Warren Zevon, “Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song)”

You don’t have to be a hockey fan to appreciate the cleverness with which Zevon and Mitch Albom lay out the tale (although it probably doesn’t hurt).

Just about every songwriter worth their salt has collaborated with other writers during their career. But it’s doubtful that anyone has ever cultivated a list of co-writers as eclectic as the late, great Warren Zevon. We’re talking novelists (Carl Hiassen), gonzo journalists (Hunter S. Thompson), even mercenaries (David Lindell). And, in the case of “Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)”, sportswriter Mitch Albom helped Zevon on this wonder of tragicomic storytelling. On his website, Albom explains the origins of the song. “This song came about when my friend Warren Zevon and I were talking one day,” Albom writes. “He said, ‘You know, I’d like to do a sports song that nobody has done before.’ And I said, ‘Hockey’ And he said, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘I can’t think of a single hockey song.’ And he said, ‘Great! You should write me one!’” Albom began the process and the two later got together to complete it, with Albom never thinking the song would end up on Zevon’s 2002 album My Ride’s Here. Nor could Albom have imagined who would end up helping Zevon with the song: most of David Letterman’s Late Show band, including Paul Shaffer on organ, with Dave himself belting…

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