Album: Warren Zevon (Asylum/Elektra, 1976) Chart pos: N/A
If Elton John was yanked from suburban Pinner and forced to skulk around Hollywood’s darker corners he would probably end up sounding a bit like Warren Zevon. Although Zevon was part of the 70’s west-coast soft-rock milieu his work is full of noirish tinges with songs about prostitutes, heroin addicts and deadbeats, which is not surprising seeing his father had close ties with mobsters. Desperados Under the Eaves the final track from his self-titled album is one of the best examples of Warren Zevon’s skill at crafting brilliant first-person narratives complete with flawed central characters. The narrator in this song is an alcoholic lamenting the fact he’ll still have to pay the bill in his seedy digs and the lack of female companionship.
This song is an example of art imitating life as Zevon throughout his life had drink problems, even garnering the nickname F. Scott Fitzevon in reference to F. Scott Fitzgerald who famously drank himself to a premature death. Despite this, it was melothesioma (a cancer connected to asbestos) which sadly took the life of one of Americas most underrated singer-songwriters in 2003. However the laundry list of famous collaborators on his final album The Wind just goes to show how highly regarded he was by his peers even though his music didn’t sell by the bucket load.