Luke Elliot Premieres His New Single, A Cover of Warren Zevon’s “Boom Boom Mancini”

American Songwriter is  proud to share Luke Elliot’s premiere of  his new single, a cover version of the Warren Zevon classic, “Boom Boom Mancini,” which is being released worldwide today. A remix version of the song, “Boom Boom Mancini (Dream Version),” will be released worldwide on May 28, both via Black Sea Music on all digital outlets.

Asked why he chose this song of all the Zevon gems,  the New Jersey born Elliot, who now lives in Oslo, Norway answered,  “When I was living in New Haven, Connecticut, I would listen to the album Sentimental Hygiene on repeat in my car, and I always played `Boom Boom Mancini’ twice. There’s a violence to it that made me curious, a ferocity in Warren’s voice that made me want to find out more about the story, more about the people involved.” 

Legendary singer-songwriter Tom Russell painted this for this project.

Luke Elliot, “Boom Boom Mancini”

Luke Elliot, “Boom Boom Mancini”

It was written and released originally by Zevon in 1987. It tells the story of the infamous 1982 boxing match between World Champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Duk-koo Kim. The referee failed to stop the fight as Mancini mercilessly pummeled Kim late in the match. Kim collapsed into a coma minutes later and died the next day. Both Kim’s mother and the referee committed suicide in the following years. 

Zevon said he wrote it because his dad was a boxer. He’s sympathetic to Mancini in the song, implying the boxer was doing his job, and is not to blame for Chacon’s death.

Zevon recorded it for his album Sentimental Hygiene with a good band he assembled: R.E.M. Warren loved them, and before then had recorded demos of his songs together, and a jam album called Hindu Love Gods. They recorded this song together and others on the album.

“Boom Boom” Mancini was thrilled by the song. “Warren Zevon,” he said, “was a lovely guy.”

It was in Norway that Luke Elliot recorded the song, and co-produced it with multi-instrumentalist Freddy Holm. Israeli-born singer/songwriter Keren Ann contributed backing vocals from Paris. The song was mixed in Sweden by Lasse Mårtén, who has worked with artists like Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand, Lykke Li and Neko Case. 

“I’ve been performing this song live for a few years,” says Elliot, “and I have always been asked to record it. I was recently writing some new material, and I was looking for collaborators when I was introduced to Keren Ann. I’d known her work for some time, but when we started putting down some ideas together, it occurred to me that she would bring a new universe to this track. There´s this juxtaposition in the angelic way she sings Zevon´s words that really speaks to me. The harmonies really sear through in a way I think befits the tragic story of `Boom Boom’ Mancini and Duk-koo Kim.” 

Since the release of his debut album in 2016, Luke Elliot has become known for his compelling live performances, solid songwriting skills and his cinematic musicality that has been called “elegant and earthy,” offering bold emotionality, poetic lyrics and haunting epic tales. Elliot has two critically praised albums, 2016’s Dressed for thje Occasion and 2020’s The Big Wind, and a number of singles in his growing discography. He has toured and sold-out venues all over the world, and is especially cherished by his hometown Nordic fans. Recently he  appeared in the episodic dark Norwegian thriller, “Exit,” where he performed his song, “All On Board.” 

Luke Elliot. Photo by Stephen Butkus.


“Boom Boom Mancini”
Words & Music by Warren Zevon


Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon

From Youngstown, Ohio, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini
A lightweight contender, like father like son
He fought for the title with Frias in Vegas
And he put him away in round number one

Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon


When Alexis Arguello gave Boom Boom a beating
Seven weeks later he was back in the ring
Some have the speed and the right combinations
If you can’t take the punches, it don’t mean a thing

Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon

When they asked him who was responsible
For the death of do Koo Kim
He said, “Some one should have stopped the fight
And told me it was him.

They made hypocrite judgments after the fact
But the name of the game is be hit and hit back”

Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon
Hurry home early hurry on home
Boom Boom Mancini’s fighting Bobby Chacon


© Warren Zevon/Universal Music Publishing Group

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