Warren Zevon - I'll SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD

First performance: 23/06/1978


Coverinfo

Bruce performed the song ony once:
 
1978-06-23 - PARAMOUNT THEATRE, PORTLAND, OR

As he had done a couple of months earlier in New York City, Springsteen makes an unannounced guest appearance at a Warren Zevon gig – this time playing guitar, harmonica and sharing vocals on a wild, extended version of "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead", Warren's final encore of the evening. 
 
 
 

Songinfo

"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" is a song from Warren Zevon's 1976 self-titled album. The song contains Zevon's trademark cynicism and morbid fascination. The song features a man refusing to rest from his damned deeds with the note that he'll sleep when he's dead. The song suggests that with life so short and with only so many Saturday nights to "raise a little harm" there is no time for sleep. It also notes that if he stops being able to keep up his act and starts "acting stupid" that he'll shoot himself. The studio version of the song also contains long streams of incomprehensible muttering by Zevon, though most other versions do not feature this. The title of the song became one of Zevon's most frequently quoted and the title most ascribed to his personality. The title was later used as a compilation album name I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (An Anthology) and as the header for Crystal Zevon's biography of her late ex-husband I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon. The song also appears on A Quiet Normal Life: The Best of Warren Zevon and on the live album Stand in the Fire.
 
 
 

Other cover versions

Bruce on the artist


Bruce played the only known Springsteen performance of "My Ride's Here" in honor to Warren Zevon who passed away three days earlier.
 
Spoken intro:

"Let me hear you, Dan! .. Alright! I want to, uh, start the night with a song in memory of my great friend Warren Zevon. Warren passed away a few days ago, but he was one of the great, great American songwriters, and, uh, I love him, I'm gonna miss him very much. This is one of, uh, Warren's songs, called My Ride Is Here."

Lyrics

So much to do, there's plenty on the farm
I'll sleep when I'm dead
Saturday night I like to raise a little harm
I'll sleep when I'm dead
I'm drinking heartbreak motor oil and Bombay gin
I'll sleep when I'm dead
Straight from the bottle, twisted again
I'll sleep when I'm dead
Well, I take this medicine as prescribed
I'll sleep when I'm dead
It don't matter if I get a little tired
I'll sleep when I'm dead
I've got a .38 special up on the shelf
I'll sleep when I'm dead
If I start acting stupid
I'll shoot myself
I'll sleep when I'm dead
So much to do, there's plenty on the farm
I'll sleep when I'm dead
Saturday night I like to raise a little harm
I'll sleep when I'm dead