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 1976.

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 it.

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 Here) 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 Here).

While researching, another review was discovered in a local newspaper (Click Here). 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
4. Carmelita
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.

WarrenZevon.com - Live At The Roxy '76