Warren Zevon is probably my favorite songwriter. I dig his classic hits, which always inject bitter humor, like “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” and “Werewolves,” but I also like his lesser known ironies, like “Something Bad Happened to a Clown” and “Rottweiler Blues.” I also appreciate his tender moments, like “The French Inhaler” and “Tenderness on the Block,” as well as his barnstorming blues cuts, like “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” and “Piano Fighter.” All of it is good.
But I rarely post on the man. So, today, it’s Zevon rarities day! His birthday was January 24, so I missed it by about a week, but whatever.
These are all live bootleg tracks, of various levels of quality, that I hope you’ll enjoy. All tracks below are by the WZ, unless otherwise noted.
A is for All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan). A bit long and rambling, but I really like what he does with it. It’s much more like a Bob Dylan cover than a cover of the Jimi Hendrix version, which is what most folks do.
B is for Warren’s long-time friend Jackson B. Mohammed’s Radio w/Jackson Browne
C is for Comes a Time (with Neil Young)
D is for Don’t Let Us Get Sick. An example of sensitive Warren, a beautiful song, and one of the first times it was ever performed.
F is for First We Take Manhattan.
G is for guns and gats. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. This isn’t a rare song, but I do love it.
H is for Purple Haze (Hendrix)
J is for Stop Breaking Down (Robert Johnson)
K is for knives, son! Mack the Knife. Yeah, Warren likes show tunes, too.
L is for Lakes Of Pontchartrain. A true rarity, this is the only live performance of this song (that I’m aware of).
M is for masturbation. Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol cover).
N is for a Neil duet! Splendid Isolation (With Neil Young)
O is for old time rock and roll. Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran)
R is for Ring Them Bells (Bob Dylan cover)
S is for Surfin’ USA (Beach Boys cover)
T is for The Boss! Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen). Not great quality, but it’s worth a listen.
U is for unpronouncable symbol. Rasberry Beret (Prince) (Actually, the little purple guy did this while he was Prince, which he is again, but whatever.)
V is for Why Can’t This Be Love? (Van Halen)
XYZ is for W again. What’s New Pussycat?
Download these and play ’em all night long.