Watch Warren Zevon’s Awesome Performance of “My Shit’s Fucked Up” @ Later.. With Jools Holland in 2000

On May 14, 2000 …Zevon appeared as a musical guest on the long-running BBC TV music variety series Later . . . with Jools Holland, where he performed a deep track from the new album—the frank, foreboding, and funny “My Shit’s Fucked Up.”

Shadowy and sparse musically and visually, the lurking live rendition of “My Shit’s Fucked Up” is unequivocally one of Zevon’s most captivating solo performances, electric or acoustic; one that would ironically accumulate significant emotional consequence. The song, the album, and Zevon’s peripheral performance became prophetic, unknowingly setting a haunting tone for his next three years and records.
-George Plasketes (Warren Zevon: Desperado of Los Angeles)

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Listen: Warren Zevon @ Tower Theater, Philadelphia, PA – April 22, 1980

…. this performance captures a classic Warren Zevon show, when many believe he was at the height of his creative prowess. Near the start of the show, Zevon steps up to the microphone and exclaims: “It’s great to be back in Philadelphia… And it’s great to be in a rock and roll band!” Then, he launches into a blistering version of his hit, “Excitable Boy,” with all the bravado of a pool hall punk. A song about a high school age sociopath’s murderous prom night, this is a prime example of Zevon’s extremely macabre outlook. Later in the show, he reminds the audience: “This is one of the best audiences I have ever seen; I may go berserk!”
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Tower Theater
Philadelphia, PA
April 22, 1980

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Listen: Warren Zevon – Classic Concert @ Auditorium le Plateau (Montreal, Quebec) – July 30, 1978

This performance, recorded in 1978 after the release of Excitable Boy, captures that pivotal moment in time, just as Zevon was riding up the hit single charts with “Werewolves of London.” His band is a bit ragged and Zevon’s vocals are certainly an acquired taste, but his spirit and performance more than makes up for any weaknesses. Fans of that breakthrough album will be delighted here, as that material weighs heavy in this performance.
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Auditorium le Plateau
Montreal, Quebec
July 30, 1978

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August 26: Warren Zevon Released His Last Album The Wind in 2003

warren-zevon-the-wind-front-945x945

“Timor mortis conturbat me.
It’s from a medieval Scottish poem by William Dunbar,
It means, ‘The fear of death just fucks me up’”
– Warren Zevon (told to The Guardian, and roaring with laughter)

Warren Zevon died in 2003 aged 56, he was noted for his black humour and dry wit; he never had the big commercial success he deserved. He was highly regarded by critics and music lovers (and musicians), you could say he enjoyed a cult following. He should have been big.

“This was a nice deal: life.”
– Warren Zevon

Two weeks before he died of lung cancer, he released one of his best albums, The Wind.

“It’s hard to say if he’s being sincere or darkly witty with his cover of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” though he manages to make it work both ways.”
– Mark Deming (allmusic)

When diagnosed with lung cancer, he said: “I feel the opposite of regret. I was the hardest-living rocker on my block for a while. I was a malfunctioning rummy for a while and running away for a while. Then for 18 years I was a sober dad of some amazing kids. Hey, I feel like I’ve lived a couple of lives.”

The diagnose did in his own words, lead him into one of the most intense and creative periods of his life. Many of his more famous friend came to lend a hand on the record, including Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Emmylou Harris, Don Henley, Ry Cooder, Billy Bob Thornthon, Jim Keltner, David Lindley, T-Bone Burnett, Joe Walsh and Dwight Yoakam. None of them taking the show from Warren Zevon, he is so clearly in control of his last creation. It is not a big bombastic farewell, it is a guy who enjoys making a record with a bunch of his friends. It feels better, more right!

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January 24: The great late Warren Zevon was born in 1947

All the salty margaritas in Los Angeles
I’m gonna drink ’em upAnd if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill
~Warren Zevon (Desperados Under the Eaves)

Few of rock & roll’s great misanthropes were as talented, as charming, or as committed to their cynicism as Warren Zevon.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Live in Passaic NJ, 1982 (The Full Concert):

BF: Who are some of your favorite songwriters?
Bob Dylan: Buffett I guess. Lightfoot. Warren Zevon. Randy. John Prine. Guy Clark. Those kinds of writers.
~Bob Dylan (to Huffington Post – May 2009)

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January 18: Warren Zevon released Excitable Boy in 1978

“The further these songs get from Ronstadtland, the more I like them. The four that exorcise male psychoses by mock celebration are positively addictive, the two uncomplicated rockers do the job, and two of the purely “serious” songs get by. But no one has yet been able to explain to me what “accidentally like a martyr” might mean–answers dependent on the term “Dylanesque” are not acceptable–and I have no doubt that that’s the image Linda will home in on. After all, is she going to cover the one about the headless gunner? A-”
– Robert Christgau

Excitable Boy is the third album by Warren Zevon, it was released in 1978. It includes the top 40 success “Werewolves of London”. The album brought Warren to commercial attention and remains the best-selling album of his career. A remastered and expanded edition was released during 2007.

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