Warren Zevon, "Boom Boom Mancini"

>> Monday, December 26, 2011






Or, to readers in Britain, Canada, Australia and elsewhere in The Commonwealth, Happy Boxing Day!

I figured I'd commemorate the occasion by finding some kind of endearing or entertaining song about Boxing Day on YouTube (being unable to remember any off the top of my head); but either because I'm too lazy to think through the right search phrase or simply because nobody has ever written an endearing or entertaining song about Boxing Day, I simply couldn't find one.

So, here's a song about boxing.

I would have to confess, I'm not a fan of boxing and really find the whole activity a little barbaric. Men get into a roped-off area and hit each other until one of them almost dies or the match gets called for a winner based on what seems like a suspiciously subjective scoring system. I'm not saying I don't get the appeal at all: there's something viscerally appealing about violence, and strategically inflicted violence manages to appeal to the lizardy parts of the lower brain that enjoy a really good punch to the face and the forebrainy parts that appreciate cause-and-effect. There's a certain skill and grace a talented boxer possesses until too many shots to the head turn him into a somewhat mobile pudding, a grace that satisfies both aesthetic and primal sensibilities. That doesn't mean I approve.

Consequent to the above, I confess I knew nothing about Ray Mancini prior to Warren Zevon releasing a slamming song about him, indeed, I can't even say for sure if I'd heard of him, or if I had it must have only been in a passing way. And enjoying the Zevon song as much as I do--that's really just an excellent beat driving it, and the way Warren spits out the syncopated lyrics is just perfect--always seems a little sleazy and poseur-ey: everything I know about Boom Boom Mancini I learned from Warren Zevon and eventually looking the guy up on Wikipedia when I got tired of wondering what the Duk Koo Kim reference was all about. That's probably irrational on my part: a song is a song, the subject is the subject, and there are lots of songs about places I've never been, things I've never done, people I haven't heard of, etc. Still. There's just something about the specificity in this instance that bothers me a little when I crank this one up. And you have to crank it up.





3 comments:

Phiala Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 3:27:00 PM EST  

Zevon I saw in Raleigh, in 1996 or so. Don't suppose you were at that show too?

Eric Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 3:40:00 PM EST  

I saw him in Carboro, but I think it was a year or two later; if memory serves, it was actually after I'd graduated from law school. It was, it sadly turned out, what turned out to be his last tour. Jill Sobule, who I utterly adore, opened for him, but Warren came out during her set to recite, in a deadpan monotone, the titular refrain of "I Kissed A Girl" every time it came up.

A great show.

Phiala Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 3:50:00 PM EST  

By then I was already in New Mexico, sadly. That sounds like a great show.

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