Posted in Blog , Boomer Life. The song about the stylishly dressed, hairy handed gents who run amuck in Kent actually originated from a challenge by Phil Everly, who along with his brother Don, formed the rock Hall of Fame duo The Everly Brothers. Zevon and his sometime writing partner LeRoy Marinell began working on just such a tune. When Wachtell asked what they were doing, Zevon explained they were trying to compose a song about London werewolves.
Suddenly the creative floodgates were opened. The lyrics took about 15 minutes to finish. Browne never recorded it, but Zevon did on his album Excitable Boy. Browne believed the seemingly simple song perfectly captured and satirized upper-class English womanizers, while at the same time addressing universal subconscious sexual fears, much like the real-life story of Jack the Ripper. Browne says. The ancient Roman writers Ovid and Virgil both mentioned a form of werewolf in their writings. Werewolf legends thrived in 16th and 17th century Europe, many related to supposed occurrences of witchcraft.
Scholars believe the idea of an evil man-wolf in Europe was inevitable. The wolf was the most feared predator there, so it was a natural to be projected into folklore. In the 20th Century, movies played a huge role in imprinting the supernatural werewolf onto public consciousness. In , Lon Chaney Jr. His portrayal helped placed the Wolf Man in the pantheon of the other great Universal monsters such as Frankenstein and Dracula. It was during this period that the idea of men becoming wolves during the light of the full moon originated.
The idea of the moon effect was prompted by a long-held notion that lunar cycles can affect human behavior negatively. It was also a convenient visual storytelling technique, similar to vampires having to avoid bright sunlight. Its popularity and resurrection each Halloween forced Zevon to make it a staple of his live set list. Ironically, the simple three-chord song was extremely difficult to record. Former professional wrestler and Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura used a tailored version for his campaign and even sang the song at his inauguration, accompanied by Zevon on piano.
With his shaggy beard and hair, former Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth perfectly used the song as a walkup tune for his at-bats. And here are those winning lines:. And the rest, as they say, is both rock and Halloween history.
Signup for our Newsletters that are jam packed with valuable information and inspiration to help you live your very best encore! The following two tabs change content below. Bio Latest Posts. A former journalist and educator, Price is researching 2 books, one on the status of classic rock music and its songs, performers, and fans today and the other a DC guidebook designed especially for Baby Boomers.
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