Twelve the Hard Way

Don’t let us get sick
Don’t let us get old
Don’t let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
Make us play nice
And let us be together tonight.

It’s not just that  I’d give my eye teeth to have written “Accidentally Like a Martyr” or just the second verse and the descant of “Empty-Handed Heart,” or my eyes and teeth for “Ourselves to Know” or the above-quoted “Don’t Let Us Get Sick” or the greatest song about Elvis ever written, “Porcelain Monkey,” (And those last three are all from the same album.  Geez!)

And it’s not the funny stuff: the live-in-LA recording of “Werewolves of London” or “Bill Lee” or “Even a Dog Can Shake Hands” (which became the theme song for Action) and especially the song with the title they didn’t print on the back of the CD, “My Shit’s Fucked Up.” Or that the best* thing Mitch Albom has ever written happens to be “Hit Me (The Hockey Song).”  Or the great reference in season two of Californication:

Warren Zevon could sit down and talk twelve-tone theory with, uh, Stravinsky. Half the cockbags who come through here barely play their fuckin’ instruments.

Today would have been his 66th. So let’s take this clip, which I remember (or maybe misremember) as the final episode ever of a short-lived television talk show featuring a possibly-recognizable Nice Jewish Boy from New Jersey:

Requiescat in pace, that’s all she wrote

*Some might say “only good,” but we are above such calumny.


2 Responses to “Twelve the Hard Way”

  1. Tom Dupree Says:

    We in Jackson, MS, saw him live on the last perf of his tour supporting BAD LUCK STREAK. For his finale, he substituted our city’s name for “London” in his signature piece, and we — and his band, which immediately dug all — rejoiced.

  2. Tom Dupree Says:

    P.S.: The one *I* wish I’d written is “Tenderness On The Block.”

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