Monday, May 3, 2010

Warren Zevon : Genius

“If I leave you, it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile.”

-Warren Zevon

Admittedly, I was late to the party. It wasn't until Warren Zevon was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2002 that I decided to see what the man was all about. On my next CD shopping trip, I picked up a copy of A Quiet Normal Life: The Best of Warren Zevon. When I got home later that day, I put the CD on and was greeted with the familiar humor of Werewolves of London, but what came next shattered my expectations. The next thirteen tracks, beginning with Excitable Boy are a brilliant combination of strong musical composition, sardonic wit, and soul bearing poetry. I would spend the next month buying up and devouring the entire Zevon catalog.

The fact the Warren Zevon has been essentially neglected by the general public and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is mind boggling. Not only for the fact that he is one of the most talented songwriters of the 1970's, but his collaborators and fans are consist of so many legends, including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, and R.E.M. Though, Showtime's Californication is doing its part in introducing Zevon to new fans by including his songs in several episodes, and littering the shows dialog with references to Warren and his songs.

The appeal of Warren Zevon's songwriting lies in his ability to write with humor and honesty, whether it be a heartbreaking love song like Reconsider Me or biting social statement like The Indifference of Heaven, the comedic Werewolves of London, or the absolutely brilliant Genius, which contains the lines “Albert Einstein was a ladies man / While he was working on his universal plan / He was making out like Charlie Sheen / He was a genius. These songs, plus Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner, and Lawyers, Guns, and Money, in my opinion should be enough to get him elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hopefully in the near future the genius of Warren Zevon and his contributions to music will be recognized and his legacy will be given its just due by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. More importantly, I hope new generations will discover Zevon and his brilliant songs will continue to be listened to for decades to come. 


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