10th & 11th April, 2010



















Photo by Eric Yeager ©2009 All Rights Reserved

A Thought for Today

Revolution nearly always destroys more than it liberates.




Hi Rod, Was that a quake or did the earth move due to 700,000 cash registers ringing up sales of iPAD's? Have you planted all your tomatoes yet? Ann

Dear Ann, Wish I was writing this on my new iPAD but alas I don't have that animal as yet, though God knows I want one. As for the quake, well it wasn't 'the big one' but I have a very strong feeling that ‘IT’ is on the way now. If I were a betting man I'd head for Vegas.

Here's what's in my 2010 Tomato Garden: Angelo Black (a new one I developed last year), Stanyan Yellow Gourd (another first timer made from various crosses), Buddy Buds (A Black Cherry type, this will be a real first if it works out.)

If any of the above turn out to be worthwhile I'll save seeds for you, all are my own heirloom derivatives & crosses. And yes, before you ask crossing tomatoes isn’t easy the grafting takes patience and many tries. This year I’m going to try the Day Lily breeding trick of working with pollen.

Following are the Heirloom standbys I’ve planted: Cherokee Purple, Costoluto Genovase, Pink Brandywine, Sungold, Super Marmande, Tigerella and there are a surprising number of strays that popped up from last year. As Ever, Rod


Hello, I have one of your books "Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows". I am trying to confirm that the attached book is one of the two thousand numbered and signed by you. My book has a signature and #511. Is this your signature?

On page 8, is the following statement: “This edition limited to 5000 copies. 2000 numbered and signed by the author, of which fifteen hundred are for sale through Stanyan Co. The remaining 3000 copies are available through STANYAN MUSIC CO. or book outlets. First Printing – July 1966”

If the above statement is correct then #511 falls in the 2000 signed copies. Any information will be appreciated. Thank you. Microage.

Page from the original 1966 First Edition.

Dear Microage, If this is your Christian name then your folks had an interesting sense of humor or perhaps a keen insight into the 21st Century.

Yep, you’ve got an original all right. This is a First Edition of Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows signed & numbered. Your copy is one of the first printed (it would go through 11 more editions for a total of 65 thousand copies from our home base before it was acquired by Random House where it went on to sell over two million in some thirty additional editions.)

I’ll never forget Edward joining me in a duel gasp when a truck arrived at the door and proceeded to unload 5000 copies of the book in our driveway but needless to say it turned out to be a pretty successful self-publishing investment. Thanks for your trip down memory lane. Cheers, Rod.


Rod: I want to buy CD's from Stanyan online but the thing is I can only pay for them in cash. I've sent emails to Ben at Stanyan but I never received a reply if you can help please let me know. I'm looking forward to the 2 Warner Bros. Boxed Sets to be released in the near future the RCS Box was brilliant all the best rod, Fred

Dear Fred, No problem. Ben has been up to his ears not only with Stanyan but his day job (he's a popular screenwriter) and I'm sure that accounts for his not getting back to you on a timely basis. Stanyan accepts money orders and checks made out to "Stanyan By Mail'. Address: Stanyan House, Box G, Beverly Hills Ca, 90210.

Thanks for the kind words regarding the RCA set, much love and hard work went into it by all concerned. Work on the Warner Bros. boxed sets is going slower than any of us would like, but the bottom line rests with my ability to get in the studio and finish the mastering and the even more difficult time and effort it takes to hustle up the photographs, memorabilia and annotation needed to augment the recordings. Lots of stops and starts but the work will be completed when it is completed. Bear Family is tooled up and ready to go when I hand in my share. Thanks for keeping the faith. Warmest Regards, Rod


Rod: I was going through some storage boxes and found many of your books and records. WOW! what wonderful memories. Saw you at Red Rocks many times and especially loved the after show discussions, sharing a Coors and just talking one on one with those who stayed. Your poetry and music has given me hours of pleasure and happiness. Any chance you'll come back to Red Rocks? R1Sandoval.

Dear R1, Thanks for the kind thoughts and memories. I love being in and out of storage boxes, footlockers, thrift shops and especially people’s thoughts and recollections.

I have so many great memories of the appearances I made at Red Rocks. I always looked forward to playing that great amphitheatre and then heading for my other favorite outdoor venue The Blossom Music Festival. Have been working on a memoir of sorts and a chapter involving Red Rocks figures prominently in it. I'd come back in a flash if some Denver promoter invited me. If there is any real interest from same they can find out details from my concert manager Jerry Lonn at jlonn@encoreattractions.com. Meanwhile, thanks again and you are now on the mailing list to receive news about upcoming concerts and appearances. My Best, Rod.


Dear Rod: I was in a tornado in 1968 with my children. One minute we were inside and the next we were in the yard with the rain pouring down and trying to find help in the darkness. It was a harrowing experience but I’ll skip to 22 hours later.

A man I had never met, Bill - a friend of a friend - came to my friends house and said "you need to get out of this town". We left in his Corvette and he drove to a moonlit spot and we talked for hours and finally he said "You need to sleep!"

I told him I couldn't because another tornado might come and I wouldn't hear it. He told me he would listen for me and then he put my seat back and put your "Listen to the Warm" tape in. He didn't talk and just let me listen. I was unfamiliar with your work but reveled in it as I slowly relaxed. I listened to "the warm" and "A Cat Named Sloopy" and when the tape ended he played it again. I drifted into sleep as you were calling Sloopy and Bill watched the world for me as I slept my way back to sanity. I truly believe that your poetry and Bill watching out for me kept me from losing it after the tornado. Thank you your work and the comfort it gave me. Love your work. Hope to hear from you. Ann Harvey

Dear Ann, What a story and how nice of you to share it with me. You can only imagine how much I enjoy hearing tales like this. I write to be read and make recordings to be heard.

I’ve never experienced a tornado or hurricane but living in California most of my life I long ago lost count of how many hundreds of earthquakes large and small I’ve felt. There is nothing quite so scary or unnerving as a natural disaster –– I guess because you never see it coming and when it does there is nothing to do but ride it out.

You neglected to tell me what became of your new friend Bill. Of course if this happened to be a Turner Classic Movie (starring perhaps Bette Davis & George Brent) the two of you would be settled down for life and ‘happily ever after.' Thanks again for the treat Ann and all my very best to you and yours. Warmly, Rod.

RM 4/9/10 Previously unpublished.

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notable birthdays

Saturday 10 April

Chuck Connors o Martin Denny o David Halberstam o William Hazlitt o Jane Kean o Clare Booth Luce o Peter Mac Nichol o John Madden o Don Meredith o Ryan Merriman o Jorge Mester o Mandy Moore o Harry Morgan o Haley Joel Osment o Commodore Matthew Perry o Joseph Pulitzer o Steven Seagal o Brian Setzer o Omar Sharif o Max von Sydow o Paul Theroux

Sunday 11 April

Dean Acheson o Hugh Carey o Oleg Cassini o Paul Douglas o Alberto E Ginastera o Ellen Goodman o Joel Grey o Charles Evans Hughes o Bill Irwin o Ethel Kennedy o Howard Koch o Kelly Lange o Louise Lasser o Connie Martinson o John Milius o Cameron Mitchell o Virginia O'Brien o Adriano Olivetti o Marvin Schwartz o Dorothy Shay o Meshach Taylor o Lucky Vanous

Rod's random thoughts Spring springs surprises faster than the wizard whizzes.

If time were not a trumpet always sounding out assembly and formations, I’d let work go whistling and send out obligations with the garbage.

Love is another word for sharing. If you go out into and beyond the day with love in mind and heart, you are probably as close to life as you can ever hope to be.

from In Someone's Shadow

April 5

Life goes slow without love.
It moves along unhurried.
The sun rises.
         The sun goes down.

There are those who pass by
changing the life-cycle
if you are willing to wait.

I am always shy
with these journeymen at first
and by the time I get to know them
they have gone away.

April 6

I have learned no new alphabet this week.
No new yardstick different from the last time out.
The old language has had to do too long a time.
I use the past arithmetic
           to make the present work.
Yet even going from room to room
I walk with arms outstretched.

-from "In Someone's Shadow," 1969


Happy weekend birthday shout outs to Ellen Goodman, Kelly Lang, Connie Martinson and Jorge Mester. Sleep warm and join me again on Monday for the occasional feature I call “Nobody Asked Me But.

RM Holmby Hills CA / 2:40AM PDST 11 April, 2010

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