I don't remember why I added "Werewolves of London" to the Bearded Pigs set list years ago -- I know that I thought that watching a roomful of librarians howl like wolves would be pretty entertaining. I was right, and it's been a staple for us ever since.
So Lynn and I were quite delighted, on our first afternoon in London, after we'd had lunch and were out walking somewhat aimlessly just so that we could get adjusted from jetlag, when Bruce suggested taking us past Lee Ho Fook's. A couple of weeks earlier, in Memphis, we'd finished playing the song and he laughed and said, "I was just at Lee Ho Fook's last week. Ate the beef chow mein." Silly me; it had never occurred to me that it was a real place. They have a poster of Zevon in the window.
A review of a book by Zevon's wife in yesterday's NYT reminds me that there are a lot of other Zevon songs I'd like to add to the list. I've done "Mutineer" solo, although I don't think I've ever done it with the band. I keep meaning to work up "My Ride's Here." And once you start to get into his catalog, it's hard to stop.
I was tremendously moved by the way he faced his own death. I was reminded very much of my father, in fact, although two more different men would be hard to find. There was an unflinchingness in both men that I greatly admired, and have tried to learn from. But the book reminds one as well that Z. was a very difficult, very flawed person, who managed to be his own worst enemy and cause a lot of pain and distress to the people around him. Much to be learned there as well, I suppose. Despite our natural tendency to try to do so, people's lives can't be summed up neatly in a sentence or two. And it was Aristotle who pointed out that you can't make a judgment on whether it's been a good life until it's finally over.