Warren Zevon sings Bob Dylan songs

“This is a song by my hero”
– Warren Zevon (intro to Dark Eyes in Cleveland, 2000)

“Buffett I guess. Lightfoot. Warren Zevon. Randy. John Prine. Guy Clark. Those kinds of writers.”
– Bob Dylan (on his favourite songwriters)


Let’s listen to Warren Zevon’s renditions of Bob Dylan’s songs. He has done quite a few and they are wonderful.

We found 6 Dylan songs in his repertoire, if there are more, please tell us in the comments.

“’Lawyers, Guns and Money’. ‘Boom Boom Mancini’. ‘Down hard stuff’.” And then he adds, “‘Join me in LA’ sort of straddles the line between heartfelt and primeval. His musical patterns are all over the place, probably because he’s classically trained. There might be three separate songs within a Zevon song, but they’re all effortlessly connected. Zevon was a musician’s musician, a tortured one. ‘Desperado Under the Eaves.’ It’s all in there.”
– Bob Dylan on what he likes about Warren Zevon (Huffington post)

Let us start with Warren’s last Dylan song, his heart breaking performance of Knocking on Heavens Door.


Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see
I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Warren Zevon – Knocking on heavens door (audio):

During the sessions for Zevon’s 1987 album ”Sentimental Hygiene,” Bob Dylan showed up one day. ”When I walked into the studio and they said, ‘Bob Dylan’s here,’ I said, ‘Why?’ ‘To see you.’ ” Zevon pauses. ”That’s worth a million records to me.”

Warren Zevon in the studio recording “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” with Billy Bob Thorton and friends.

As Stephen Lyme, Zevon cut two singles with Fairfax High classmate Violet “cybelle” Santangelo for White Whale as duo Lyme and Cybelle. The A-side to the second was a cover of Bob Dylan’s “If You Gotta Go, Go Now”:

Dark Eyes:
Oh, the gentlemen are talking and the midnight moon is on the riverside
They’re drinking up and walking and it is time for me to slide
I live in another world where life and death are memorized
Where the earth is strung with lovers’ pearls and all I see are dark eyes

Warren Zevon – Dark Eyes (Live in Cleveland, OH, 2000):

Chimes of freedom:
Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Warren Zevon – Chimes Of Freedom (Philadelphia PA, 2000):

All along the watchtower:
“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth”

Warren Zevon – All Along The Watchtower (Aspen CO, 1996):

Ring them bells:
Ring them bells, ye heathen
From the city that dreams
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
’Cross the valleys and streams
For they’re deep and they’re wide
And the world’s on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride

Warren Zevon – Ring Them Bells (Live in Denver CO, 1996):



– Hallgeir & Egil

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