Tom Petty Picks His Poison

Hearing Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” marked how much things had changed for Warren Zanes. Just a few years earlier, he had been on tour opening for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers as a member of The Del Fuegos. That day in 1989, he had parted ways with his band and was fixing a bike in Bicycle Michael’s on Frenchmen Street. The band was from Boston, but he moved to New Orleans to get his head back together, work on demos, and plan a return to rock ’n’ roll that never happened.

Searching for Clifton Chenier

The structure of Todd Mouton’s book Way Down in Louisiana tells you what you need to know. The book is subtitled “Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music,” and if you look at the book from the side you see a thick series of red pages in the middle. That is Mouton’s biography of Clifton Chenier, and as the rest of the book shows, Chenier is at the heart of music from South Louisiana, just as he is at the heart of the book.