“I Saw A Werewolf Drinking A Pina Colada At Trader Vics…His Hair Was Perfect”
Thanks to Chet Phillips for this terrific image! Time to celebrate the Author of one of music’s most iconic lines – let’s hear it for Warren Zevon, the Singer/Songwriter of “Werewolves Of London”!
Zevon’s work includes such classic songs as “Werewolves of London”, “Lawyers, Guns and Money”, “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”, “Tenderness On The Block” and “Reconsider Me.”
“I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walkin’ through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was lookin’ for the place called Lee Ho Fooks
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein”
Let’s get right to it: here is the music video for his most famous song, the legendary “Werewolves Of London” from his “Excitable Boy” album:
“Excitable Boy” is a perfect album. Another song was also a big hit, known for very fun, inventive lyrics:
“I went home with a waitress…the way i always do
How was I to know she was with the Russians too?”
“Lawyers, Guns & Money!”
Here’s a great live version performed by Zevon from 1980:
“Send Lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan!”
The “Excitable Boy” album is a masterpiece of pop rock, with intelligent lyrics and great melodies…one of his most beautiful songs from the album is this:
“Accidently Like A Martyr”:
Here’s a great live performance from 1982!
Several other albums followed, but with less commercial success, and after the disappointing reception for “The Envoy”, Asylum Records dropped him from the label, which Zevon discovered only when he read about it in the “Random Notes” gossip column of Rolling Stone!
Zevon re-emerged in 1987 on Virgin Records with the terrific album “Sentimental Hygiene”. The song “Bad Karma” featured R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe on backup vocals, and one of his best ballads is also featured, “Reconsider Me”.
“Every night I come home exhausted
From trying to get along
I need some sentimental hygiene”
Here is the music video for “Sentimental Hygiene”, featuring a blistering guitar solo by Neil Young:
In 1991, Zevon released “Mr. Bad Example”. This album featured the gorgeous pop hit “Searching for a Heart”, which was featured in the film “Grand Canyon.” Here is the music video:
According to Wikipedia, Zevon felt dizzy before playing at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in 2002, and was ultimately diagnosed with inoperable peritoneal mesothelioma (cancer of the abdominal lining that is associated with exposure to asbestos).
Zevon recorded his final album, “The Wind”, with guest appearances by close friends including Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Timothy B. Schmit, Joe Walsh, Billy Bob Thornton, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty and Dwight Yoakam.
Here is his last song, “Keep Me In Your Heart”
“Shadows are falling and I’m running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile
If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile”
On October 30, 2002, Zevon was featured on the Late Show with David Letterman as the only guest for the entire hour. The band played “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” as his introduction. Zevon performed several songs and spoke about his illness.
Here is that interview with David Letterman:
One of Zevon’s most honest comments is when he admits, “I might have made a tactical error in not going to a physician for 20 years.”
“Enjoy Every Sandwich!”
When asked by Letterman if he knew something more about life and death now, he offered his memorable insight on dying:
“Enjoy every sandwich.”
In the green room after the show, Zevon presented Letterman with the guitar that he always used on the show, with a single request: “Here, I want you to have this, take good care of it.”
“Aint no room on board for the insincere”
After Zevon’s death, Letterman replayed the Singer’s “Mutineer”:
Warren Zevon died on September 7, 2003 at the age of 56. “The Wind” was a big hit, and Zevon received five posthumous Grammy nominations, including Song of the Year for the ballad “Keep Me in Your Heart”.
“The Wind” won two Grammys – for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and “Disorder in the House”, Zevon’s duet with Bruce Springsteen, won Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal. These posthumous awards were the first Grammys of Zevon’s career.
Put on any of his albums and you will be in for a treat – and equally great was how supportive David Letterman was to Zevon over the years…
Letterman also has supported Todd Rundgren as well, and here is a look at all of Todd’s appearances on the show over the years:
Let me know your favorite Warren Zevon songs!