Late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon was born on this day in Chicago in 1947. Zevon’s prolific and influential career was cut short when he lost a battle with cancer on September 7, 2003 at the age of 56. His sardonic wit, clever wordplay and gift for storytelling was on display time and again in the many memorable songs he left behind. Many of those songs have been taken up by other artists and below are several live cover performances of his best-known tunes.
First up is footage of one of one of Widespread Panic’s many performances of “Lawyers, Guns And Money” followed by a live take on the same song by Dawes. The Los Angeles rock band is featured playing several other Zevon compositions such as “Desperados Under Eaves” on one the final episodes of Letterman, “The Hula Hula Boys” aboard the Cayamo Cruise in 2013 and “Play It All Night Long” with Jackson Browne, Jonathan Wilson and others in L.A. last year. There’s a clip of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s tribute days after Zevon died in 2003 as well as wife and husband duo Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell performing at the acclaimed Ryman Auditorium in 2014. Also featured is a video of “Carmelita” covered by Deer Tick in 2011 at the Sled Island Festival Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Finally, there are three videos of “Werewolves Of London” which originally appeared on Zevon’s 1978 album Excitable Boy (with Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie playing bass). It was played a number of times by the Grateful Dead in 1978 and eventually became a favorite of their Halloween concerts. One such performance – in London from 1990 – is the first “Werewolves” video presented, followed by Jerry Garcia Band playing it in Oakland in 1992 and Dead & Company taking it on last year on Halloween at Madison Square Garden in NYC.
“Lawyers, Guns and Money”
Widespread Panic October 30, 2009 Austin Music Hall, Austin, Texas
Dawes January 19, 2014 Roaming Roots Revue Presents California Dreaming, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Scotland
“Desperados Under The Eaves”
Dawes April 22, 2015 The Late Show With David Letterman
“The Hula Hula Boys”
Dawes January 15, 2013 Cayamo Cruise
“Play It All Night Long”
Dawes, Jackson Browne, Jonathan Wilson & Others December 19, 2015 Troubadour, Los Angeles
“My Ride’s Here”
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band September 10, 2003 Skydome, Toronto
Amanda Shires & Jason Isbell December 6, 2014 Ryman Auditorium Nashville
Deer Tick June 2011 Sled Island Festival Calgary, Alberta, Canada
”Werewolves Of London”
Grateful Dead October 31, 1990 Wembley Arena, London, England
Jerry Garcia Band October 31, 1992 Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California
Dead & Company October 31, 2015 Madison Square Garden, New York City