Tag Archives: Warren Zevon

Enjoy Every Sandwich – Warren Zevon and his Werewolves of London

28 Sep

In yesterday’s post, Aaron mentioned Warren Zevon and included an embedded video of Zevon’s most well known song, “Werewolves of London.” The sardonic and hilarious song was released on Zevon’s breakout album Excitable Boy in 1978 and it reached the #21 spot on the American Top 40 charts in mid-1978. “Werewolves of London” was Zevon’s only appearance on the chart, but let’s ignore popularity charts and just discuss the wonder that was Warren Zevon and the utmost joy that others will always have when they listen to “Werewolves of London” and any of his other lyrical masterpieces.

Zevon’s grasp on lyrics was strikingly apt and vivid. David Letterman, who was Zevon’s good friend before Zevon died of cancer in 2003, described his music as “evocative,” and I think that is a good adjective to use. Zevon’s folk was not classic, but edgy. His lyrics were unconventional and enjoyably morose. He also had the ability to turn off the playful and upbeat hits and bathe listeners with soft melody and heartbreaking lyrics. The man truly had it all and his talent is often overlooked. And it is a shame that Zevon had a life-long aversion to doctors. He died at the young age of 56.

“Enjoy every sandwich” comes from Zevon’s last appearance on Letterman. Like I mentioned, he developed a close relationship with Letterman and band-leader Paul Shaffer. So much so, that Zevon would often fill in for Shaffer when Shaffer was unable to perform during the show. On Zevon’s last appearance on Letterman, when his sure-death prognosis was already known, Letterman asked him if he knew more about life and death now that he practically knew that death was an immediate certainty. Zevon said, “enjoy every sandwich,” a simple, but profound response that fit his character well. Zevon was Letterman’s only guest for the full hour and he performed several songs. The day after Zevon’s death (months later), Letterman annouced the sad news to the national audience:

I’ve written about Zevon before on this blog. The Wind, the last album he recorded prior to his death, is a tour de force. Zevon performances are invigorating and “Keep me in your Heart” is a tear-jerker. But, since I have already written about those songs before, I want to feature “Werewolves of London,” a song that has a “surprising fact.”

The song has been covered SEVERAL times, but that is not the surprising fact. Accompanying Zevon on the song is bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac fame. I always thought that was an interesting tidbit of knowledge. To finish off this Zevon post, I am going to include a cover of “Werewolves of London.” Take it away Adam Sandler:

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Better Not Let Him In: Singer Songwriters

27 Sep

Mentioning singer songwriters conjures images of a single player sitting down behind a piano or strumming an acoustic guitar.  I think of James Taylor singing “Fire and Rain” or Jackson Browne on “These Days” or even Ray Charles behind his piano on “Georgia on My Mind“.  Often stripped down to barest bones, deeply personal and even slightly narcissistic, traditional singer songwriters seemed to be one man (or woman) bands.  But let’s say you’re in the mood for some singer songwriters that bring some more instrumentation to the table.  Well prepare to be amazed.

Sometimes it’s hard to separate where Bruce Springsteen ends and his E Street band begin.  Sure there was that one forgettable period in the 90s when Springsteen disbanded the group to try it solo, but it seems like that period is in the past.  Listen to Born to Run and learn why Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is an American institution.

If you really want an in depth look at Warren Zevon, I’m not the one to give it.  I’ve only be listening to the guy for less than a week.  But the guy has impressive singer songwriter chops.  Like really impressive because not only does he get up close and personal (in Don’t Let Us Get Sick), but also he has a sense of humor.

Here’s a guy who I wasn’t sure where to put.  Jeff Buckley’s music certainly contains elements of, for lack of a better term,  singer songerwriter-ness. That being said, he doesn’t really fit into folk or any other category for that matter.  His only album before his untimely death, Grace, was a masterpiece, including the best version of the classic Hallelujah ever  but I’m going to go with his “Lover You Should Have Come Over” to showcase Buckley’s own songwriting talents.

I’m Not Dead Yet

23 Aug

Thank you Monty Python. As you have noticed, I have not posted in a few days. I just want to assure you that I’m not dead yet, and contrary to public opinion, I will not be soon. You see, I’ve just been busy lately and this has thwarted me from posting. I know, real sob story. Seriously, though, I love posting. I take enjoyment in having the ability to bring you quality posts about good music. Quality is the key word there. Can I post everyday? Yes, a quick video and a “this song is good” can get me five posts a day. But I believe that every post should have some value, even if it is a brief reminder that I am not dead, just busy.

Tomorrow night may be the death of me, actually. Okay, that is an over-exaggeration. After work, I am joining my sister and mother to view an American Idol concert. Yeah, the post-TV live concerts the group of singers put on for fans of the show. I plan on writing a review for the blog, so hold tight. Look, I enjoy American Idol. It has become understandably predictable and somewhat trite, but I still watch it religiously every season. Perhaps it is because the show has become a family activity. Or, maybe there is something inherently wrong with me. Either or. What I do know is that I am interested in seeing the concert tomorrow.

Also, I have another concert review to write. So, expect two concert reviews in the upcoming days. I hope to get them both out this week. Before I slip off to dreamworld, I do want to leave you with a song. I was going to post a clever song about being busy, but when I thought of potential songs all I could think of posting to the blog is:

Random, right? There is something about this Warren Zevon song that always has worked for me. Perhaps it is his subtle humor. Maybe it is simply the fact that it is a great song with great lyrics. Heck, it did spark a movie title. You know what I do know?

“LeRoy says there’s something you should know
Not everybody has a place to go
And home is just a place to hang your head
And dream of things to do in Denver when you’re dead”

Somehow that makes a whole lot of sense. Okay, a lot of Zevon sense!

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