Excitable Boy is the third studio album by American musician Warren Zevon. The album was released on January 18, 1978, by Asylum Records. It includes the single "Werewolves of London", which reached No. 21 and remained in the American Top 40 for six weeks. The album brought Zevon to commercial attention and remains the best-selling album of his career. A remastered and expanded edition was released in 2007.
"Excitable Boy" and "Werewolves of London" were considered macabrely humorous by some critics. The historical "Veracruz" dramatizes the United States occupation of Veracruz; likewise, "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" is a fictionalized account of former mercenary David Lindell's experiences in Africa. "Lawyers, Guns and Money" is a tongue-in-cheek tale of a young American man's adventures in Cold War-era Latin America. In addition, there are two ballads about life and relationships ("Accidentally Like a Martyr" and "Tenderness on the Block"), as well as the funk/disco-inspired "Nighttime in the Switching Yard".
- Danny Kortchmar - guitar / vocals
- Waddy Wachtel - guitar / vocals
- Lee Sklar - bass
- Russ Kunkel - drums
- Steve Postell - guitar / vocals
Here's a comprehensive 2013 Rolling Stone on the legendary status of The Section:
The Section: Knights of Soft Rock
Back when there was plenty of room in Hotel California, a crew of hard-living session men created the sound of the 1970s
By DAVID BROWNE
By 1979, guitarist Waddy Wachtel thought he’d seen everything. He had shown up for morning studio sessions to find Warren Zevon already wasted; he’d seen California Gov. Jerry Brown, Linda Ronstadt‘s then-boyfriend, retreat from a room of stoned rockers after unexpectedly popping into one of Ronstadt’s sessions; he’d walked offstage after playing with Carole King and into a brawl with her boyfriend. But he wasn’t quite prepared for the strange, vexing behavior of James Taylor.
If anyone embodied the peaceful easy feeling of the decade, it was Taylor, whose inward-looking ballads and self-effacing stage presence hit the Seventies in its sweet spot. Women fell for the brooding guy on the cover of Sweet Baby James, men related to his reserved masculinity, and radio couldn’t get enough of hits like “Handy Man” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” But as Wachtel was learning on his first tour in Taylor’s band, in 1979, another, far less relaxed Taylor lurked in the shadows. That Taylor was grappling with alcoholism and hard drugs and was in the midst of a troubled marriage to Carly Simon; their two-year-old son, Ben, had suffered from fevers in his infancy. Taylor had battled addiction before, and it was surfacing once again.
The hints of trouble began before the first show. Toasting the musicians and the tour at a local bar in Texas, Taylor downed two martinis in one gulp each. “I went, ‘Uh-oh – that’s not a good sign!'” recalls Wachtel, chilling in his home studio in the San Fernando Valley. At 65, he looks very much as he did in the 1970s: like a hippie librarian, with his round glasses and slight frame. On the bus the morning after gigs, Taylor would be seen nursing the same bottle from the night before. At one gig, Wachtel broke his pinky toe after tripping over stage cables and later asked Taylor for a painkiller from his stash. Taylor begrudgingly said yes – but Wachtel had to physically pry one out of Taylor’s mouth when his boss wouldn’t give it up. Then, one day when he was riding in the back seat of a car with Taylor, Wachtel watched as a female tollbooth clerk asked Taylor for an autograph. Looking groggy, Taylor scribbled something on a piece of paper, said, “Hi, darling, here you go,” and handed it to her. Wachtel glanced over and saw what Taylor had scrawled: “You bitch, I’ll kill you” – signed, sardonically, “James Taylor.”
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