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David Lindell is a former mercenary, friend of Warren Zevon, and co-writer of "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" beside Zevon. The song appeared on his 1978 album Excitable Boy. Zevon met Lindell in Spain, where the latter was running a bar after a stint working as a mercenary in Africa, and where Zevon was working as live entertainment. Typically interested in the darker side of life, Zevon decided to collaborate with Lindell on a song about a mercenary. Zevon would later return to the theme of mercenaries in "Jungle Work" from his 1980 album, Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School. The song is also known as "The Mercenary Theme Song".