Shedding the werewolf, Warren Zevon found a hit in this certain girl
Though Warren Zevon is not known specifically as an '80's artist the decade that he released his most albums was the '80s. Not defined by decades, Zevon could write an original and work a cover song with equal a plume as he shows in his raucous cover of A Certain Girl.
Zevon's life was as rich as his music as the native Chicagoan was the son of Russian immigrants and his dad was a bookie who worked the numbers racket for Mickey Cohen's L.A. gang. Though a classically trained musician, as a teenager he quit school to join the folk rock movement in the '60s and became a keyboard player for The Everly Brothers. When he started his rock career, he was the third-wheel roommate of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham before he broke through in 1978 with his Excitable Boy album including the iconic hit Werewolves Of London.
In 1980, Zevon released the album Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School and the first single A Certain Girl reached No. 57 on the pop charts. The studio version has Waddy Watchel on guitars and Jackson Browne on backup vocals, but today's video recorded in Passaic, New Jersey, finds Zevon without those cast of characters. While not a big video artist, the concert footage of A Certain Girl finds Zevon channeling his inner Iggy Pop as he works himself into a shirt-ripping frenzy.
The sassy A Certain Girl was a minor R&B hit for Ernie K-Doe in 1961 and Zevon's rocked up cover marked the final time Zevon had a song hit the pop singles chart. A beloved guest on The David Letterman Show, Zevon died of cancer in 2003, but lasted long enough to see the release of his last album The Wind and the birth of his twin grandsons that year.
- Kevin Wuench