Lawyers, Guns and Money

Album: Excitable Boy (1978)
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  • Warren Zevon wrote a lot of story songs that would make great movies. "Lawyers, Guns and Money" would fall into the action/adventure genre, telling the tale of a troubled youth visiting Cuba who writes home to his father for help.
  • The reference to "I'm hiding in Honduras" may refer to the short exile of famous American short story writer O. Henry (Will Porter). In 1894, while working as a bank teller in Austin, Texas, Porter embezzled $5,000. He fled to New Orleansand then Honduras to avoid prosecution. At that time, US companies began their major export of Bananas from Honduras to the US, so the New Orleans-Honduras route was a well traveled one. Porter stayed in Honduras 11 months but returned to Austin to be near his terminally ill wife. He was arrested an served time in jail. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - Marietta, GA, for above 2
  • Zevon once stated that this was based on a true story. He and his manager were partying in Mexico, when the "party" decided to take to the road and it looked liked it was "about to hit the fan." Zevon's manager feigned a phone call: "Send lawyers." Zevon jumped in: "And guns... and money." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    John - Jacksonville, FL
  • This was used as the theme song for producer Jerry Bruckheimer's short-lived TV series Justice. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - Concord, NH
  • This is the background song for the "Lost in downtown LA" scene from the classic 1991 Lawrence Kasden directed film Grand Canyon. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Greg - Baghdad, Iraq

Comments: 22

  • Paul from EarthI happen to know straight from Warrens mouth, this song is about running out of money in a crack house in LA.... For some reason people want to put this romantic foreign spin on it when in fact it's damn romantic enough to find yourself out of money in crack house LA in the 80's
  • John From The Bronx from Bronx NyKeep me in your heart is one of his very best. He wrote it for his family after being told he had no chance of surviving cancer. If you have lost anyone close to you there is a good chance you will tear up. The guy was an outstanding writer and performer. Underrated for sure. Lawyers Guns and Money fun great song but most were.
  • Nato from Los AngelesI love this song and history. To me it’s about about a young good looking guy in his early 20’s in Cuba just before the Revolution, he’s doing what young people do. It actually reminds of the three times I had to send Lawyers Guns and Money (minus the Guns) to get my son out of trouble on the east coast of the US. Luckily it was the US so the guns weren’t needed.
  • Brandon from Louisville, KyTrump’s lyrical autobiography.
  • Wayne from Springvale, AustraliaHi Libby ... You have the exact 2 favourite Warren Zevon songs as me ... Excitable Boy and Splendid Isolation ... ( My next 2 would be Roland The Headless Thomson Gunner and Lawyers Guns and Money ) The live performance of Splendid Isolation on the Letterman Show ( available on Youtube ) is in my opinion by far the best version of it, and I must have played it over 50 times in the last few days !
  • Joe from Grants Pass, OrR.I.P. Mister Z
  • Lindsay from Chicago, IlThe soaring guitar work is classic Waddy Wachtel, who co-produced the album. He played with Linda Ronstadt (see him e.g. in the Atlanta concert on YouTube). Linda sang harmony on Excitable Boy. The bassist on Lawyers Guns and Money, Kenny Edwards, was in The Stone Poneys with Linda Ronstadt. I play Excitable Boy and Ronstadt tracks back-to-back a lot.
  • Zeke from Oregon, OrWas a huge Zevon fan till I read his book. Didn't understand the meaning of friendship and treated women like dogs. Still one of the great twisted songwriters of our time.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaI love this song. I remember getting a DUI a long time ago. I sang this song when I got released a few hours later, I can laugh about it now!!!
  • Steve from Iron Mountain , MiRIP my humble opinion Mr. Zevon is one of the most underated songwriters in US history and believe Dylan...Springstein...& other icons would agree with me
  • Andrew from Red Deer, AbThis Song was used at the end of the Hunter S. Thompson Documentary "Gonzo" Great Movie by the way.
  • Devlin from Troy, GreeceWarren said he "wrote this song late one night on wet cocktail napkins after a long day of improbable and grotesque mischief" in Hawaii. He told the tale during a 1994 Christmas special aired by the BBC. You can find the video on YouTube.
  • Libby from Fayetteville, NcHave loved Zevon for 20 years. Saw him in two concerts and I've never been the same. Love Excitable Boy, and Splendid Isolation.
  • Paul from Wasilla, AkActually, in reference to the comment from Matt - Concord, NH on its use as a theme song, an abbreviated version, performed, if memory serves, by Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers, was actually the theme song for a show called "The Guardian", starring, among others, Dabney Coleman and Simon somebodyortheother (an Aussie). It aired for about a season and a half on CBS.
  • Phillip from Garland, TxI found a youtube video of Warren performing this song on the BBC from 1994. He had this to say about writing the song: ?Back in the late 70?s, I was working on the album ?Excitable Boy? and I decided I needed a vacation. So I went to Kawai in the Hawaiian Islands. I wrote this song late one night on wet cocktail napkins after a long day of improbable and grotesque mischief. Obviously, I survived all of that. But I learned something from the experience. I never take vacations.?
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkWe need "Mohammed's Radio", "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", "Johnny Strikes up the Band" and "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" in Songfacts before we touch the surface of Zevon's genious. I remember reading about his terminal illness and about a year after was listening to my mix when "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" came on. I wondered how he was doing so Googled to find out that he was pronounced dead about half an hour before. That was 9/7/2003. Zevon LIVES!
  • Mark from Medicine HatMy favorite is Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner. Excitable Boy was ok too.
  • Steve from Tampa, FlJan-You're not alone. I just 'discovered' Zevon's stuff in the last few weeks. I've been downloading all kinds of stuff off Itunes.

    Great, great stuff.
  • Jan from Dorking, EnglandHeard this for the first time today (Andy Kershaw on BBC radio 'Desert Island Discs')Was completely blown away! WHY have I never heard of this genius before? What have I been doing all my life to have missed him?
  • Homzd from O-town, Nv"Lawyers, Guns & Money"

    That title alone says it all!
  • Christian from Copenhagen, DenmarkSuch a shame more people don't know Warren's music. One of the best lyricists ever. By the way,
    Fleetwood and McVie didn't provide the rhythm section to this song. They did that on "Werewolves of London".
  • Dan from Winthrop, MaNo matter how much trouble Warren seems to get into there's always dear old dad to bail him out.Mick Fleetwood and John McVie of Fleetwood Mac provide the rhythm section.
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