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All Time Greatest Warren Zevon Song

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Mr. Naron

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Happy all Hallow's Eve! 

One of the most ubiquitous songs played on this night is Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London. Great song. Been around for a loooong time. I had the single on 45 when I was a strapping boy of eight. And that's the thing about Zevon: his appeal could be summed up by answering the question 'What songs do men eight to eighty want to hear?". The B-side to Werewolves was Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. Question answered.

Zevon had an instinct for adventure in his songs. He didn't go the Iron Maiden route, a route I also love dearly, by making the music itself fit the action. Don't get me wrong, it rocked in it's own way. But it didn't rely on volume and speed. Sure, he wrote about anti-heroes, not my favorite subject, but it was still unapologetically masculine. He was the John Milius of singer-songwriters if you will.

And speaking of singer-songwriters, Zevon never reached the chart topping heights of his British counterpart, Elton John. If you look at early album covers of Zevon, you can tell the record company was trying to sell him as America's version of Elton. But Warren Zevon was a singer-songwriter, whereas Elton had the great Bernie Taupin writing his lyrics. I'm going to say that makes Warren better than Elton. Fight me.

I've been through most of his catalog, but I'm hoping some of you older farts will find me something new.

 

Here's my top five. Notice Werewolves isn't there. It's a great song, so image how much better the top five is!

1. Desperados Under the Eaves

2. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

3. Lawyers, Guns, and Money (Bonus Hank Williams Jr. Cover)

4. Veracruz

5. Hit Somebody

 

My Mind is Clean

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Severian

Posted

Good ones, I'd also add "Excitable Boy" to the list.

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Great song. A good example of his subject matter being unique. Excitable Boy=serial killer.

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Wm. Blackstone Smithee

Posted

Definitely Werewolves.

I really really WANTED to like "Lawyers Guns and Money" just because of the subject. But it just kinda fell flat to me, I dunno why.

And FWIW, I am (almost)  positive that the phrase "send Lawyers, Guns and Money" didn't originate with Zevon because I am (almost) positive I heard it or read it way before his '77 song. Like maybe in a book or article by Kinky Friedman or Hunter Thompson. Tom Robbins, possibly. Or maybe a Doonesbury comic strip. I am (almost) positive of this... But everything on the internet stops at Zevon. Maybe I merely heard/read something very similar.

Besides, it's Halloween. DEFINITELY werewolves.

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5 minutes ago, Dean Adam Smithee said:

Definitely Werewolves.

I really really WANTED to like "Lawyers Guns and Money" just because of the subject. But it just kinda fell flat to me, I dunno why.

And FWIW, I am (almost)  positive that the phrase "send Lawyers, Guns and Money" didn't originate with Zevon because I am (almost) positive I heard it or read it way before his '77 song. Like maybe in a book or article by Kinky Friedman or Hunter Thompson. Tom Robbins, possibly. Or maybe a Doonesbury comic strip. I am (almost) positive of this... But everything on the internet stops at Zevon. Maybe I merely heard/read something very similar.

Besides, it's Halloween. DEFINITELY werewolves.

Well, you always have some strange recollections, like Jim Jones being a right winger. 😂

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9 minutes ago, Dean Adam Smithee said:

Definitely Werewolves.

I really really WANTED to like "Lawyers Guns and Money" just because of the subject. But it just kinda fell flat to me, I dunno why.

And FWIW, I am (almost)  positive that the phrase "send Lawyers, Guns and Money" didn't originate with Zevon because I am (almost) positive I heard it or read it way before his '77 song. Like maybe in a book or article by Kinky Friedman or Hunter Thompson. Tom Robbins, possibly. Or maybe a Doonesbury comic strip. I am (almost) positive of this... But everything on the internet stops at Zevon. Maybe I merely heard/read something very similar.

Besides, it's Halloween. DEFINITELY werewolves.

...and once again ,Fred, you miss it.

Werewolves (there wolves) is definitely not his best song.

I'm partial to Roland, but Severian's right with Excitable Boy.

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24 minutes ago, SARGE said:

...and once again ,Fred, you miss it.

Werewolves (there wolves) is definitely not his best song.

I'm partial to Roland, but Severian's right with Excitable Boy.

For me, I just look at my playlist. Roland is on there. Werewolves isn’t.

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Wm. Blackstone Smithee

Posted

44 minutes ago, SARGE said:

...and once again ,Fred, you miss it.

Werewolves (there wolves) is definitely not his best song.

I'm partial to Roland, but Severian's right with Excitable Boy.

Aw, man, in my best Don Adams from Get Smart voice:

"Missed it by THAT much."

 

 

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Severian

Posted

Don't know if any of you remember the TV show "The Larry Sanders Show." It starred Sanders as himself, he was the host of a late nite talk show, like The Tonight Show. In one episode he had Warren Zevon on, and Zevon's agent said no way, no how, never, ever ask him to play Werewolves Of London, he hates the song now, people won't leave it alone, it's all he hears them ask about. Oh absolutely, yeah, no problem. So Zevon comes on and on the show for his musical number sings some beautiful, poignant ballad. Immediately after he finishes, Sanders gets up and asks him to play Werewolves, gets the whole audience to shriek for him to play it. It was priceless, Zevon sat there at the piano, choking out the song as leadenly and rigidly as possible, all the while glaring at Sanders. If looks could kill Sanders would have left in a basket.

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37 minutes ago, Severian said:

Don't know if any of you remember the TV show "The Larry Sanders Show." It starred Sanders as himself, he was the host of a late nite talk show, like The Tonight Show. In one episode he had Warren Zevon on, and Zevon's agent said no way, no how, never, ever ask him to play Werewolves Of London, he hates the song now, people won't leave it alone, it's all he hears them ask about. Oh absolutely, yeah, no problem. So Zevon comes on and on the show for his musical number sings some beautiful, poignant ballad. Immediately after he finishes, Sanders gets up and asks him to play Werewolves, gets the whole audience to shriek for him to play it. It was priceless, Zevon sat there at the piano, choking out the song as leadenly and rigidly as possible, all the while glaring at Sanders. If looks could kill Sanders would have left in a basket.

I never saw that, but David Letterman was a massive Zevon fan. He was on Letterman’s show a ton of times.

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Severian

Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Mr. Naron said:

I never saw that, but David Letterman was a massive Zevon fan. He was on Letterman’s show a ton of times.

I never got in the habit of watching any of these kinds of shows. For one, they came on too late when I was a working stiff, for another the whole celebrity sits down to chat thing never grabbed me. There was one, however, that I did enjoy, Alan Havey's Night After Night With Alan Havey. It was unique, Havey is a great comedian, and the show was very low key. There was a cheap desk Havey sat at, one chair for a guest the guests were never big celebrities, just more normal people, and he had an "audience of one," which was a pair of movie theater seats behind velvet ropes where one lone person sat. It was all delightfully low key, relaxed, and funny. But I still couldn't stay up and watch it every night or I'd have always been dead on my feet at work. Damned work gets in the way of my TV viewing.

Edited by Severian
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