Stephen King dedicates latest novel to underrated rock genius Warren Zevon

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      I scored a copy of the new Stephen King novel Doctor Sleep for Christmas, which was great as it continues the story of The Shining, one of my fave works–next to CarrieThe Dead Zone, and The Stand–from King’s ’70s heyday.

      But before I even got into the further supernatural torments befalling the telepathic Danny Torrance I got a kick out of the horror master’s dedication of the book. He sent it out to singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, who I’ve always felt was one of the most underrated rockers of all time.

      How cool is that?

      When I was playing my primitive brand of rhythm guitar with a group called the Rock Bottom Remainders, Warren Zevon used to gig with us. Warren loved gray t-shirts and movies like Kingdom of the Spiders. He insisted I sing lead on his signature tune, “Werewolves of London”, during the encore portion of our shows. I said I was not worthy. He insisted that I was. “Key of G,” Warren told me, “and howl like you mean it. Most important of all, play like Keith.”

      I’ll never be able to play like Keith Richards, but I always did my best, and with Warren beside me, matching me note for note and laughing his fool head off, I always had a blast.

      Warren, this howl is for you, wherever you are. I miss you, buddy.

      Hopefully those goofs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will take a tip from the King and induct Zevon soon.

      Not before Rory Gallagher, though.



      A. MacInnis

      Dec 30, 2013 at 8:36am

      Kingdom of the Spiders is great fun, even if it ends like a cliffhanger to a HBO series that never existed. Love the spiders-eye view shots as a cow is attacked!

      Warren Zevon is pretty cool, too. "Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner," especially.

      A. MacInnis

      Dec 30, 2013 at 8:42am

      Hey, whattaya know, apparently "Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner" was the last song Zevon publicly performed, a short time before his death, on Late Night with David Letterman!


      Dec 30, 2013 at 2:01pm

      He was definitely a great artist but what I mainly remember is him being sloppy drunk and pulling out a pistol at his Vancouver concert when someone make a crack about America... would have been the late 70s, maybe 1980 and either the Orpheum or Q.E. Theatre. Anyone else remember that? One of my more memorable concert experiences...

      Steve Newton

      Dec 30, 2013 at 3:10pm

      would have been even more memorable if he'd pumped a round into the ceiling...especially if it was the Orpheum. That's a pretty sweet ceiling they've got there

      GG, Oslo

      Jan 1, 2014 at 8:25pm

      Could't agree more on your RRHF. Second only to Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher is my favorite guitarist of all time. Warren Zevon one of my absolute favorite songwriters and artists. They deserve way more rekognition of their work than what they have received up until now! GG, Oslo/Norway


      Jan 2, 2014 at 8:33am

      Rock and Roll Hall of Fame cares more about commercial success than actual artistry, except in a few rare cases. Warren doesn't stand a chance because a)his music was too smart to appeal to a mass audience, b)he didn't particularly court huge commercial success, and c)he never became an icon for hipster poseurs in the music press. However, he will always be adored by his fans and widely respected as a true great and visionary original by his peers among musicians and songwriters.