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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Werewolves of London

Ah-ooo! Lycanthropy time on My Halloween Countdown.

"Werewolf of London" is a terrific Universal horror film made in 1935, starring Henry Hull. IMDB describes its plot thusly: "While on a botanical expedition in Tibet Dr. Wilfred Glendon is attacked in the dark by a strange animal. Returning to London, he finds himself turning nightly into a werewolf and terrorizing the city, with the only hope for curing his affliction a rare Asian flower."

In the 1980s, John Landis was influenced by the film's title when he made "An American Werewolf in London." But in 1978, off his third album, Excitable Boy, the late Warren Zevon had a Billboard Pop Singles success, at #21, with "Werewolves of London." (Werewolves sure love Londontown!)

Songwriter Zevon wrote "Poor Pitiful Me," which charted well for Linda Rondstadt. "Werewolves" was the biggest hit he recorded himself. It features accompaniment by bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. The song is memorable for its humorous and macabre lyrics ("I saw a werewolf drinking a piƱa colada at Trader Vic's, his hair was perfect!") and the refrain featuring the famously howled "ah-ooo!!"

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