Warren Zevon's five night stint at Hollywood's Roxy Theatre
in August 1980 provided the content for one of rock's best live albums,
Stand In The Fire. Lauded by critics and most famously David Letterman,
Stand In The Fire captured the excitable boy in top form. The Roxy was
a regular stop for Zevon in the late 70s and early 80s. According to various
sources, it was believed his earliest show at the Roxy took place in August
Fast forward to 2022, Warren's son, Jordan, is diligently sifting through
stacks of cassettes, CD-Rs, and digital files discovering alternative
takes, live shows, and everything in between. Live shows range from high
quality soundboard to low-fi audence recordings. Regardless of quality,
each of these recordings capture a moment in time and a story to go with
As Jordan proceeds to the next tape, a Maxell UD C120, he recognizes the
familiar handwriting of his father. What Warren wrote though is an unfamiliar
and unique discovery; a previously unknown show from the Roxy dated July
14, 1976. Also written in Warren's hand, the backing band is listed, Doug
Haywood (bass), Mickey McGee (drums), and Waddy Wachtel (guitar).
The recording features performances of nine tracks from the 1976 self-titled
album and the then unreleased Werewolves Of London. The tape is sourced
from the audience as opposed to a professional soundboard; marred by hiss
and patrons ordering drinks, the sound has a bit to be desired. Although
the instruments are muddied at times, what miraculously cuts though the
noise is the familiar growl of Warren's vocals. The performance is nothing
short of excellent by Warren and company; at the beginning of Poor Poor
Pitiful Me, Warren introduces the band as "excellent musicians, better
than excellent musicians, they're the best".
How did this performance go undiscovered for so long? After a little patience
and a lot of research, it turns out this historic Roxy performance was mentioned,
albiet briefly, in the September 4, 1976 edition of Billboard (Click
Gabor Szabo review from Billboard Magazine, September 4, 1976.
) magazine. Buried at the very end of a concert review for Gabor Szabo
at the Roxy, Warren is mentioned as the opening act. In that same issue,
Warren's self-titled major label debut charted at #189 (Click
The 'Warren Zevon' album, charting at #189.
While researching, another review was discovered in a local newspaper
Warren Zevon at the Roxy concert review by Deborah Sroloff.
). Deborah Sroloff gives a glowing report of Zevon's performance at the
Roxy. However, this article states the concert was on July 13, 1976. So,
the question becomes, did Szabo play two nights at the Roxy with Warren
opening? Did the concert start on the 13th and end past midnight? Did
the journalist get the date wrong? If you have any information please
reach out to the webmaster at Adam@WarrenZevon.com
Warren Zevon Live At The Roxy Setlist - July 14, 1976
1. Hasten Down The Wind
2. The French Inhaler
3. Mama Couldn't Be Pursuaded
5. Band Intros / Poor Poor Pitiful Me
6. Join Me In L.A.
7. Mohammad's Radio
8. Frank And Jessie James
9. Werewolves Of London
10. Desperados Under The Eaves
Please enjoy some samples from that evening's show.