12th & 13th June, 2010



















Boots & Rod. Photographed by Edward, May 2010. ©2010 By Stanyan Music Group. All Rights Reserved

A Thought for Today

Praise is easier than criticism. Often it’s needed more and works more wonders.



Must be something in the air, summer perhaps, since most of today’s questions concern new CD’s in the works. Best of all, long requested compact discs based on albums from the 1970’s previously unreleased digitally.



For years on end now I have been looking for a CD containing the song: "Philadelphia". Could you please help me with this? Thank you in advance! Jan van Buuren, the Netherlands

Dear Jan, “Philadelphia” is not currently available on any CD but the good news is that I have just mastered the track for compact disc and it and all the other songs from New Ballads and a full dozen other LP's not previously available on CD will be available in a deluxe 8 disc package released on Bear Family Records later in the year.

Sorry I don't have an exact release date as yet because the set is still being assembled but when it's completed and ready for release I'll announce the date on my website and Ben will inform all of those on our mailing list of its availability. So stay tuned.

The title of the collection will be Rod McKuen: Love's Been Good to Me / The Warner Bros. Records Years Vol 1. Thanks for asking Jan and all my best to you, Rod


Greetings Rod, Thanks again for your wonderful music and words....just listening to your album Rod sings Jacques Brel.....very beautiful......may I ask you if the complete Pastorale album will be released on CD? I have a cut down version and am keen to obtain the full double album ..... best wishes mate from Australia, Patrick

Dear Patrick, Ditto regarding the answer to the above question. I managed to squeeze all but two of the songs from the original double LP onto one CD. The remaining songs were both also featured on The Rod McKuen Show, an album previously released only in Great Britain, that collection is now featured in the set as well so in effect all of the tracks from Pastorale are represented. The McKuen Show, incidentally has tracks that were unissued in America including “Oh Me, Oh My” and my studio recordings of “Mr. Bojangles” and “London.” Cheers & Thanks, Rod


Rod, I have seen you in concert and on TV but I have never seen you playing an instrument. As you have written such a large body of work, what instrument do you specialize in. Regards: Phillip Smith

Dear Phillip, As an instrumentalist I 'fool around' with the piano, guitar & some wind instruments but only for fun and the purpose of chording my songs. I don't consider myself accomplished enough to play any musical instrument in public. Even if I did it would be awkward because I use my hands and body as much as my voice to perform my work and those of others. Woodshedding is fun but more so with nobody watching. Thanks for asking. All My Best, Rod


Rod, I was packing away some books the other day and happened on Lonesome Cities. I bought 8 of your books at a thrift store, some time ago. I had them all years ago. Don't know what happened to them. This was always my favorite. I hear your voice reading “The Art of Catching Trains”, to me and it makes me feel young, again. I am 59 and not all that old, but, you were part of my youth and made it worth being there. Thank you, Roseanne (Tiger) Salyer

Dear Roseanne, Thanks for the nice thoughts about "The Art Of Catching Trains”. Here we go again. I just finished mastering the Lonesome Cities album & if things go as planned it will be released on CD near the end of the year as part of the "Rod On Warner Bros. Records Collection, Part 1." And thanks too for your continued interest in my work . . . God Bless Thrift Shops. Cheers, Rod


Hi, Loved your site today. If I read it in the morning it starts my day with things to think about---if I read it at night like I'm doing now it puts me in a quiet mood for sleep.

Has your kitten ever brought you food? Mine brings me all kinds of food and makes me follow her to the porch to retrieve it. A few days ago she brought me a lizard for dinner. I didn't like it much, too greasy. So today she brought me a mole and I felt so sorry for it lying there dead that I got it as she requested and when she wasn't looking I put it in the garbage. I was in the mood for Chinese. . How could we live without a sense of humor? Sleep well, Dolores

Dear Dolores, Ah the 'gifts' my outdoor cats have brought me through the years and the number of moles, mice & birds I've had to rescue from their mostly playful jaws. They always seemed to take particular joy in bringing in and dumping at my feet hapless half dead critters. Living in coyote country we no longer have cats that are allowed the run of the yard and beyond. Just as well, they seem house happy and I was never into 'road' or 'cat' kill anyway.
As Ever, Rod

RM 6/11/2010 Previously unpublished

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notable birthdays

Saturday 12 June

Marv Albert o Irwin Allen o George Bush o Chick Corea o Vic Damone o Sir Anthony Eden o Anne Frank o Leon Goossens o Uta Hagen o Charles Kingsley o Oliver Knussen o Priscilla Lane o William Lundigan o Jim Nabors o Ian Partridge o David Rockefeller o Richard Sherman o Ivan Tors

Sunday 13 June

Tim Allen o Don Budge o Fanny Burney o Christo o Ralph Edwards o Bobby Freeman o Red Grange o Paul Lynde o Malcom McDowell o Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen o Basil Rathbone o Dorothy L. Sayers o Ally Sheedy o Richard Thomas o Mark van Doren o Jamie Walters o Mary Wickes o William Butler Yeats o Si Zentner

Rod's random thoughts Imagine love without a letter home, without a letter back.

Dreams die easily, but only if you let them.

Rejoice in having enemies. They keep you on your toes.


Airborne - free
running with the sun
diving down the day
jumping through June.

Above the world
Part of the shell
of some new world.

Now end-over-end
Dipping with the down draft.
hold on to me - I'm falling.
Catch me if I do.

Or I'll catch you
as no one thought
to reach toward you
                in the past,
airborne in the clouds
or flying stationary
        in each other's arms.
I would not ground you
or terminate your flight
             before its natural end
but I'll be here to catch you
free fall or in a mapped-out,
designer's dive.

Why are we here?
Why together - not apart
or each with someone else?
It has to do with more
                          than love,
that is if more than love exists.
Each of us is here
                   to buoy each other
keep each other straight ahead
not mixed up inside a mid-June flight
without the sure control
of someone who can offer care
should one of us lose power
                   over breath or air.

Perhaps then
it is love beyond all thinking
the kind not said
            or put into a letter.

there are no downgrades
on this summer afternoon
only higher, closer fields
                          to play in
not as acrobats or clowns
but as lovers with comedic faces.

-from "Celebrations of the Heart," 1975 & "We Touch the Sky," 1979. Extensively rewritten for "Watch for the Wind," 1983


To Ken and all my friends in South Africa good luck and congratulations on hosting the 2010 World Cup. I envy all of those who will be discovering the many pleasures of getting to know the versatile people and unusual places in your great country.

Incidentally as we go to press The South African Team and that of Mexico tied in the first game of The Cup defying most of the world’s sportscasters who had written off South Africa.

On a sad note the already very fragile Nelson Mandela didn’t attend the opening ceremonies. His 13 year old great granddaughter, Zenani was killed in an automobile accident just hours before the official opening.

Sleep warm, have a thoughtful, easy weekend and please join me again on Monday.

RM Holmby Hills CA / 1:40:PM PDST 11 June 2010

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