Monday, September 08, 2003

R.I.P., Excitable Boy

Warren Zevon lost his valiant battle with cancer yesterday. While I can't claim ever to have been an enormous fan of his music, I always felt a little bit sorry that most people's exposure to it consisted of watching a pompadoured Tom Cruise lip-sync to "Werewolves of London" while pirouetting around a billiards table in The Color of Money.

This seems something of a shame, because Zevon was by most accounts an accomplished musician, and to delve even slightly into his catalogue is to appreciate his knack for writing dark, smart, cockeyed tunes. "Werewolves of London" very nearly reaches the level of novelty song; take a listen to "Excitable Boy," "Lawyers, Guns and Money," "Tenderness on the Block," "Carmelita," and "Poor Poor Pitiful Me," to name just a few worthy efforts, and you'll hear his true wit emerge. Zevon died just weeks after releasing his final album, the well-reviewed The Wind. In his own quiet, strange way, he'll be missed.


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