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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Warren Zevon

Warren Zevon was born this day in 1947. He sang of werewolves and bad men. "Send lawyers, guns and money. The shit has hit the fan." Two sentences that pretty much sums up the 1980s. My favorite, probably not surprisingly, is his classic, Werewolves of London.

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's Going to get himself a big dish of beef chow mein Werewolves of London If you hear him howling around your kitchen door Better not let him in Little old lady got mutilated late last night Werewolves of London again Werewolves of London He's the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair Better stay away from him He'll rip your lungs out, Jim I'd like to meet his tailor Werewolves of London Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen Doing the I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen Doing the I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's His hair was perfect Werewolves of London Draw blood
Zevon also wrote this horrific gem, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner:
Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun With a Thompson gun for hire, fighting to be done The deal was made in Denmark on a dark and stormy day So he set out for Biafra to join the bloody fray Through sixty-six and seven they fought the Congo war With their fingers on their triggers, knee-deep in gore For days and nights they battled the Bantu to their knees They killed to earn their living and to help out the Congolese Roland the Thompson gunner... His comrades fought beside him - Van Owen and the rest But of all the Thompson gunners, Roland was the best So the CIA decided they wanted Roland dead That son-of-a-bitch Van Owen blew off Roland's head Roland the headless Thompson gunner Norway's bravest son (Time, time, time For another peaceful war But time stands still for Roland 'Til he evens up the score) They can still see his headless body stalking through the night In the muzzle flash of Roland's Thompson gun In the muzzle flash of Roland's Thompson gun Roland searched the continent for the man who'd done him in He found him in Mombassa in a barroom drinking gin Roland aimed his Thompson gun - he didn't say a word But he blew Van Owen's body from there to Johannesburg Roland the headless Thompson gunner... The eternal Thompson gunner still wandering through the night Now it's ten years later but he still keeps up the fight In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun And bought it.
The Essential Ghoul's Record Shelf has this terrific post from July 5, 2005 on Zevon. Tip of the hat to Maryscott.


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