30th & 31st December, 2010
Boots & Rod. Photographed
by Edward, May 2010. ©2010 By Stanyan Music Group. All Rights Reserved
A Thought for Today
And now a toast: I wish you heady
harvests every day of every year, no unsure hours or sleepless nights,
and happiness enough to make the valley’s of New England and the verdant
hills of France forever green inside your heart.
TO BEGIN WITH
To close out the year here are some notes from all over.
QUERY FROM CLIFF IN TOKYO
Dear Rod, Hello from Tokyo! I hope you are well. I
grew up in LA in the 60's playing with the group Ambrosia, was a member
of the vocal group The Association for a year and spent 2 amazing years
playing guitar with alto sax icon Art Pepper. That was pretty wild. In
'72 Bob Hope sent me to Vietnam to boost morale of the troops, had some
pretty wild adventures and I ended up in Japan.
I hope you'll allow me a question about The World I Used to Know: Sounds
to me like a former wildman type is in a current stable relationship but
built on sand for someday his wildman genes will come calling again. Am
I'd be most grateful if you would share your intended meaning of this
beautiful song. Thank you kindly and Happy Holidays, Yours Sincerely
Cliff Woolley, Tokyo
Dear Cliff, You came as close to hitting it on the head as I’m willing
to admit. I still sing The World I Used To Know and I’ve Been To Town at
nearly every concert, both were written way back in the 1960’s.
Incidentally I've written "The World I Used To Know" a couple of times
over in different guises. What are the other songs? If I told you I'd
have to, well you know.
The World I Used To Know was originally titled "Song With No Name" and
at the Jimmie Rodgers recording session for it producer Randy Wood of
Dot Records said I'm not releasing something called Song With No Name.
So, I arbitrarily titled it The World I Used To Know, even though the
title only appears in the song once.
You've had quite a varied career. Hope you enjoy Tokyo as much as I did
when I first went there in 1954.
All My Best to you and yours for now and the coming year.
KEVIN IN BOSTON
Dear Rod, Welcome back to your website; I was
getting worried. Here's a suggestion: I was just wondering if you'd
consider printing the full track lists for your two upcoming box sets
for all us lifetime McKuenites. It would be a quick and easy way to fill
up a two-day column, not to mention a nice bit of pre-promotion.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year (and what the heck, I hope you have a
great Easter, as well.) Oh and will New Ballads ever make its way to CD?
Dear Kevin, Ah Boston & Symphony Hall, what sweet memories.
Rock Gently and the other songs on New Ballads have joined Pastorale,
Sold Out at Carnegie Hall, The Beautiful Strangers, Grand Tour and a
bunch of other albums and singles on LOVE'S BEEN GOOD TO ME: The Warner
Bros. Years Vol. 1 (the next 8 CD set coming out in the new year as
instalment two in Bear Family's overview of my career). It's in the
works & has been too long in preparation. As for a track list, I’m
working on it – too slowly to suit me and just about everyone else
By the way Glenn Campbell is a featured guitarist on many tracks in the
upcoming Bear Family sets. Have you heard either of his two solo
recordings of If You Go Away? Cheers & Happy Holidays, Rod
ALISON IN LONDON
Dear Rod, I want to thank you for all the pleasure
your music has given me over the years. I was delighted to see that your
London Palladium concert recording from 1970 has been released on CD.
Was this your first appearance at the Palladium? A friend says we saw
you there in the mid to late 60s, but I'm sure it must have been in May
1970. I'd be so grateful if you could settle the argument. Many thanks,
and all good wishes, Alison Weir.
Thanks for the note. I'm pretty sure I only played The Palladium once in
May of 1970. Several appearances at The Royal Albert Hall followed and I
also performed at Festival Hall and The Rainbow Theatre. London
audiences have always been very good to me. I recorded many of my
appearances in The City of London (including, of course my TV series)
but so far I haven't released any of the complete shows, other than The
Palladium Concert titled "Live in London." My double LP "Grand Tour"
contained tracks from Albert Hall.
Thanks again for asking Alison and all my best. Warmly, Rod
FROM PAULO IN ROME
Rod, In the late 1960’s I directed you for a
segment of the TV series “Today in Rome” and I remember you sang a song
inspired by Sergio Endrigo. Now that you have been working with Ennio
Morricone is there a chance you’ll be returning for an Italian visit any
time soon? Paulo Encarta.
Dear Paulo, nothing definite but you can bet there have been discussions
regarding not only a visit but some recording dates in The Eternal City.
Am not sure if anything will come of it. So far my work with Ennio has
been long distance but I’d love any excuse to spend more time in Italy.
AND FROM PHILIP IN WALES
Hi, just wondered if there have been any Rod
McKuen DVD’s, either studio or concerts? Thanks, Phil Mortimore
Dear Philip, The only DVD available at the moment are a few performances
with Dolly Parton in her collection "The Dolly Parton Show." (Available
Some solo DVD's are in the works, including the series I did for the
BBC, a concert disc and a biographical DVD. Some individual performances
will soon be available on line. Thanks For Asking. Cheers, Rod
RM 12/29/2010 Previously unpublished
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