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Lawyers, Guns and Money: Zevon’s Ghost

Posted by October 9th, 2003 No Comments »

Lawyers, Guns and Money: Zevon’s Ghost
By Gabe Baker

Warren Zevon is dead and I’m feeling grand. I’m not happy he’s dead, mind you. It’s just that he’s not one of the handful of people whose death I’d give a fuck about. And I know Zevon’s ghost ain’t sweating it.

I’m feeling grand because I never met another soul who loved Zevon’s music the way I did, and that makes me feel special. On occasion I’d delight in wrecking a great party by sneaking some Zevon into the mix between the Oasis and Prince cuts fueling the merrymaking. Just when everyone was “having fun” and “enjoying themselves,” I’d slip A Quiet Normal Life into the changer and hit track three. The muddy keyboards of “Play It All Night Long” would cast an instant pall over the festivities. Partygoers would search for a new drink or step outside for a smoke. Eleven seconds later all who were left were treated to the sound of Zevon bellowing “Grandpa pissed his pants again/he don’t give a damn.” The remaining young lovelies would shoot me angry looks and whisper. I could almost hear, “What is WRONG with him?” The nicer one responding, “It’s sad, really. I pity him.”

No one ever stayed for the second verse, so they missed out on the classic quatrain “Daddy’s doing sister Sally/Grandma’s dying of cancer now/The cattle all have brucellosis/we’ll get through somehow.” Good times.

Warren Zevon wrote some songs. Some of them were shitty, but lots of them were bitter and funny and sad. He also played guitar and piano, often in a catchy manner. One song I especially like is called “Lawyers, Guns & Money.” A fun thing to do is download this song, get real high, turn your speakers up full blast, pull your pants up to your nipples, and stomp around your dwelling pretending that la policia is beating down your door and the embassy is miles from your cabana.

“Lawyers, Guns and Money” by Warren Zevon

“I went home with the waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the
Russians, too?

I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this

I’m the innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between the rock
and a hard place
And I’m down on my luck
Yes I’m down on my luck
Well I’m down on my luck

I’m hiding in Honduras
I’m a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan”


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