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"Gorilla, You're a Desperado" is a track from Warren Zevon's 1980 album Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.

About the Song[]

It's a comedic account of the narrator's visit to the Los Angeles Zoo, where a gorilla took his car keys, and proceeded to invade his life, leaving him in the zoo to take his place. Zevon's "gorilla" theme is not unique to this piece, in fact, a song called "Gorilla" was included on his first ever album back in 1969. To quote Warren's son Jordan, "Dad had obsessions with certain things. He had an obsession with gorillas, and he had an obsession with skulls. There was a plastic gorilla thing that had wire-rimmed glasses on, and he had a song called, 'Gorilla', on his first album, Wanted Dead or Alive." Similar themes echo to a certain extent in songs such as "Leave My Monkey Alone" from 1987's Sentimental Hygiene.

Song Lyrics[]

Note: the text of this song's lyrics is not under the same copyright license as the wiki's encyclopedic text, it is used under fair use/dealing.

Big gorilla at the LA Zoo

Snatched the glasses right off my face

Took the keys to my BMW

Left me here to take his place.

I wish the ape a lot of success,

I'm sorry my apartment's a mess

Most of all I'm sorry if I made you blue

I'm betting the gorilla will too.

They say Jesus will find you wherever you go

But when He'll come looking for you,

They don't know.

In the meantime, keep your profile low,

Gorilla, you're a desperado.

He built a house on an acre of land

He called it Villa Gorilla,

Now I hear he's getting divorced,

Laying low at L'Ermitage of course.

Then the ape grew very depressed

Went through transactional analysis.

He plays racquetball and runs in the rain

Still he's shackled to a platinum chain.

Big gorilla at the LA Zoo

Snatched the glasses right off my face

Took the keys to my BMW

Left me here to take his place.

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