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Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)

Joe Offer 21 Feb 15 - 10:43 PM
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Subject: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Feb 15 - 10:43 PM

Subject: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter
From: voyager
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 08:37 AM

Say what you will about Rod McKuen, he had the audience and his voice was heard.

Rod McKuen - 'King of Kitsch'

voyager




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter
From: gnu
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 10:04 AM

RIP.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 11:34 AM

Good man gone.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter
From: GUEST,#
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 11:35 AM

Ditto.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter
From: pdq
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 12:33 PM

An amazingly accomplished man.

Perhaps the hardest working man in showbiz. Did 281 concerts one year.

Just his melody writing should put him in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The initial post is rude. Wonder what voyager has done that equals McKuen's legacy?




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter
From: fat B****rd
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 01:36 PM

RIP




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 02:01 PM

McKuen had his critics and he had his fans. He was prolific and I did enjoy his music. I am a bit disappointed that I do not have any of his recordings.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 02:14 PM

My wife, an animal lover from waay back, loved the poem about Sloopy the cat. The book which contains it, Listen to the Warm(?), is in the garage, boxed; I'll look for it for her today.

Mr. McKuen also had a short career in some forgettable movies. His literary/music career was a better career path.

RIP




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 02:32 PM

I gotta go with Voyager. McKuen was a caricature. He gave a whole new dimension to the meaning of the word "smarmy." I admit that there was a time when I pretended to tolerate Rod McKuen, since it was the only way to make a favorable impression on certain earnest, doe-eyed girls who caught my attention. Along the same vein, I had to learn "Today" (while the blossoms still cling to the vine). Oh, and the Richard Harris recording of "MacArthur Park" fit right in there.

And along with that, I suppose, goes the smarminess of lamenting the loss of dead celebrities.

I'm sure there are those who knew him and loved him and truly lament losing him - and I wish them the best.

But as a public figure, Rod McKuen was the very definition of the word "smarmy." Is it wrong to speak critically of dead public figures in obituary threads like this one? I should hope not. This is a music forum. If we think a performer's music is ridiculous, we should feel free to say that. Rod McKuen was ridiculous - but he made a lot of money in the process. My apologies to the doe-eyed girls.

-Joe-




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: Silas
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 04:18 PM

His weird translation of some of jaques brell songs are mind boggling.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: GUEST,Tinker from Chicago
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 04:55 PM

The songs need to be judged separately from the songwriter. No, I didn't like all of his works, but "Jean" was lovely, and I haven't found a song that captures the life of the single man as clearly as his "The Single Man."




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: pattyClink
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 07:46 PM

Sorry to see scorn and hatred in this thread.

I had just actually forgotten the guy had such a fine, rich, conversational voice, and some wonderful lyrics were written along the way. Anyway, for those who didn't hate his guts, here's a good late-life performance of a song he did well:

Love's Been Good To Me




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 07:51 PM

Hatred's a pretty strong term, Patty. "Strong criticism" might be a better term. Nobody here has reason to hate Rod McKuen, silly though his music may have been.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: olddude
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 07:54 PM

Jean was a fine song Rip




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: olddude
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 07:58 PM

I did not care for leaving the cake out in the rain song but he was far more talented than me so to quote spaw, what do I know. I will miss him




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: pdq
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 08:12 PM

Oh, for Christ's sake. Rod McKuen had nothing to do with MacArthur Park. That was Jimmy Webb, and it was/is awful.

Rod McKuen was talking to the normal middle class people who did not do heavy drugs or riot in the streets in the 1960s.

He was an incurable romantic and appealed to the People, not the high brow poetry fans of academia.

His best stuff is much deeper than it appears, especially if people really listen to it, which all of the critics here clearly have not.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 08:41 PM

The permanent, lasting impression Rod McKuen made on me was not so much from his music, but from his non-fiction book Finding My Father: One Man's Search For Identity.

Read it nearly forty years ago, and it stayed with me. I think I'm probably due for a re-read.


Jay




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 09:29 PM

I remember his Jacques Brell interpretations before he made it big. Some of them were great. I would put your attention to Season in the Sun. Not the top forty, Terry Jacks version. Tom Rapp, from Pearls Before Swine, did a great version of this.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 09:34 PM

Here is the link to Pearls before swine version. Beats the hell out of Terry Jacks's version. Rod is mentioned in the credits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCnuZQJycFQ




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 09:59 PM

But for some of us, Rod McKuen was an object of ridicule, a symbol of all that was wrong with the commercialization of folk music. I'm sure he wasn't as bad as the Conventional Wisdom made him out to be, and I guess I have to admit I liked some of his songs.

Still, he was a commercial icon, and he made a lot of money.

Rod McKuen was a "brand" that made a lot of money for a lot of people. I can see that a number of you think it horrid to scoff at a dead person, but I'd really like you to see a different point of view. Save your mourning and your sympathy for real people that you know. Don't get all hot and bothered if people aren't properly respectful when a celebrity dies. To me, there's something obscenely shallow in the outpouring of grief at the death of a celebrity. Direct your sympathy where it makes a difference.


A commercial icon is dead. Long live commerce.

-Joe-




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 30 Jan 15 - 11:58 PM

I wasn't a big fan of Rod's own poetry/songs, but liked what he did helping translate some of Brell's songs. Those were a lot edgier than his own compositions. Like I said above listen to his translation of seasons in the sun and forget the top 40 version. I can see why people here didn't like what he did generally. I can think of many musical icons I would not bother to comment uponl




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015)
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 31 Jan 15 - 06:51 AM

Interesting article on McKuen at Poetry Foundation, click here.




Subject: RE: Obit: Rod McKuen - Poet, Songwriter (1933-2015
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 31 Jan 15 - 11:32 AM

His "translation" of Le Moribond is anything but edgy. The chorus is mindless pap.

We had joy. We had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the song and the rhyme
Were just seasons out of time.

Brel wrote:
Je veux qu'on rie, je veux qu'on danse
Je veux qu'on s'amuse comme des fous
Je veux qu'on rie, je veux qu'on danse
Quand c'est qu'on me mettra dans le trou

Which could be rendered - but not as poetically - as:
Let them laugh, let them dance
Let them sing and clown around
Let them laugh and let them dance
When they plant me in the ground.


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