One of the fun things about going to a rock concert, or watching one on TV or YouTube, is when the act on stage does a cover of a song that they’d never play in the studio. Back in May 2003 I saw Bruce Springsteen play with the E-Street Band on his Rising tour at the Old Trafford cricket ground, and it was brilliant. But I remember it most for his playing Seven Nights to Rock, a classic rockabilly song first recorded by Moon Mullican.
I think I was the only one in the entire crowd who knew this song, thanks to a pal of mine who got me into rockabilly at an early age including some rather obscure stuff.
It turns out Springsteen plays this song a lot. Here he is playing it in Paris in 2012:
So there we have Bruce Springsteen covering Moon Mullican. And today I found this video, which is Warren Zevon singing Poor Poor Pitiful Me live in New Jersey in 1982 before launching into a cover of Springsteen’s Cadillac Ranch. There are some wonderful moustaches and mullets on display.
I first heard Poor Poor Pitiful Me when I was in the Patagonia store in New York last September. I Shazamed it, and wondered how I’d never heard this song before. That’s the beauty of music and YouTube: there is always something new to discover.
For those who might be interested, Linda Ronstadt did a studio cover of Poor Poor Pitiful Me, which is arguably the more famous version.
I prefer Zevon’s, though.