Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Desperados under the eaves . . .

"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."

The New York Times just ran a review of the Warren Zevon biography by his estranged wife - "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" - describing it as a "no-holds-barred oral history that captures a lovable but wildly aberrant personality, draws upon a fascinatingly diverse cast of characters and peers into the heart of the Los Angeles singer-songwriter community in its prime."

A fascinating character, sort of a literary "musician's musican," whose work I first came upon in the early 70s (yikes!) when he was relatively unknown, with a song of his, "Tules Blues" ("It's a sad song that we always seem to be singing to each other . . .") which was being covered at the time in perfomance by folk singer Victoria - who used to play for free at the old Cannery in San Francisco, and who graced the cover of Richard Brautigan's "The Abortion: An Historical Romance (1966)" - Oh! god, another Hemingway-esque tragic artist/hero!

Is that enuf name-dropping for a single post? Anyway, the book sounds very interesting, as does the new "Preludes" release.

"I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was listening to the air conditioner hum
It went hmmmmmm . . . . . . . . .
Look away . . . . . . .
. . . Look away down Gower Avenue, Look away . . . "
(published by Warner-Tamerlane/Darkroom Music BMI, 1976)

(Hm-m, Desperados, Space Cowboy - we're sensing a trend here . . .)

1 comment:

johnstodder said...

Warren Zevon grabbed me forever with "Desperados Under the Eaves," especially with that final absurd, tragic, and peculiar sound of a cheap hotel air conditioner humming a Civil War-type melody about Gower Avenue.

He never topped that moment, but he came close enough times to keep me as a fan, especially: "His hair was perfect."