Excitable Boy…

I went home with the waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the Russians too
I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers guns and money
Dad get me out of this (ha)
I’m the innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between a rock and a hard place
And I’m down on my luck
Yes I’m down on my luck
Well I’m down on my luck
And I’m hiding in Honduras
I’m a desperate man
Send lawyers guns and money
The shit has hit the fan
Send lawyers guns and money (ugh)
Send lawyers guns and money (hit it)
Send lawyers guns and money (ooh… hey uh) (hey uh… yeah)
“Lawyers Guns and Money” Warren Zevon

Was sitting in my favorite restaurant during NYC’s recent indoor dining experiment when their playlist slipped in this song. It was like running into an old friend who has been gone for a time. In walked a tipsy Warren, sprawled himself on the banquette and whispered a few truths about life. Don’t know of anyone making music like this these days – sardonic, biting, acerbic, surprising, and ultimately, difficult. His songs feel like cruel sea chanties – something working sailors would sing to ease the tedium of unfurling the sails and hauling the anchors. But for Warren – these songs ain’t about working for the man – they’re about the expectations, failures and understanding of one’s life. Couldn’t help it – thought that maybe his work should have a voice in our Pandemic – gift us a chanty for the blistering work to be done – call and response – as we beg Big Daddy to send us lawyers, guns and money in order to make our third world bad behavior go away. What an impossible fucking mess we have become…

The phone don’t ring
And the sun refused to shine
Never thought I’d have to pay so dearly
For what was already mine
For such a long, long time
We made mad love
Shadow love
Random love
And abandoned love
Accidentally like a martyr
The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder
The days slide by
Should have done, should have done, we all sigh
Never thought I’d ever be so lonely
After such a long, long time
Time out of mind
We made mad love
Shadow love
Random love
And abandoned love
Accidentally like a martyr
The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder
“Accidentally Like a Martyr” Warren Zevon

Over the last couple of weeks of 2020 – a few gallery shows, a few calls to friends and family, and a look ahead to what awaits in 2021. Suddenly there is another Warren song on the playlist that seems just right for the moment. Three hundred thousand deaths and counting caused by this virus, and we are still arguing over the value of a mask. How broken have we become? Warren says that we look for, give and make love that is mad, random or concealed. We crave the kick, the bite, and the hurt even as that love abandons us. And in that moment we become accidental martyrs – destroyed by our desires rather than our beliefs – and when this happens – the hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder. The day of our Pandemic reckoning is near, and we have no one else to blame for the fallout but ourselves. The bills are coming due, the rent must be paid, the bailout will stop and the jobs will be gone – all because we didn’t do what we should have done. All because we did not see the value of a mask and the need for patience, kindness and fortitude. “Never thought I’d have to pay so dearly for what was already mine” – Excitable Boy indeed…

Stay well. Be kind. Wear your mask.

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