Warren Zevon was the very definition of the enigmatic artist. In Accidentally Like a Martyr: The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon (Backbeat Books), author James Campion attempts to separate the man from the myth by first analyzing the lyrics in several of his songs, then by talking with the family, friends and colleagues who knew him best. Campion secured interviews with Zevon’s ex-wife, and kids, plus J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, and many others.
We chat with the life-long, self-proclaimed “Zevon-head” about doing a book on his favorite artist, plus how he tracked down all the great interviews for the book. We also discuss how Zevon felt about his one, smash hit “Werewolves of London.”
Singer/songwriter Stephen Bishop scored several hit songs in the 70’s & 80’s like “Save it For a Rainy Day,” “On & On,” and “It Might Be You.” He wrote songs for many other artists, including “Separate Lives,” a #1 hit for Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin. He’s part of one of the most iconic scenes of the classic Animal House movie, where John Belushi smashes his guitar.
Stephen has a brand new album called Blueprint, which features many songs that were originally cut as demos. He tells us the origins behind many of the songs, plus how he became friends with Eric Clapton, and how got involved in the Animal House movie. And, he tells us a very funny story of touring with Linda Ronstadt.
Linda Ronstadt – Simple Dreams (1977) – CD review –
Linda Ronstadt walked away from rock n’ roll in 1983 and never looked back. Perhaps that’s why she’s mostly ignored by classic rock radio and rarely shows up on “greatest singer” lists. The truth is, Ronstadt was incredibly influential.
She showed an entire generation that women could keep up with the boys in the rock n’ roll department. She was also a gifted interpreter of other people’s songs, always being able to inject some new life into even the most shop-worn classic. Simple Dreams is her finest moment; a varied mix of rock, country and oldies, and Ronstadt handles them all equally well. She takes the obscure Buddy Holly song “It’s So Easy” and turns it into a rocker, Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou” becomes a twangy masterpiece, and even “Tumblin’ Dice” keeps pace with the Stones original.
It’s not that these are vast reinventions of the songs; they’re basically the same arrangements, but filtered through Linda and her great band. And who else could turn Warren Zevon’s “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” into a hit song? It’s time to give this lady some more credit. –Tony Peters