Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rock of Ages: Warren Zevon - "Desperadoes Under the Eaves" (1976)

For many artists, it's hard to overcome that one mega hit that you have that forever is associated with your works. For Warren Zevon, that song was "Werewolves of London", a kitschy song that is altogether hilarious and catchy as anything you've ever heard. But once that song dropped a few years after the one I write about today, everything else Zevon did stayed out of the popular mainstream. Luckily for us, Zevon was no one hit wonder, yet a misunderstood poet whose fasn stretched the music and entertainment world from Hunter S. Thompson to David Letterman to Bruce Springsteen, the words of Zevon have inspired. To me, the best example of Zevon's poetic nature is on his eponymous record and on the track "Desperadoes Under the Eaves." His ability to weave a beautiful tale of lonliness and dispair can be found in the fantastic lyrical beauty of the song.

The song itself has sweeping harmonies, beautiful orchestrations and a calming piano. Even though the music is of high quality, it is second to none to Zevon's words. As with some of the other songs on this list, here are the lyrics as reading and listening to better justice to the song than anything I can say:

I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was staring in my empty coffee cup
I was thinking that the gypsy wasn't lyin'
All the salty margaritas in Los Angeles
I'm gonna drink 'em up

And 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

Don't the sun look angry through the trees
Don't the trees look like crucified thieves
Don't you feel like Desperados under the eaves
Heaven help the one who leaves

Still waking up in the mornings with shaking hands
And I'm trying to find a girl who understands me
But except in dreams you're never really free
Don't the sun look angry at me

I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was listening to the air conditioner hum
It went mmmmmm....

Something about this song haunts me. Zevon has a way with words and one that deserves noting.

Sadly no youtubes of this song except some douchers with an acoustic guitar.

Up Next: Neil Young's splintering guitar lashes with gale force

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