Warren Zevon is getting a new round of attention, thanks to this week’s release of “Preludes.”
It’s a 2-CD set of stuff he recorded before 1976. There are six unreleased songs, plus early versions of “Werewolves of London” and “Accidentally Like A Martyr.”
Also out recently are remastered, expanded versions of three Zevon albums: “Excitable Boy,” “Stand In The Fire” and “The Envoy.” All of them came out at or just after the crest of Zevon’s fame in the late ’70s.
I can’t speak to “Preludes,” and I’m not sure I have much interest in it, but I have all three of the other albums on vinyl.
All three bring back good memories, especially “The Envoy.” I liked it when it came out in 1982, and I was fortunate enough to see Zevon when he toured to support it.
However, I don’t remember much about the show. I was a little distracted.
Zevon’s show was on Thursday, Oct. 14, 1982 — the night between Games 2 and 3 of the 1982 World Series between my then-beloved Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals. I also had tickets for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series at Milwaukee County Stadium that weekend.
I vividly remember one thing, though, and here is the evidence:
I had to eat a ticket to the Zevon show. I am guessing Janet could not join me that evening almost 25 years ago — “I probably had to work that night,” she says — and I could find no one else to go.
It was a $9.50 seat ($20 in today’s dollars), Row C, Seat 131, in the left-center mezzanine at the Oscar Mayer Theatre at the old Madison Civic Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
So in that spirit, here is Warren Zevon live, from his great acoustic album, “Learning To Flinch,” released in 1993. Much of the album is Zevon and the piano and little else. Zevon’s sound is elegant and contemplative, at times almost classical.
“Roland Chorale,” recorded Oct. 3, 1992, at the Gluepot in Auckland, New Zealand, and “Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner,” recorded Sept. 8, 1992, at the Sentrum in Oslo, Norway. (You ought to play them back to back. FYI, the latter runs 11 minutes, 18 seconds.)
“The Indifference Of Heaven,” recorded Sept. 21, 1992, at the Biskuithall in Bonn, Germany.