Thursday, January 29, 2015
ROD MCKUEN R.I.P.
Back in the 1960s I knew very few Beat chicks, or later Hippie birds, who didn't have a crush on McKuen and his records in which he read his prosy personal conversationally lyric poems. And though I hated to admit it, when some young woman would insist on playing Stanyan Street or Listen To The Warm, I'd pretend to be too hip for it but would actually be moved.
The man had a voice that expressed his take on the dailiness of loneliness and love sickness better than a lot of more technically brilliant poets of the time. And he was a prize-winning composer and song writer. He had enormous popular success but was mostly dismissed by the academy and the book critics and his fellow poets.
Here's a great story about the poet and writer Aram Saroyan's encounter with McKuen when Aram was a young man. Goodnight Rod, you deserved to have been treated better by your poet peers, but at least you had a worldwide audience that loved you.