Warren Zevon: Preludes (Elite)

 |   |  1 min read

Warren Zevon: Don't Let Us Get Sick
Warren Zevon: Preludes (Elite)

Among the very few autographs of stars that I have is one sent to me, unsolicited, by Warren Zevon after I'd interviewed him.

On it he wrote: "To Graham. Good luck!"

Given Zevon was something of a dark and mischievious character I wondered if that "good luck" suggested he might know of something disconcerting lurking in my future.

When he died of lung cancer in 2003 there was an outpouring of obituaries saluting his bent genius as a man out of his zone.

He was an LA singer-songwriter but the flipside of guys like James Taylor and Jackson Browne, an altogether much darker type who is best known for his quirky hits Werewolves of London and Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. He also wrote hits for Linda Ronstadt (Hasten Down the Wind, Poor Poor Pitiful Me), grappled with alcoholism and depression, collaborated with Springsteen and most of REM, was friends with Hunter S Thompson, and was sometimes the band leader on The David Letterman Show.

When diagnosed with cancer he was asked by Letterman what insight he had gained and he memorably said, "Enjoy every sandwich".

Zevon was a sardonic character and that comes through in his songs, along with considerable humour.

This exceptional double-disc is a result of Zevon's son Jordan cleaning out some storage areas and coming on boxes of previously unheard songs and demos. The first disc here is 16 songs, six of them unreleased and among the others are a wild demo of Werewolves of London, and early takes on Poor Poor Pitiful Me (rockin' out), Carmelita, Accidentally Like A Martyr and Hasten Down the Wind.

The second disc is an interesting interview session with two songs (I Was in the House When the House Burned Down, Back in the High Life from the Life'll Kill Ya album) and ends with a previously unreleased solo acoustic version of Don't Let Us Get Sick.

Further evidence of Zevon's genius.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Jerry Jeff Walker: Jerry Jeff Walker, Expanded Edition (Raven)

Jerry Jeff Walker: Jerry Jeff Walker, Expanded Edition (Raven)

First released in 1972 and only now available on CD (here expanded with  five extra songs including a 2002 version of his classic Mr Bojangles), this album was one which introduced Texan... > Read more

Carla Dal Forno: Look Up Sharp (Kallista/digital outlets)

Carla Dal Forno: Look Up Sharp (Kallista/digital outlets)

Melbourne-born and Berlin-based Carla Dal Forno is very much the independent artist we expect to hear from in the 21stcentury: drawing from tasting notes of pop history (depressive 4AD artists,... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Downliners Sect: The Sect (1964)

Downliners Sect: The Sect (1964)

Some people live interesting lives . . . but when it comes time to check out their timing is appalling: the author Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, The Doors of Perception) died the same day John F... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; Greatest Hits

THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; Greatest Hits

It surely has to be conceded that, with very few exceptions these past 20 years, the best stuff Neil Young has released has come from his archives. Too many slapdash, bang 'em out in the studio... > Read more