The Worrier King
January 24, 2003 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Warren Zevon, one of the best damned songwriters I've ever heard, patron saint of many famous curmudgeons, and a real cool SOB in his own right, turns 56 today.

Last September, he was told he had inoperable lung cancer, and so he's living out his remaining years in the studio, recording as much as he can. I for one am glad he's got at least one more album in him. Is there a moral to this tale? Enjoy every sandwich.
posted by chicobangs (16 comments total)
I know his troubles have come up before, but I just thought it merited mention that he's still alive and trying to get his last album done.

Sorry if anyone feels this is flogging a horse.
posted by chicobangs at 7:16 AM on January 24, 2003

i just hope he has enough lawyers, guns and money. because for him, the shit has hit the fan. i've always loved his work.
posted by quonsar at 8:08 AM on January 24, 2003

Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner would nod his head in sympathy, were he not headless.
posted by jonmc at 8:13 AM on January 24, 2003

His appearance on David Letterman was the first tmie I'd ever seen him. I'd heard of some of his music, but didn't know what he looked like.

I ended up watching the whole show because it seemed like a really personal performance and interview, and Letterman's show doesn't do that sort of thing very often.

It was quite a treat.
posted by grum@work at 9:27 AM on January 24, 2003

This picture says it all. God bless Hunter S. Thompson.
posted by pejamo at 9:28 AM on January 24, 2003

My first thought when I saw Zevon's name at the beginning of this post was "Oh no...." because I figured it would be bad news. How nice to hear that not only is he still with us, but he's busy doing what he loves. Thanks, chico b.
posted by boomchicka at 10:03 AM on January 24, 2003

ah he always was an excitable boy they all said.

happy b-day WZ
posted by bitdamaged at 10:42 AM on January 24, 2003

Yeah... scared me too. Sounded too much like an obituary... phew.
posted by armoured-ant at 11:01 AM on January 24, 2003

It's sad and disappointing, really. Zevon is a modern-day troubador for sure, but boomchicka has it right when she says it's nice to hear he's able to be busy doing what he loves, while chicobangs seems to be saying he's glad he's got one more album left in him. Maybe the moral of this tale has something more to do with how fans often seem to want to extole the talents of artists while at the same time looking to capture every last drop of product, regardless. Zevon might change his mind and decide to convert a lighthouse into a hospice for ailing musicians, where would you be then?
posted by yonderboy at 11:23 AM on January 24, 2003

I'm just glad he got to live his dream. (Too bad the movie stank on ice.)
posted by Vidiot at 11:53 AM on January 24, 2003

Hey yonderboy, I don't think that's what chicobangs was saying at all. The tone of the post is a celebratory one. He's still alive and making music, that's good news, it's WZ's birthday and that's it. If Warren did decide to run a hospice I'm sure it would be more affordable for the regular joe or jane than (yeah, I know, the services are different) Eric Clapton's Crossroads.
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 12:15 PM on January 24, 2003

Yes,I intended the post to be celebratory, that he was still alive and all.

But there is a question in my mind. What made him change what he was doing when he found out he had six months (or whatever) to live? I mean, did that give him the moment of clarity he needed to say, "Look, my time is short on this earth, I should just wring as much music out of my brain as possible before I leave"?

And if so, then was the touring he was doing before a waste of time?

I'm kind of wrestling with these questions myself in my personal life right now, so that's maybe why I'm in that frame of mind.
posted by chicobangs at 12:33 PM on January 24, 2003

WKG, certainly the tone is celebratory and myself having seen Eric Clapton when he, himself, was at his own 'crossroads', I must agree.

chicobangs, he may have had a moment of clarity, as you say, or it's possible it was something else entirely, either way, let's leave it for him to have and share with those he chooses. Maybe you can pray for b-sides and studio bootlegs or how about just hope for the chance that a lung transplant might help.
posted by yonderboy at 12:41 PM on January 24, 2003

I saw him perform once. He was really drunk. The crowd started hooting, and somebody drenched him with beer. I still really like that first album though. I hope his last is the zinger his fans are hoping for.
posted by troutfishing at 2:55 PM on January 24, 2003

I had that same sinking feeling when I saw Warren Zevon on the front page. How nice to be celebrating his birthday, instead.

troutfishing - Zevon runs hot and cold. I've seen him a couple of times. A couple years back--the last time I saw him--he pretty much ran on autopilot. He mentioned something about operating on just a few hours sleep that night.
posted by chipr at 3:35 PM on January 24, 2003

i almost got to see him perform. but i got kicked out of the club for drinking (underage) before the opening act even came on. so i had to drive around rochester for 2 hours on a bitterly cold winter night with this guy that also got kicked out, waiting for the show to be over so our friends could drive us home.

but, after seeing him on the letterman show i've been able to listen to his music again without having flashbacks to that night.
posted by goddam at 4:02 PM on January 24, 2003

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