Posts Tagged ‘warren zevon’
In the clip above, Crystal Zevon discusses the off beat life of her late husband, Warren Zevon, his inspirations for songs like “Mohammed’s Radio” (below), as chronicled in her book about him “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon“.
Warren Zevon was already a ten-year music industry veteran who had written songs for the Turtles, backed up Phil Everly, done years of session work and been befriended by Jackson Browne by the time he cut this self-titled album for Asylum Records in 1976.
Even though Warren Zevon was on good terms with L.A.’s Mellow Mafia (The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac most notably of these), his songs were quite unlike any of them. Zevon’s music was full of blood, bile, and mean-spirited irony which even Jackson Browne’s production values were unable to disguise. Zevon’s songs were a rogue’s gallery of reckless souls: thieves and gunfighters, ambitious pimps, lonesome junkies, hard-living lunatics, and dastardly womanizers. For all their darkness, Zevon’s songs also possessed a steely intelligence, a sardonic wit, and a sophisticated melodic sense, made certain by the high-priced help who backed him on the album (members of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac).
In late 2008, Rhino Records released a remastered and expanded version of Warren Zevon accompanied by a bonus disc of 15 demos, alternate takes, and live performances of every song from the original release. These early demos confirm that Zevon’s creative vision was clearly evident long before he had the budget to make a “real” album. The 1974 recording of “Carmelita” boasts an extra verse which didn’t make it to its “official” recording. Otherwise, the alternate material is often rougher and less precise than the final cut, which sometimes works in its favor and occasionally does not (yet even the weakest of the archival performances are still quite intriguing).
Of the demos, alternate takes, and live performances, these are indeed newfound treasures:
Carmelita (1974 Demo)
Join Me In L.A. (Take 2, 11-20-75)
Poor Poor Pitiful Me (Alternate Version)
For general interest concerning the relationship between the young Warren Zevon and Howard Kaylan of the Turtles, visit Crystal Zevon’s blog for March 29, 2007.
Why would a successful group like the Turtles grant the B-Side of their single, “Happy Together” to a young upstart like Zevon?
On April 7, 2005, the Internet Archive website received permission from Jordan Zevon for live Warren Zevon shows to be hosted at the Live Music Archive, allowing the free exchange of unreleased live Warren Zevon material from their website.
Jordan also wrote at warrenzevon.com:
To any and all at archive.org. Please allow our members to trade thier live recordings on your site….
As long as there is no charge for exchanging these files, we support trading unreleased live material.
Available on these live concerts are many excellent blues covers, covers of other notable California singer-songwriters songs, jazz standards, unreleased original material, as well as unique versions of other well known Warren Zevon songs from his turbulent career.
from Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK, 25 January 1988, “Sentimental Hygiene”:
from The Shadow, Kansas City, MO, 20 November 1990, “Stop Breaking Down” and “One Woman Man”:
from Raul’s Roadside Attraction, Portland, ME, 30 November 1988, “Travelin’ Riverside Blues” and “Trouble”:
from The Warehouse, Rochester, NY, 26 November 1988, “Drop Down Mama”:
from Unknown Venue, Atlanta, Georgia, 15 Jun 1993, “Renegade”:
At present, there are 74 live Warren Zevon shows in the archive from which to choose, ranging from radio broadcasts, from which rare bootlegs such as ‘The Offender Meets the Pretender’ (with Jackson Browne) first originated, audience tapes, and soundboard tapes. The Live Music Archive currently has 53,712 concert recordings from 3,113 independent artists, as well as more established artists and musical ensembles with permissive rules about recording their concerts such as the Grateful Dead, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Ween.
Jordan Zevon, son of the late Warren Zevon, has just released his debut album entitled, Insides Out, from New West Records. Sure, there are bound to be comparisons with the old man. Especially with his cover of the song, “Studebaker”, which first appeared on the 2004 tribute album to his late father, Enjoy Every Sandwich. Yet, songs like Jordan’s “The Joke’s on Me” is enough of a self-effacing romp to reveal that he has found his own territory to explore and needn’t worry about being completely overshadowed by his father’s accomplishments. Check out Jordan’s MySpace page for both songs, among others.