Yeah, like that ever happened. However, I had a deep interest in all things McKuen at an early age, the poetry, the tunes he penned and his decidedly handsome face. One of my first encounters with his work was in 1975 when I was making runs for a coffee shop. A charming man of some notoriety, answered the door over on Washington Place. Naked as could be he was, and judging from the smell of some quality weed and the jug in his hand, he was also half spaced. He told me to come in, I declined, and he gave what would become for me a familiar growl and said for me to wait there (like where the fuck else was I going to go, I needed the payment and more than that, the tip). As I waited, his mystical music played in the background, the scratchies from too many passes under the phonograph needle having their say; but still, his raspy baritone voice providing comfort as it called above the scratch. So, he returns a few moments later (felt like an eternity), and shoves some wrinkled papers in my hand, three slimy fives and five moist singles, the bill had been for eleven and change, I tried to push it back. He told me that he knew delivery people needed the cash and to take it. I did and I did. I thanked him and started off, he asked me to wait, and disappeared again, came back almost immediately and handed me 4 books by Rod McKuen. I stood there confused, and the confusion spread upon my face as I took them. "Read them son." he gurgled as a roger of phlegm caught in his throat. He started towards me, his hand reaching and landing on my shoulder. I took off fast. In the next days and weeks, I read the books and then read them again. This McKuen fellow was good and I don't even usually like poetry. So began my love affair (at a distance) with Rod McKuen.