Last week I made mention of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” in an article explaining why I don’t think it’s appropriate to do music reviews on a site like this one. Zevon’s song constituted one of the few exceptions when it’s not only okay to discuss music, it’s mandatory. What song even comes close to being the definitive song for all things “werewolf” than Zevon’s?
Do you recognize the furry face of the werewolf on the album’s cover? It’s from the 1973 film THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF, a little gem of a movie with probably the silliest-looking werewolf ever to appear onscreen—it looks like a sheepdog!—but that is otherwise quite good. The song “Werewolves of London” came out five years later, in 1978. It started out as a joke. Everly Brother Phil Everly had just watched the 1935 classic WEREWOLF OF LONDON and he challenged Zevon to create a song and subsequent dance inspired by the title. The rest is history—but there’s quite a bit of “rest” to it. The song went through multiple rewrites and was rejected for Zevon’s first and second albums. In fact Jackson Browne started playing the song in concerts before Zevon even put it on vinyl.