“Things To Do in Denver When You’re Dead” by Warren Zevon
(Words/Music: Warren Zevon and Jorge Calderon, Album: Mr. Bad Example, Giant 1991)
LeRoy says there’s something you should know
Not everybody has a place to go
And home is just a place to hang your head
And dream of things to do in Denver when you’re dead
Yesterday would have been Warren Zevon’s 65th birthday. Unfortunately, for most, he’s a bit of a one-hit wonder (and a seasonal one at that) for some song about werewolves. Those who dig even a bit deeper (people I refer to as interesting) find a catalog of songs with a somewhat morbid fascination with death which can be gleaned from the titles of songs like “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”, “My Ride’s Here”, and “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead”. Oddly, he even kept it up once he found out he had been diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma (he and some friends covered Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” on his final album).
However, there is a small contingent of people keeping his music alive. Dylan himself began playing Zevon’s “Mutineer” in concert and every once in awhile an interesting cover pops up. Most notably, though, is Zevon’s music being subtly included in Showtime’s original series Californication thanks to musical director Tyler Bates (who also did the music for Watchmen, Sucker Punch, and The Devil’s Rejects among others).
And speaking of movies, check out the excellent film which shares its title with this Zevon song. A seriously gritty gangster film with Andy Garcia, Christopher Lloyd, Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi, Gabrielle Anwar, Fairuza Balk, and Treal Williams. Seriously, all of those people and you’ve never heard of it. It’s like it fell victime to the Zevon curse or something. But someone had to be a Zevon fan to even get that thing started, so there’s that.
So, as a sort of birthday present to Zevon, I am going to declare today the first Warren Zevon Wednesday. It’s exactly what you think it will be.