goodbye rain window“Enjoy every sandwich.”

It’s taken me awhile to figure out how to start this one. Warren handled his news quite differently than Bowie did. Warren was public. People knew this was his goodbye.

I was struggling with this “Last Goodbye”. What’s my opening segment? I was working this out in my head when I asked of David McMillin of Fort Frances to write up his “My Life In Music” post. You should read/listen through his MLiM post. Very good. Well, the last song he wrote about was Warren Zevon and played a clip from Letterman. THAT’s how I should start this (after you watch you’ll know why).

So that’s how I’m starting it.

This clip never aired on TV (Thanks again David McMillin). Listen (Or fast forward to the end) to hear the second story Letterman shares.

Great job by Dawes, no?

Warren was getting ready to play the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in 2002. A dizzy feeling and a cough persisted. Devon was at his dentist (he feared doctors) and asked if those symptoms were normal and it was the dentist that finally got Warren to see a physician. He was diagnosed with inoperable peritoneal mesothelioma (cancer of the abdominal lining that is associated with exposure to asbestos) (and yes I had to look that up).

Zevon refused treatments he believed might incapacitate him and instead began recording his final album, The Wind. Quest appearances by close friends including Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Tom Petty, Timothy B. Schmit (Poco and The Eagles), David Lindley (Jackson Browne and Zevon), Billy Bob Thornton, Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, and others.

The Full Album

Dirty Life and Times. (0:00)
Truth in song form. He sounds great. Well great-ish. No let’s go with great on this song. He’s always been a brilliant lyricist. The musicians bring their “A Game.” Great first tune. Bowie sounded beyond amazing. Warren seems a bit off. Just a bit….especially in song two…

Disorder in the House. (3:14)
Holy balls I love this tune. Soooooo good. Warren sounds like he feels. Bruce pulls him up. I love it. Mercury and Bowie…you couldn’t tell they were dying. This song is the sound of a man dying. But like in life. He did’t care. Fuck it man. Enjoy Every Sandwich…indeed. Enjoy every song. Also love they left in Bruce’s laugh at the end.

Song 3. Cover of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. (7:52)
Holy balls. Inspired cover. Whomever suggested that one…just brilliant. This version still gets to me. No one else should cover this song. It’s done. Warren was perfect for it. This situation was perfect.

Song 4. Numb as a Statue (11:57)
Ever the smart ass. “Let’s do another bad one then…”

Song 5. “She’s Too Good for Me” (16:06)
I have a playlist for my funeral. I need to add this one. Sadly beautiful. How do write then perform this song in the state that Warren was in? This, of course, is the just getting us warmed up for the last song on Side Two of the Album. (Which I’ll also have to add to my funeral playlist.)

Song 6. “Prison Grove” (19:19)
Side One of the album…was about Warren. Warren facing death. Literally. Side Two starts with a simple folk song. I’m sure it’s a metaphor but after the start of the album which was just straight forward, in your face, I’m dying songs…and this tune just feels great. And at the End of the Dirge…When Warren is yelling “C’mon on!” you WILL get chills. (Unless you are an asshole) Side One has set you up so well.

You physically just flipped the album to a “new” side. Ha, but don’t you dare think Warren is going to leave you off this easy on Side Two…

Song 7. “El Amor de Mi Vida” (24:10)
Sounding mostly good on this one. I’m guessing it was recorded early in the sessions.

Song 8. “The Rest of the Night” (27:46)
“We may never get this chance again…Let’s party for the rest of the night”. Damn dark, dark, comedian. I love it. I get it. OK who’s up for beers right now? Seriously. Call me. Text me. Tweet me. Play this song and get my ass out. Let’s mingle. This is Side Two’s “Disorder in the House”

Song 9. “Please Stay” (32:26)
Warren sounds wounded. I wonder how long he had these lyrics written. It’s from this song that the album title comes from. I need to give an attaboy to the person that suggested “The Wind” as the album title. Nice job. I wonder who suggested the saxophone? Perfect. Thanks.

Song 10. “Rub Me Raw” (36:02)
Blues…makes sense. Dark humor all over the place. Warren sounds great. Another early recording? Or a just a good day. Glorious penultimate tune. I care about flow. If you ever listen to NEXT you might pick up on that. I love flow. I spend way too much time making sure NEXT flows. So I LOVE this album. It flows man.

Bump and grind before Warren (emotionally) destroys me….

Song 11. “Keep Me in Your Heart” (41:46)
I knew what was coming. For 40 odd minutes I knew this song was it. It was all leading to this. And I still started crying. It started as soon the “calm and quiet” (The Gap) between the songs. Fuck man. What a tune. I love this album. I love this tune. Adding this to my funeral mix. It might have to be song number 1 played.

The full documentary of the making of The Wind via VH1. Holy balls. So good. It pisses me off just a bit that it has only 173,000 views.

His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles.

Let’s end with a full concert. Enjoy it all.

Enjoy every Sandwich. A brilliant man. Damn I love this album.

Oh and you need to watch the full, just Warren Zevon, Letterman show. So cool. Here’s part one.

NEXT? Well we covered Bowie and Mercury already so that leaves…Cash.

4 Comments

  • Well done. As I said before, it seems Dawes was made to cover Zevon. And that relationship between he and Letterman… It was wonderful that they shared it with all of us.

    For me, I enjoyed so much of Warren’s songwriting, but Excitable Boy stands out as one of those seminal albums of my high school years that has never lost it’s luster or relevance. A brilliant man, indeed.

  • Wow, Chris. Really well done. Honestly, I always feel better off for taking time here with you!

    And “enjoy the sandwich?” Doesn’t get much better than that. So simple, yet so very true.
    Thank you for this beautiful piece of work!

  • Chris, I was gone when David Letterman said
    “take care of this for me” as Warren handed him
    the guitar case.

    Music and the fine, unique artists who gift us with
    it, tell it like it is in ways that reach our souls. Thank
    you for always reminding us in your fine, unique way.
    I hope you’ll have no need for that list of songs you’re
    compiling for many, many decades! We need you here
    with us.

  • Thank you Rob and Mimi and Nancy.

    There are huge holes in my musical life but luckily we live in a time that “remembering” is easy. Albums. Video. Etc. It’s right here.

    Of course, live is the best and sadly that feeling is gone. I never saw Warren.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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