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 Carrie, The 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.
Not before Rory Gallagher, though.