The Spaceman and The Excitable Boy

30 Comments

Dan Epstein has a great column over at Fox today about two rebels/iconoclasts/weirdos who found themselves to be outcasts in businesses that, while superficially promoting and rewarding individuality, genius and fun, really don’t when push comes to shove. The outcasts in questions: Warren Zevon and Bill “the Spaceman” Lee.

As he blazed his weird trail through the 1970s — and particularly, his contentious 1978 season — Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee professed his admiration for Zevon, who after years of toiling, had finally broken into the big time with his 1978 album “Excitable Boy.” Zevon, in turn, took a shine to Lee, recognizing him as a fellow oddball, and wrote a song about him. Eventually they met and became friends, which couldn’t have possibly been good for either of them, even if it sounds like it would’ve been all kinds of fun to hang around them.

Epstein tells their respective weird tales and, as he so often does, in his books and his columns, reminds us of just how damn weird the 1970s were.