Desperados Under The Eaves

Album: Warren Zevon (1976)

Songfacts®:

  • This track from Warren Zevon's 1976 eponymous album describes his growing alcoholism. Zevon's ex-wife, Crystal, recalled in the sleevenotes for Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings: "'Desperados Under The Eaves' is a very autobiographical song. During a low period in the late '60s, Warren was living from motel to motel. At one point when he couldn't afford The Tropicana anymore, he checked into the Hollywood Hawaiian. He spent several weeks stepping over the junkies who blocked his doorway and sharing stories with the winos camped out on the corner of Yucca and Gower. Of course, he had no way of paying the bill, so one night his buddy who had been one of the original Beach Boys, David Marks, pulled mother's station wagon into the alley behind the motel and Warren climbed out the bathroom window and left with the bill still unpaid."

    "The song started while he was still at the motel, listening to the air conditioner hum. He finished it shortly after we started living together. Years later, he returned and tried to pay his bill. They settled for an autographed copy of his Asylum album."
  • Producer Bones Howe (The Association, The 5th Dimension) recalled how this song helped earn him a contract with the Asylum label: "A phone call came to me from David Geffen who had been an agent I knew when I was producing The Association and we had grown to be friends," he said. "By then he had started Asylum Records, and he said, 'You have a contract with a guy named Warren Zevon,' I said, 'Yeah,' and he said, 'I think he is a very talented writer and I want to make a deal for him to write some songs.' One of the caveats came when he said, 'Look, I am going to sign him to a publishing contract but you have to give me a song he wrote called Desperados Under The Eaves.' I said, 'David, if you will take care of him, I can't get this guy off the ground. I have tried and tried and I don't have the contacts or the image or whatever it takes to get him pointed in the right direction. If you can get him going you are welcome to it." So I just signed his contract over and the rest is rock history." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation, for above 2
  • This features background vocals from Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys.

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