Te Ching
and well, Lao Tsu has long since passed.
So while we have this chance, both of us being here at the same time, I
want you to know that among the millions who have said it, you have helped
comfort me through my life many times, over and over. For that I would
like to say thanks. Thanks. Warmest Regards, Russell Fleming, Jr.
Dear Russell, Later this week I’ll be running a Flight Plan concerning
some of the many people we lost in the past year and as I was looking over
the too long list of folks who passed during 2001 I was struck by how many
had affected my life. Some I knew, some I didn’t but almost without
exception they had one thing in common; I never had the chance to say a
final goodbye or thank them for the difference they made for me.
Good for you Russell for taking the time and effort to drop me a line
while I’m still here to read it. You can’t imagine how much it meant to
me. I’m passing your example along because all of us have friends or even
those we don’t know that we appreciate and the New Year is a perfect time
to be in touch. Luv to you and yours, Rod.
AN OLD FRIEND WRITES
haven't seen you since the late 70's... and since I can't find some of
your great records in print anymore I thought maybe in that huge record
library you toured me through in your wonderful canyon home, I was
wondering if you might have a copy of The Earth. Have you put any others
from The Sea collection (The Earth, Home to the Sea, and The Soft Sea) on
If you read this please give me a call - I'd love to talk with you
again. I had another book published after "Just Passing Through". We've
lots to catch up on.... Your friend, Logan Clarke
Dear Logan, Hearing from you is a nice surprise. Congratulations on the
new book I’m looking forward to reading it. Nothing from the San Sebastian
Strings is currently available on CD. “The Sea” was in print for a while
and can still be found with some detective work. Will give you a call
later in the week to talk over old times. Affectionately, Rod.
YOU WON’T REMEMBER ME, BUT...
I know you don't recognize my name. I've sent you a few jokes from time to
time, but don't get to the site as often as I used to. I'm just too busy
these days to spend as much time on the computer as I once did. I wanted
to wish you a Happy Holiday, though.
"May the joy of the holiday season be yours throughout the year." I think
I read that on a Christmas card once upon a time. I can't believe I said
something that hokey to a poet! Oh well, my heart is in the right place!:o)
Best to you and yours, Linda Woolacott
Dear Linda, Thanks for the kind holiday wishes, mine go back to you for
the Ned Year and long beyond. Of course I remember you how can I forget
someone who’s sent me so many funnies for Pass it Along? Thanks again for
the jokes & jollies. As ever, Rod
Rod, hello again to you...i wrote about a year ago or longer, even tried
to become one of the message board and chat room friends/people, but as
vie never been too much good at being a joiner it didn’t quite work out
for me, and because of some of the bickering going on at a time in my life
when bickering was the last thing i needed more of, i kind of melted
away...don’t think i was missed much, although id become quite fond of a
few people and have missed their wise and often comforting words...and of
course your words and poetry.
I’m so pleased to know that your concerts went well, oh how my
heart was broken to know there was no way i could go to even one...once in
my life i can honestly say i was so very envious of the others there...but
also happy for them too, because i know I'm not the only one who holds
such heart felt love and devotion for you and your poetry. In fact reading
yours again on the Flight Plan made me start to feel the tinniest bit of
Christmas stirrings in my heart (which i didn’t think id feel this year at
all). Thank you for that, and for all the wonderful, sad, lovely, longing,
wondrous feelings you’ve brought out in me through all these years I’ve
spent reading your work and feeling like i knew you.
Well in case i don’t get back to write to you again, I will be looking at
the Christmas Star from here in Albuquerque New Mexico and praying you
have the most blessed Christmas you’ve ever had, full of friends,
laughter, good food, beautiful music and most of all a hand to hold, and
love that has no end. Love and God Bless, Tracy
Dear Tracy, nice to hear from you again and thanks for the kind thoughts.
I had a very pleasant and uneventful Christmas, just the way I like it.
The Message Board’s aren’t to everyone’s taste but they do provide a nice
clearinghouse for those who want to know what I’m up to. I have no
official connection to either of them.
The Rod McKuen Message Center was established by tara Scofield five years
ago and is now monitored by Melinda Smith and Jay Hagan. They do a
terrific job of overseeing it and making sure that, just like this site,
it continues to offer a place to stop safely for information and
reflection. Folks who visit the Message Center are always glad to help
each other out with information and answers to questions.
The Stanyan Message Center can get a bit hairy and I can understand why
you might feel intimidated by it. Some pretty strong opinions get aired
there and some of the participants aren’t known for always acting like
ladies and gentleman. Dwight Michaels is the host but he seldom monitors
or censors it in any way, other than to get fed up once in awhile and
clean the place out! Despite early admonishments not to do so people print
personal poetry there so I seldom visit it. As nearly everybody knows by
now I long ago made it a rule not to read unpublished poetry (where would
I stop?) I’m pretty much persona non grata at the Stanyan Message Board. I
still have tremendous respect for those who go there to exchange opinions
write the song Jean? Was it written for Marilyn Monroe? Who else made the
song famous? Thanks in advance for your answer. Kathleen Watson
Dear Kathleen, I wrote the words & music to “Jean” as part of my score for
the film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” Sorry to disappoint you but the
song was not written for Marilyn Monroe. It was triggered by the fine
performance of Maggie Smith, who won an Academy Award as best actress for
her work as the title character. The late Oliver had the number one record
on “Jean.’ Sincerely, Rod.
OUT BEYOND THE WINDOW
McKuen, I am a doctoral student at Louisiana State University and a
composer currently looking for appropriate texts for a composition scored
for Women's Chorus (SATB) with piano and clarinet (and perhaps cello). I
recently came across your website and found a poem that interested me for
use in this musical setting. The poem is: "Out Beyond The Window" (used in
Frank Sinatra's recording on Reprise)
I wanted to ask if you could please give me written permission to use this
published poem in my composition? A confirmation via email would be fine
so that I may begin the piece, and I will follow it up with any official
documentation. Also, if I'm able to use it, you will be properly
acknowledged in the musical score and performances, or in any way that you
may want recognition. Thank you very much for your time, John M. Crabtree
Dear John, Consider this written permission to proceed. Once you’ve
completed the song send me a lead sheet for copyright purposes. I’m
anxious to hear what you do with it. Good luck with your efforts, John.
Kindest regards, Rod.
YARBROUGH SINGS McKUEN
trying to find an album that my family listened to when we were growing
up. It would mean the world to my mom if I could find a copy of it. If it
is available, please let me know. Glenn Yarborough Sings The Rod McKuen's
Songbook was EXCELLENT! Thanks for your help! Karen Peterson, St. Paul, MN
Dear Karen, that album isn’t currently available on LP or CD but two other
CD’s where Glenn performs my songs are in stock. You can order “I Think of
You” from Stanyan By Mail and “The Lonely Things’ is available from Folk
Era records. Cheers, Rod.
CHRISTMAS IN NEW ENGLAND
can I get a copy of the Christmas in New England video referred to in
today's flight plan (12-19-01)? I understand your closing segment is a
show-stopper! Having gone for more than 20 years without seeing you in
concert or on TV (does an old segment of Family Feud count?), I would love
to see this video and add it to my Rod McKuen collection.
Best wishes for a holiday filled with love, peace and understanding. Vicky
L. Brasel, Office of the Dean, University of Wisconsin-Rock County.
Dear Vicky, Thanks for asking. Webmaster Ken made my verbal comments look
pretty good by putting them in print. Thanks to you and to him. The
“Christmas in New England” video is available from Stanyan By Mail for
$19.95. Happy, Happy New Year and thanks again, warmly Rod.
business associate who does not have a computer but has been an avid fan
for ages. She would like to receive snail mail if possible in the form of
catalogs or other information. Her name is Jill Becker.
Will appreciate anything that can be done for this loyal fan.
Sincerely, Alan Kurland
Dear Alan, Thanks for writing. Stanyan By Mail still hasn’t gotten around
to making up a current printed catalog so you might print out a copy of
the one on the Stanyan By Mail site for your friend Jill. Kindest regards,
name's Steve Collins. I'm a grad film student at
UT-Austin and I'm making a film called "Lonelyland." It's an emotional
comedy about my battles with depression and anxiety. My goal has always
been to reproduce the feeling of your work in another medium. There is a
narrator to the story and I would be honored if you would consider
recording the narration.
From the first dusty copy of "Listen the Warm" that twinkled at me in a
thrift shop three years ago, you have been of great help to my own life
and work. Warmly, Steve Collins
Dear Steve, Ah yes, a “comedy” about depression and anxiety! I must admit
you’ve piqued my curiosity. Once your film is finished send me a copy and
if I feel narration by me might add to it, I’ll request a script and give
it a go. Happy Holidays, Rod.
THE 12 DOWNLOADS OF CHRISTMAS #7
RUSTING IN THE RAIN
ABOUT THE SONG
In trying to decide a download
for New Years Eve I figured “Rusting in the Rain" might be just the
ticket. I wrote it in 1964 while living at the house on Gardner & Fountain
in Hollywood. The following year I recorded it for my first RCA album
which producer Neely Plumb entitled “Prolific Composer Rod McKuen Sings
His Own.” What a mouthful. At the time the album was done I was known more
for my songwriting than performing so it was his way, I guess, of calling
attention to both.
“Rusting in the Rain” was arranged & conducted by Gene Page and features
Jim Helms on guitar and the vocal choir was headed by Virginia Mancini. It
was recorded in August 1965 at RCA Studios in Hollywood with Neely Plumb
producing. The recording engineers were Dick Bogart & Hank Cicalo.
Nan Talese always thought “Rusting in the Rain” would make a good title
for a book. That’s what I’ve titled the book I’m working on at the moment.
Other artists who have recoded “Rusting in the Rain include The Kingston
Trio, Glenn Yarbrough and Jimmie Rodgers.
Rusting in the Rain
The old gate is Rusting in the Rain
And children coming home from school
No longer skim their pebbles on the old town creek
That just beyond the bend becomes a pool
And we’ve all grown older, come see where we have been
Out here Rusting in the Rain.
The old house is creaking in the rain
And lovers coming down the hill
No longer stop to linger by the old dead tree
They took away for lumber to the mill
And we’ll all grown older, come see where we have been
Out here Rusting in the Rain.
The old world is dying in the rain
And summer coming ever year
No longer stops to wonder as it goes along its way
Did anybody ever live here
And we’ve all grown older come see where we have been
Out here Rusting in the Rain.
And we’ve all grown older come see where we have been
Out here Rusting in the Rain.
Words & music by Rod McKuen © 1964 &
1965 by Rod McKuen & Stanyan Music.
CLICK HERE TO
DOWNLOAD RUSTING IN THE RAIN
(For PC users a simple left-click on the
above link should start the download automatically. If you're having
problems, try right-clicking on the link and select "save target as....".
Mac users should click and hold for menu options, then select the save
option. A Mac alternative is to hold down the option button and click the
link to download and save.)
- RM 12/31/01