Almanac music: uni life with Woodrow Wilson and Warren Zevon

Anthony W Collins (also known as Mulcaster here at The Almanac) makes his Stereo Stories debut with a tale of uni life, US-Central American politics circa 1914, and the great Warren Zevon.

Visit our partner site Stereo Stories to read Mulcaster’s story

Coming soon to Stereo Stories: memoirs inspired by songs by Arcade Fire, The Beatles, Tom Waits, and Van Morrison. Or, to put it another way, stories about driving lessons, family violence, pink flamingos, and cancer.



  1. Ah Gulbo, thanks for taking me back to when I was your closest rival for worst undergraduate student. You got me to thinking about having my own Warren Zevon vinyl album when I lived at college with you & JTH. So I dug it out and found it to be the self titled album which had my favourite Zevon song Mohammed’s Radio plus another one also covered by Linda Ronstadt, Poor Poor Pitiful Me. I preferred to watch the videos of Linda but always enjoyed the song writing of Warren. I also remember with sadness, seeing Zevon telling David Letterman that he had untreatable cancer and not long to live. He occasionally filled in for Paul Schaeffer as the musical director on that show. I’m listening to some Zevon as I ponder on old times. Cheers … TG

  2. TG, have you heard Zevon’s version of “Raspberry Beret”? It is sensational.

  3. With REM as the backing band

  4. Veracruz is superb.
    “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” is near perfect. aaah…Patty Hearst!

  5. I was at a trivia night and named the team I was in “The Hindu Love Gods”, brought the house down. We won o bottle of Bundy for the best team name but only one other person got it. This pimply kid with coke bottle glasses came up and said “Who’s into Warren Zevon?” bright lad …he will go far.

  6. Warren Zevon was a great wordsmith. I first heard Werewolves of London back in 1978, and was captivated. His lyrics evoked such marvellous imagery, I mean how can you not be intrigued by Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner .

    Sadly Warren Zevon, like the Clash, Hank Williams, JOK are performers i”ll never see perform live. Listening to their recordings over the years has given me hours of fun!

    RIP Warren Zevon.


  7. Desperadoes Under The Eves.
    “And if California slides into the ocean
    Like the mystics and statistics say it will
    I predict this motel will be standing
    Until I pay my bill”
    Helluva song. And Carmelita, and The French Inhaler and…
    Splendid Isolation:
    “Michael Jackson in Disneyland
    Don’t have to share it with nobody else
    Lock the gates, Goofy, take my hand
    And lead me through the world of self.”
    Saw Warren at The Universal in Fitzroy once. Embarrassingly small room, a man past his best, wearing Adidas Rome, which was a nice touch, played some good steel guitar.
    Also saw The Clash (mentioned above) at Festival Hall. A band in their pomp. Best gig I’ve ever seen.

  8. Furthermore, from Carmelita: “So I pawned my Smith Corona, And I went to meet my man.”
    How to describe the death of a dream in 13 words.

  9. Hey ajc, I reckon the next two lines are even better: “He hangs out down on Alvarado Street
    By the Pioneer chicken stand”. Talk about taking a Lou Reed line, reinterpreting it for LA and making it an even better image!

    Let’s not forget his last three albums, that I think are in his best. We played Fistful of Rain at my brother’s funeral (he passed away at the age of 39). These lines in particular summed up how incomprehensible such a loss is: “When your grasp has exceeded your reach / And you put all your faith / In a figure of speech / You’ve heard all the answers / But the questions remain / Grab a hold of that fistful of rain”.

    He’s the bomb.

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