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“Enjoy every sandwich” April 29, 2007

Posted by Jeff in Music, Rock, Warren Zevon.

From Late Night With David Letterman, October 30, 2002: Warren Zevon performs “Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner”.

I watched this performance the night it first aired. It seems strange to be using the phrases “an incredibly moving evening” and “David Letterman” in the same sentence, but this was the night Zevon publicly revealed he was suffering from terminal cancer. These turned out to be his last performances; he died a little less than a year later.

But time stands still for Roland
‘Til he evens up the score
They can still see his headless body stalking through the night
In the muzzle flash of Roland’s Thompson gun

Roland searched the continent for the man who’d done him in
He found him in Mombasa in a barroom drinking gin
Roland aimed his Thompson gun – he didn’t say a word
But he blew Van Owen’s body from there to Johannesburg

Roland the headless Thompson gunner…
The eternal Thompson gunner
still wandering through the night
Now it’s ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland’s Thompson gun and bought it

From the same evening, Zevon performs “Mutineer”:

Letterman: Do you now know something I don’t know?

Zevon: I know how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.

— 10/20/2002

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