Scott McKenzie has died. As a face book friend of Scott I was one of 5150 of his best buddies, he called us his Asylumites. We bantered with Scott as he battled his illness, suffering the last couple of years with Guillaine-Barre syndrome, a disease of the nervous system. He had been sick the last several weeks and in and out of the hospital. He died on Saturday night.
He was person who even while he was suffering was busy making others feel better, goofing around and sharing his thoughts. He had nightmares and sometimes shared those with us all, sometimes they were all just too mixed up and weird to make anything out of them, but all the while he was just being a real person. I had connected with him on facebook through other musicians and did not know him personally.
I was still in grade school when he was writing his San Francisco song. I always loved it and sang it all the time. That song had an enduring quality and many people have sung it over and over since it first appeared on the scene. One year in 2002, a group of people sang it at the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington D.C. It was a song that spoke to so many of us, it signified that war era to us and all the anti war protests.
Here is what he said about himself on his facebook info page.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. - Abraham Maslow
The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.
So now I've got this messy lawn, scattered all over with housecleaning products. Damn.
Reclusive septuagenarian. I live with a 15 year old cat named Spider in Silverlake, which is in Los Angeles. I spend lots of time on the internet, mainly researching all sorts of things - I can't recall how I spent my time before Google. I was a professional singer for years, had a 1967 hit called "If You're Going to San Francisco, Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair". I sang at The Monterey Pop Festival. I've lived In New York City; Laurel Canyon; San Francisco; Virginia Beach. I cherish my friends, many of whom have passed on. This trend shows no signs of abating.
Here are some of his last posts on facebook:
someone? PLEASE make copies, before it's too late. JUST DO IT, SAVE IT, SEND IT SOMEWHERE TO SOMEONE WHO WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH IT. BLESS YOU, NOW AND FOREVER. I LOVE YOU!!!!
Scott McKenzie on July 23 2012
( I took this post as him wanting someone to record all of his facebook writings and all the things that others had posted ,for someone to read in the future.)
Hail and hello, my beloved fellow Asylumites. I am home from the hospital. Grateful, but every cell in my body hurts, and I'm exhausted, so I'm off to bed to rest. I just wanted to thank all of you for your love, prayers, good thoughts and positive vibes. You know - LOVE. That's all for now. Bless you all!
Dr Mcfrenzie, signing off. August 15 2012
Scott McKenzie on July 18 (he died on this day)
I'm off to see how few items I can buy at Vons. This is the first "typical" facebook post I've ever made, and I feel just terrible about it. I tried my best to stop myself, but my fingers had tiny minds of their own and pulled the rest of me with them to the keyboard, where they began to type feverishly.
I don't know what's happening; maybe it was something I ate? I mean, who cares if I'm going to a store, much less how few items I'll try to buy?
Oh sure, if I had said I was on my way to the local sex shop to see how few battery-powered sexual aids I could buy, THEN people would have been interested.
Well, maybe a few.
OK, nobody. But you know what I mean.
Please understand. Please be kind. And please, don't judge me too harshly. OK, here I go; I'm off to purchase a party-sized bag of vibrating oven-baked pita chips.
But, above all: SILLINESS! EXCESSIVE SILLLLLLLINESS!
His niece wrote the following after his death to all of us:
After speaking to Scott day before yesterday as he was being released from the hospital. We talked about the Asylum, how grateful he was for all the support and love he received from all of you. He said the best part about it all was bringing all the people together who not only loved him but loved each other and supported each other. He said he couldn't ask for any greater gift than that. I told him I had been keeping everyone in the asylum updated, and per his request not sharing anything too serious because he didn't want to disrupt the love and joy on these pages. Scott had been in a lot of pain, and this evening his suffering ended. I appreciate everyone who knew waiting to post the news until those closest to him knew of his passing. Uncle Scott, I love you and find peace in the fact that your pain is gone. I will mourn your passing, but I will also celebrate your life as you asked.
January 10, 1939-August 18, 2012
by Jessica Doherty Woods
Some of the "Asylumites" wrote:
After Don Spider died, our Asylamte friend, Leslie Stroz, took the trouble to write out by hand, and send to me, an excerpt from the poem below. When Hans posted the sad news about the death of Sean Jacques's donkey, Pimpernelle, I posted the entire poem on Sean's Wall.
I hope all of you will appreciate this poem as much as I did. Thank you again, Leslie.
James Whitcomb Riley
I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead--. He is just away!
With a cheery smile, and a wave of the hand
He has wandered into an unknown land,
And left us dreaming how very fair
It needs must be, since he lingers there.
And you-- O you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return--,
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There as the love of Here;
And loyal still, as he gave the blows
Of his warrior-strength to his country's foes--.
Mild and gentle, as he was brave--,
When the sweetest love of his life he gave
To simple things--: Where the violets grew
Blue as the eyes they were likened to,
The touches of his hands have strayed
As reverently as his lips have prayed:
When the little brown thrush that harshly chirred
Was dear to him as the mocking-bird;
And he pitied as much as a man in pain
A writhing honey-bee wet with rain--.
Think of him still as the same, I say:
He is not dead-- he is just away!
(This was so worth posting again here today, Don Spider - Cat- died in January 2012)
I never met you Scott. I heard your music and I felt your spirit during those days of uncertainty, war, and turbulence. You did shine like a star. ..and your music brought peace to us all. You are a star. ...and we all will always see you shining as long as we all live.
Rest In Peace, Scott McKenzie.
-Rick White, former singer for The Human Beinz-
The story that I loved the most about his Joshua Tree days, because it made me laugh picturing it, went like this: (sorry if I'm fuzzy on details):
Scott and Gram (Parsons) were sitting around one day in Scott's efficiency (#11). Drinking red wine, doing some songwriting, guitars out. Scott's cat had caught, and was playing with, a scorpion. Gram, loaded, thought of an uncle in Florida who studied insects (can't think of the technical term he used). Decided he'd send the scorpion to the uncle. Scott, equally loaded, thought it a brilliant idea. The two of them got a box, punched air holes in it, put the scorpion inside on a bed of sand, went to the Joshua Tree Post Office - and proceeded to mail the box to the Uncle. Scott didn't remember hearing of the Uncle's reaction. (!!!!) He still had the song lyrics he and Gram wrote that day, on lined notebook paper.
Kathleen Marie Brennen
Scott. You were a true gentleman in every sense of the word. i am speechless.. just got on. Your box of birds, they will still fly for you. Thank you for being so kind. Thank you for being so smart and not rubbing it in peoples faces. Thank you for being so humble. Thank you for being so funny. thank you for having and sharing an astoundingly beautiful voice. Just, thank you Scott. You were truly loved by all of us. My heartfelt condolences go out to Scott's family. A truly wonderful man can NEVER be forgotten. i can't see the keys. I wonder if you and John and Denny and Cass are all putting on some incredible show. God is smiling. i am crying. Oh dear, dear man.
Lisa Hyde Boland
MEMO from the desk of Don Spider
To: The Asylum
From: Don Spider
Asylumates, sorry for your loss, but I needed the old fart up here. Sure, clouds are cushy, but I hadn’t had a good night’s sleep since I left Scott’s armpit. Besides, I still haven’t worked out the communication glitches between heaven and earth, and Scott and his snitch seem to have some psychic link that should facilitate my messages.
And Scott? He’s out of pain. He had his first good night’s sleep since I’ve known him. So good, in fact, that he kept the ladies in the seraglio up all night with his snores. Why, we had to have a party just to cover up the racket.
MEMO from the desk of God
To: Doctor McFrenzie aka Scott
RE: Don Spider
Do something about your CAT!
DAMMIT Scott! I wasn't ready for this...selfishly, I miss you, I love you and want you here...but, I'm so glad your pain is gone, your dream demons are gone, and you are at peace. I'm glad you are reunited with Don Spider, and you are laughing and singing with the cherished friends that you have missed for so long. As always, I'm sending you lot's of love and big hugs, Doc. I'll cherish all the friendships I have made here, thanks to you. I'll laugh thinking of your humor, I'll smile thinking of your kind heart and how much you cared about your Asylumates. A beautiful legacy for a beautiful man. ♥ Will Mason
Such incredibly sad news... I always loved reading your posts here on Facebook, Scott. They were quirky, daft, poignant, always full of love, and they made me smile every single time without fail. It's not going to be the same without you. You created a beautiful group here with your FB page, free from hate and prejudice, free from politics, just full of love and people sharing good times. Sleep well, Dr. McFrenzie. Love from a proud Asylumite. xxDamian Madison
And so now, "go gently into that (great) good night" * where there are no nightmares, no pain, just chords of lovely music wafting on the air, and tones of chimes so voice like, and flowers, flowers in your hair. Soon we will all be there. Until that time of great reunion, the songs you sang will play in our heads on special days, when we want to feel together again(or they just pop in to jog us on the path) with
Spider, and everyone else together again, singing in the great chorus of