The cult fans demand only new information, the mainstream audience need reminding of who Zevon was, and the music critics require analysis of Zevon's techniques. Not much came of it. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner This song is by Warren Zevon and appears… on the album Excitable Boy (1978) on the compilation album A Quiet Normal Life - The Best Of Warren Zevon (1986) on the live album Learning To Flinch (1993) on the compilation album I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (1996) on the compilation album Genius: The Best Of Warren Zevon (2002) Roland was a warrior from … There aren't actually all that many lines in pop music that tell you, simply by their construction, who their writer was. The late-night host David Letterman devoted an entire episode to him, the only guest on that evening’s show. Now, however, a decade and a half later, Nothing's Bad Luck feels a disappointment. It's worth reading if you're a fan. Otherwise, Roland's a great song, knee deep in gore. His father—William Zevon, or "Stumpy," as they called him—was a bookie and minor gangster in Chicago. All this creates a problem for C.M. And a man named Warren Zevon had a surprising number of them. Kushins in Nothing's Bad Luck, since he can't quite decide for whom he is trying to write. “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” might be the best song ever written about a Scandinavian mercenary fighting an African war, getting his head blown off and then going on a revenge-fueled murder spree. You hear something like, I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand / Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain, as he sang in his 1978 "Werewolves of London." Partying for singing party songs. A person who uses a Thompson gun is a Thompson gunner. The sadness, the ruin, of Warren Zevon is that there aren't enough of them. Rolling Stone ran a long essay about him in 1981, a cover story called "The Crackup and Resurrection of Warren Zevon," about his recovery from addiction—and by the time it appeared, Zevon had already recovered from sobriety, with cigarettes, drink, and drugs again dominating his life. Watch the video for Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner from Warren Zevon's Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon for free, and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. There aren't actually all that many lines in pop music that tell you, simply by their construction, who their writer was. Other songs such as "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money" used deadpan humor to wed geopolitical subtexts to hard-boiled narratives. //