Amoeblog

Prolific Poet/Songwriter Rod McKeun Leaves Behind Large Body Of Work

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2015 07:34am | Post a Comment

In honor of Oakland, CA born American poet/spoken word artist/songwriter Rod McKuen, who died yesterday at age 81 following weeks of been treated for pneumonia, I go digging at Amoeba Music for a sampling of the world's best selling poet's body of work.  Ever prolific, especially from the late sixties up until the beginning of the 80's when he took an extended sabbatical, McKuen was once a ubiquitous and seemingly unstoppable part of American popular culture.

As such the distinctively throaty sounding artist released an incredible number of albums (over 200 LPs of which many are still available at Amoeba - mostly in original vinyl format), wrote hundreds upon hundreds of poems, published dozens of books that would sell over sixty million copies (hence why he was the best selling poet ever), and a slew of songs that would be covered/interpreted by such high profile stars as Dolly Parton (they even collaborated in a music and poetry duo on the song "Feelings"), and Frank Sinatra ("Night," "If You Go Away" which was written with the Belgian composer Jacques Brel). In fact Ole Blue Eyes, who was a major fan of his work, even commissioned McKuen to pen content for A Man Alone: The Words and Music of Rod McKuen.

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A Perfect Day - Patti Smith at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 4, 2007 07:25pm | Post a Comment
patti smith
I can't believe this happened. I
still have goosebumps. Patti Smith, live at Amoeba.

I also can't believe she chose to do some of the very songs that have held me close in safety these past few years: "Gimme Shelter." "Perfect Day." "Hel
pless." That's weird and beautiful, scary too ... thank you, Patti Smith.

I thought after meeting Tina Turner, I could just die. Hey, life doesn't get any better
than th
at! Climax! Then Joan Baez did an instore at Leopold Records in Berkeley, and I got to meet her as well. Of course I thought: now I can die. Zenith! (I am aware that this is not healthy thinking, okay?)

Those were the records that I listened to as a child -- these were the wo
men who saved my life. How many chances do you get to look someone in the eye who stormed the world and demanded change, and damn well GOT THE CHANGE? How many chances does a person get to thank them -- in person?

But if you're digging back in the crates of time, you can't ignore that one Saturday night on NBC, I was maybe about 8 years old ... The Patti Smith Group performed. All of a sudden, I knew this was a world that I could live in, I could thrive.