Don’t Spare the Rod

Rod McKuen, adopted for a time as poet laureate of the boomer generation, is 77 today.

McKuen is a co-conspirator in inflicting one of the worst pop songs of our generation on our eustachian tubes.  But as it turns out, “Seasons in the Sun” has a more complex history than what came out of Terry Jacks’ mouth in 1974. 

This is a really weird video of Jacks lip syncing a duet with his younger self.

Stay tuned for Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods singing “Billy Don’t Be A Hero.”


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
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20 Responses to Don’t Spare the Rod

  1. Kevin says:

    I’m convinced this man is Dennis DeYoung’s doppelgänger.

  2. richb says:

    So unfair that he got to keep that wonderful head of hair.

  3. OK, I admit it. I was a big Rod McKuen fan. For years I looked for a CD in record stores: McKuen’s collaboration with Anita Kerr and the San Sebastian Strings on ” The Sea. ” Sappy as hell. Sentimentally ill. But I played the album over and over when I was a young airman stationed in the then honky tonk beach town, Myrtle Beach, SC. I imagined myself then of being some day the kind of guy McKuen wrote about on ” The Sea. ” A drifter who’s a sucker for beach towns and their bars. Looking in all the wrong places for the love of his life. Just after moving here ( 25 miles north of Myrtle Beach ) we( The love of my life, whom I met in a bar ) were in a consignment shop. It had about 20 CDs on a shelf. I flipped through them, and there it was: ” The Sea. ”

    I was shipped off to England after my year and a half in MB. Some buddies and I went to a concert at the London Palladium. Rod McKuen. At one point, McKuen asked the crowd to sing along with one of his songs. I can’t for the life of me recall which song it was. It might have been ” Seasons in the Sun. ”

    Among the many albums he did, ” Live At The London Palladium ” is one of them. If you listen carefully, you might hear my voice among those who sang along with the song.

    Happy Birthday Rod McKuen

    • Gerry says:

      As it turns out, the lyrics to “Seasons in the Sun” he translated from Jacques Brel’s composition were much darker than what ended up on the Terry Jacks version.
      I just can’t help thinking of that damn song when I see his name.
      I’m sure his legacy is, and will be, much greater.

  4. Kevin says:

    this guy is so soft he makes Bread seem like Metallica.

  5. rick says:

    Gerry, Never mind the lip syncing. What about the weirdbots waving fiberoptic wands in the air. Hopefully they were paid to do that.

  6. rick says:

    Terrence, I have an old copy of “The Night Chicago Died” that you are more than welcome to have. Yuck!!

  7. James says:

    Rod was never a poet, in the true sense of the word, but he did have a way of expressing feelings that most of us couldn’t verbalize.

    When I returned home from ‘Nam I could relate to the alienation that he spoke of in Stanyon Street and Other Sorrows. I would read a verse or two from that book and somehow didn’t feel quite so alone.

    He also opened the door to poetry for me (and I imagine for many others as well). And while he will never be seriously compared to Frost, Wordsworth or Keats – he helped me to understand that poetry could be something more than a dreaded high school English assignment.

    So Happy Birthday, Rod – I forgive you for your excess.

  8. Rick

    The Yo La Tengo version’s to die for.

    and I just heard from my friend, Fred, who was at the London Palladium with me that night. We’d had about 10 pints of beer at a pub in Soho before we had our tickets taken at the Palladium. Fred reminded me that it was a Rod STEWART concert.

    There WAS a resemblance.

  9. Linda says:

    Gerry –

    You’re killing me! I was 12 years old when Seasons in the Sun came out – and loved it. AND – don’t get me started on Billy Don’t Be a Hero!!!!

    Ha ha ha – nothing like a cherished walk down memory lane on a sunny Friday morning!

    Have a great day!


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