Warren Zevon – Boom Boom Mancini (Live on Letterman in 1987)

With Dave retired now, I’ve suddenly become obsessed with musical guest clips from Late Night and the Late Show. If you’re a regular reader, you might have noticed this by now. Lots of recent Letterman posts. We’re going to move, year by year, through Letterman’s musical guests, starting with the 80s. Not all his musical guests – just some of our favorites. Speaking of which…

When Dylan cited Warren Zevon as one of his favorite songwriters, “Boom Boom Mancini” was one of the songs he mentioned. It’s from Zevon’s 1987 record Sentimental Hygiene, and here he is playing it with the Late Night band. This is kind of interesting, actually. In the early years, the musical guests almost always (always?) played with the Late Night band. They might bring a guitarist or other musician with them, but all the clips I’ve been watching show the artist playing with the band. In later years, you’d see performances where it wasn’t the artist playing with the house band, but instead them doing their own thing entirely.

Back to Warren Zevon. He was an incredible songwriter, and a huge influence on other songwriters from the 1970s onwards. This is another Zevon song that begs the question: Why isn’t Warren Zevon in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?