Warren Zevon
American musician
Warren Zevon
Warren William Zevon /ˈziːvɒn/ was an American rock singer-songwriter and musician noted for including his sometimes sardonic opinions of life in his musical lyrics, composing songs that were sometimes humorous and often had political or historical themes. Zevon's work has often been praised by well-known musicians, including Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young.
Biography
Warren Zevon's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Warren Zevon from around the web
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Celebrates 50 Years With New Album Releases on Sept. 30, First-Ever IBMA Performance
Huffington Post - 5 months
I have always found it a bit ironic that one of the most iconic American bands that plays bluegrass has its roots, not in the verdant hills of Appalachia, but in the shifting sands of sunny Southern California. Note that I said "band that plays bluegrass" rather than "bluegrass band." Because that's what Nitty Gritty Dirt Band leader and co-founder Jeff Hanna calls them. When the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band started playing together in 1966, the band's unique brand of music didn't have a name. In fact, it is the founding members of NGDB that helped create what we call Americana music today by mixing elements of bluegrass, folk, mountain music, country and western and rock and roll into a sound that was uniquely, you guessed it, American. "Even though, when we started in 1966 -- me, Jimmy and John - we lived by the beach in Southern California, we were drawn to folk music. We called ourselves 'folk puppies.' We weren't into surf music. We were lucky enough to get to see the Dil ...
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Huffington Post article
Remembering Judee Sill: A Mystic Walked Among Us
Huffington Post - over 1 year
A selfish motivation is the genesis lurking behind the creation of this post. Simply put, this writer feels oddly compelled to add to the emerging canon of articles and documentaries about the late singer/songwriter Judee Sill. Sometimes a story idea will haunt the writer until it is completed. Sill described herself as a "genderless angel." The patina of years has me convinced that Judee Sill, if not an angel, was truly a mystic walking in our midst, and we all overlooked that fact. Certainly the music business did. She wrote as if she were not part of this earthly plane; inhabiting exploding star clusters while riding ten crested cardinals and enchanted sky machines. Who could write like that if they were not exquisitely aware of something beyond, something extraordinary, and something worth the telling? For Sill, it was November of 1979 and not T.S. Eliot's April that was the cruelest month. She passed at the age of 35 of a drug overdose. This fascination with Judee Sill be ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Lacob's misfires and other tidbits from Pebble Beach
San Francisco Chronicle - about 3 years
-- If your tee shot lands in the cup and stays there, it's a hole-in-one, right? [...] Lacob blows his one chance this tourney to play 18 and bring it home in front of the Bay Area fans. If someone makes a video of Lacob's finish, producer T-Bone Burnett will do the music and go with Warren Zevon's lyrics "Send lawyers, guns and money, the s- has hit the fan." Last week Phil Mickelson played the Phoenix Open and suffered a killer double-bogey on the easy par-3 stadium hole, after flinging footballs into the stands, playing to the rowdy crowd. Mickelson said afterward that he got caught up in the fun and the football flinging caused him to lose focus and blow the hole. -- On the CBS telecast of the tournament Friday, the cameras zoom in on the surf at Carmel Beach, adjacent to Pebble Beach. The CBS guys interview Eastwood on Saturday, and Nick Faldo says, "That must have been scary for you." Shortly after a fellow competitor snapped a leg in a wipeout and was hauled out by helico ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Werewolf Bites: 32 Things You Didn't Know About the Hairy Beasts
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Who's afraid of the big, bad werewolf? Hopefully not viewers, because full moon fever has overtaken winter television with a litter of shows featuring supernatural pups. Syfy leads the pack on Mondays (AKA "moon day") with Being Human, Bitten and Lost Girl, but there is also MTV's Teen Wolf (shown above) -- as well as The CW's werewolf-ish Beauty And The Beast. Vampires take center stage with CW's The Originals and The Vampire Diaries, but the wolves are a regular burden to the bloodsuckers Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively. Although he's technically a "Blutbad," the hairy Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) on NBC's Grimm is definitely a wolfman. And these shows don't even include later offerings in 2014 -- such as True Blood and Hemlock Grove, with werewolves as lead characters -- or all the other shows with cameos by the creatures. So with all the lupine lunacy on the TV landscape, now seemed like a good time for a giant serving of paranormal pop-culture werewolf bites. 1. Ly ...
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Huffington Post article
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Travelers Acting Badly On The Road
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Halloween, like traveling, can bring out the best, and worst in us. Trick or treat? Think of all those alter-ego costumes we dress up in to become somebody we're not. Think of all those guests behaving badly (aka that old Ugly American stereotype), or creating your own on the road fictional persona. Traveling heightens our fantasies, and living a fantasy is human nature. The acting out of borderline personality disorders traveling can, and does, lead to some pretty harrowing displays of human behavior. Every traveler has heard crazy on-the-road stories--the comedies and nightmares--revealing once again that old truism: that life is truly stranger than fiction. I've seen my fair share of Zombie's, Werewolves and Dracula's come out at night in the world's tourists ghettos from Amsterdam to Kathmandu and Kuta to Negril beaches. Call it the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on the road. We've all met a swash-buckling Indiana Jones wannabe dressed like he just came off a Hollywoo ...
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Huffington Post article
Conversations With Graham Nash, Allen Toussaint and Colin Gilmore, Plus Coney Hatch and Dom La Nena Exclusives
Huffington Post - over 3 years
A Conversation with Graham Nash Mike Ragogna: Hi Graham, how are you? Graham Nash: I'm doing good. I think we've spoken before. MR: Yes, and thank you very much again for that interview. GN: You're very welcome. MR: Your new book Wild Tales, to me is like the who's who and the what's what of the music business. You're like Kevin Bacon. We can play Six Degrees of Graham Nash now. GN: Yes indeed, oh boy. I think that's one of the things that publishers really like. They like that it's my voice, that it feels like I'm sitting in your kitchen talking to you and I was as honest as I could be. MR: Absolutely. Graham, you're in the heart of at least a half-dozen important music or otherwise "scenes" including Liverpool at the time of your group The Hollies and The Beatles, Laurel Canyon in LA when that became a happening, the anti-nuclear assembly of artists... So even if you think it's cosmic, what is your explanation? How do you rationalize all this? GN: I think that the universe ...
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Huffington Post article
The Top 10 Songs of Warren Zevon
Forward - over 3 years
From songs of youthful rebellion to late, introspective masterpieces, Warren Zevon’s music continued to evolve until his untimely death. Here are the ten essential cuts from Zevon’s memorable career. Click here for the rest of the article...
Article Link:
Forward article
David Wild: "A Legal Matter": A Playlist for The Zimmerman Jury
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Robert Frost once noted, "A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer." The jury in the trial of George Zimmerman consists of six woman, and this playlist goes out to these sequestered Americans as they try to make sense of this case that too many -- including possibly me now -- have exploited for entertainment. Here's hoping the Zimmerman jury deliberates wisely in this legal matter, and in the end there is something like justice for Trayvon Martin and for all. As always, please join this jury and add your own songs below. A LEGAL MATTER - The Who END OF THE INNOCENCE - Don Henley JURY - Raekwon THE VERDICT - Joe Jackson JAILHOUSE ROCK - Elvis Presley TESTIFY - Common CRIMINAL - Fiona Apple HAVE MERCY JUDGE - Chuck Berry FUNKY JUDGE - The J. Geils Band GUILTY - Randy Newman INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM - Tom Waits SEQUESTERED IN MEMPHIS - The Hold Steady HANGMAN JURY - Aerosmith HERE COMES THE JUDGE - Peter Tosh GOOD MORNING JUDG ...
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Huffington Post article
Multi-Instrumentalist David Lindley Appears at the Kanbar Center of the Performing Arts at the Osher Marin JCC in an Intimate Solo Performance on Sat. Feb 16 2013 @ 8pm
Yahoo News - about 4 years
David Lindley performs music that redefines the word "eclectic." Lindley is well known for his many years as the featured accompanist with Jackson Browne as well as work with Warren Zevon and other rock musicians and as leader of his own band El Rayo-X.San Rafael, CA (PRWEB) January 07, 2013 David Lindley has worked extensively in many genres, performing with artists as varied as Curtis Mayfield, to Dolly Parton. He has long championed the concept of world music. ...
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Yahoo News article
Book Review: Mickey Cohen: The Life and Crimes of L.A.'s Notorious Mobster by Tere Tereba
Seattle Pi - over 4 years
Book Review: Mickey Cohen: The Life and Crimes of L.A.'s Notorious Mobster by Tere Tereba Seattle Post-Intelligencer Copyright 2012 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 4:29 a.m., Friday, October 19, 2012 Granted, it is of the dark and gritty, hardboiled and corruption-plagued variety we've come to know from detective stories, crime hearings, tawdry Hollywood exposes, and sensationalistic tabloid headlines and photos. [...] he seemed to relish his time engaging in words of ill will and wit with his tireless foe Senator Robert Kennedy in televised hearings investigating labor racketeering corruption and mob infiltration of businesses. Tereba has an evocative anecdote about actress Barbara Bain, baby daughter in tow, encountering Mickey--whom she didn't personally know--at the underworld overlord's latest front in his Brentwood ice cream parlor ...
Article Link:
Seattle Pi article
Famous Authors' Rock Band Calls It Quits After 20 Years
Huffington Post - over 4 years
LOS ANGELES -- It took 20 years but the group Bruce Springsteen once praised as being almost as good as a lousy garage band is finally calling it quits. The Rock Bottom Remainders, a contingent that has made it clear with every performance that literary giants like Amy Tan, Stephen King and Scott Turow really did make the right decision when they set aside their musical ambitions to write books, is calling it a career after two Southern California shows later this month. "We've gotten as good as we're ever going to get," says lead guitarist and best-selling humorist Dave Barry, explaining the band's decision. "You can't get any better," Barry continued. "Well, you actually can get a lot better. But we can't get any better. We're up to almost four chords now, and the Beatles quit at that point, I'm pretty sure." Truth be told, the Rock Bottom Remainders were always a lot better than they gave themselves credit for. Especially for a band whose members' busy wr ...
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Huffington Post article
CD reviews we couldn’t fit into today’s paper
Roanoke.com - almost 5 years
COUNTING CROWS “Underwater Sunshine.” (Collective Sounds) The Counting Crows successfully navigate that slippery slope some artists slide down when covering other people’s music on their latest album, “Underwater Sunshine.” With one of the most distinctive voices in rock music, Adam Duritz tackles each tune as if it were his own. Fifteen cover songs ranging from the obscure to the popular comprise the album, including ones written by the likes of Bob Dylan and Richard Thompson, as well as newer material by bands like Romany Rye.Duritz caught their show last year at the SXSW Music Festival and was impressed by their “Untitled (Love Song),” so he decided to record it. Since it’s a relatively unheard song, the album opens with the feel of a Crows album. That’s followed by Teenage Fan Club’s “Start Again,” and from there it’s clear these covers — from different eras and artistic style — are designed to merge nicely from one to the next. Standout tracks include Gram Parsons’ “Retu ...
Article Link:
Roanoke.com article
Self-Portraits in a Convex TV Screen: On the Pop Poetry of Michael Robbins
New York Observer - almost 5 years
Mr. Robbins. Not pictured: the Feelies t-shirt. (Photo by Robert Baird) Poets are burdened with a certain expectation: that they will live out their lives not merely as poets but also as The Poet—that tweed jacket-wearing, squinty-eyed creature with mouth curled into a reflective scowl, prone to tuberculosis and self-seriousness. Michael Robbins, whose first book has just been released by Penguin, does not fit this model. The Poet should not wear a black Feelies T-shirt with a white deodorant streak across the stomach. He should not name his first collection after a campy science fiction horror franchise (Alien vs. Predator). Probably, he should not be a germaphobe who carries around a small bottle of hand sanitizer that he uses compulsively after human contact. The Poet might have a tattoo of lines from Yeats on his forearm, but when asked about it, he should not say, “I don’t even remember it. There was this girl … I was 22 … I don’t want to talk about it.” Mr. Robbins is no ...
Article Link:
New York Observer article
Famous Forensic Sculptor Frank Bender Passes Away from Mesothelioma
Seedol - about 5 years
Yet another notable public figure has passed away from mesothelioma. Seventy-year-old Frank Bender, a well-known forensic sculptor (or “recomposer of the dead” as he came to be known) passed away from mesothelioma in July after battling the deadly asbestos disease for nearly two years.  Bender became well known throughout the U.S. – and attained local fame in Philadelphia where he was born and raised – following his involvement in the case of John List, a N.J. man who disappeared after killing his family in 1971. A Bender-designed bust of List’s head that reflected what he would look like 18 years after the murders that was used in an 1989 episode of “America’s Most Wanted” that resulted in the murderer’s capture and eventual conviction “In many ways, Frank’s bust of John List really launched “America’s Most Wanted” into a national force for catching fugitives,” said John Walsh, host of the television show, in 2009, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “ ...
Article Link:
Seedol article
Jonathan Exley, Photographer To The Stars, Dies At 63 - Hollywood Today Newsmagazine
Google News - over 5 years
His early career centered around music's cultural zeitgeists an include; Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Chris Issak, Stevie Wonder, Crystal Gayle, Whitney Houston, Alice Cooper, Warren Zevon, and Michael Jackson. In some cases, he'd not only
Article Link:
Google News article
Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers - 'Translucent Blues' - The Virginian-Pilot
Google News - over 5 years
Using the blues as a solid foundation, the two use verses of rocker Jim Carroll, beat poet Michael McClure, singer-songwriter Warren Zevon and LA jazz poet Michael C. Ford to examine the dark and melancholy side of contemporary existence
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Warren Zevon
    THIRTIES
  • 2003
    The Wind was certified gold by the RIAA in December 2003 and Zevon received five posthumous Grammy nominations, including Song of the Year for the ballad "Keep Me in Your Heart".
    More Details Hide Details The Wind won two Grammys, with the album itself receiving the award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, while "Disorder in the House", Zevon's duet with Bruce Springsteen, was awarded Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal. These posthumous awards were the first Grammys of Zevon's thirty-plus year career. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles. A tribute album titled Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon was released October 19, 2004. Zevon's son, Jordan Zevon, executive produced the album and performed "Studebaker", a previously unfinished Warren Zevon composition. A second tribute album, titled Hurry Home Early: the Songs of Warren Zevon (the line "hurry home early" from the song "Boom Boom Mancini", on Sentimental Hygiene) was released by Wampus Multimedia on July 8, 2005. On February 14, 2006, VH1 Classic premiered a music video from a new compilation, Reconsider Me: The Love Songs. The video, titled "She's Too Good For Me", aired every hour on the hour throughout the day.
  • 2002
    Zevon stated previously that his illness was expected to be terminal within months after the diagnosis in the fall of 2002; however, he lived to see the birth of twin grandsons in June 2003 and the release of The Wind on August 26, 2003.
    More Details Hide Details Owing in part to the first VH1 broadcasts of Nick Read's documentary Warren Zevon: Keep Me In Your Heart, the album reached number 12 on the US charts, Zevon's highest placement since Excitable Boy. When his diagnosis became public, Zevon told the media that he just hoped to live long enough to see the next James Bond movie, a goal he accomplished.
    On October 30, 2002, Zevon was featured on the Late Show with David Letterman as the only guest for the entire hour.
    More Details Hide Details The band played "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" as his introduction. Zevon performed several songs and spoke at length about his illness. Zevon had been a frequent guest and occasional substitute bandleader on Letterman's television shows since Late Night was first broadcast in 1982. He noted, "I might have made a tactical error in not going to a physician for 20 years." It was during this broadcast that, when asked by Letterman if he knew something more about life and death now, he first offered his oft-quoted insight on dying: "Enjoy every sandwich." He also thanked Letterman for his years of support, calling him "the best friend my music's ever had". For his final song of the evening, and his final public performance, Zevon performed "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" at Letterman's request. In the green room after the show, Zevon presented Letterman with the guitar that he always used on the show, with a single request: "Here, I want you to have this, take good care of it." The day after Zevon's death, Letterman paid tribute to Zevon by replaying his performance of "Mutineer" from his last appearance. The Late Show band played Zevon's songs throughout the night.
    In interviews, Zevon described a lifelong phobia of doctors and said he seldom received medical assessment. Shortly before playing at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in 2002, he started feeling dizzy and developed a chronic cough.
    More Details Hide Details After a period of suffering with pain and shortness of breath, Zevon was encouraged by his dentist to see a physician; he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma (cancer that affects the pleura, a thin membrane around the lungs and chest lining). Although Zevon never revealed where he may have been exposed to asbestos, his son Jordan suggests that it came from Zevon's childhood, playing in the attic of his father's carpet store in Arizona. Refusing treatments he believed might incapacitate him, Zevon instead began recording his final album, The Wind, which includes guest appearances by close friends including Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, Timothy B. Schmit, Joe Walsh, David Lindley, Billy Bob Thornton, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Dwight Yoakam, and others. At the request of the music television channel VH1, documentarian Nick Read was given access to the sessions; his cameras documented a man who retained his mordant sense of humor, even as his health was deteriorating over time.
    He followed with 2002's My Ride's Here (with morbid prescience of things to come), which included "Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song)" (which was co-written by Tuesdays with Morrie author Mitch Albom, and featured Paul Shaffer, the "Late Night" band and a spoken guest vocal from TV host David Letterman) and the ballad "Genius", later taken as the title for a 2002 Zevon anthology, and a song whose string section illustrates the lasting influence of Stravinsky on Zevon's work.
    More Details Hide Details At about this time, he and his neighbor actor Billy Bob Thornton formed a close friendship catalyzed by their common experiences with obsessive-compulsive disorder and the fact they lived in the same apartment building. One of his compulsions was buying and hoarding identical grey Calvin Klein T-shirts.
  • 2000
    After another five-year layoff, Zevon signed with industry veteran Danny Goldberg's Artemis Records and again rebounded with the mortality-themed 2000 release Life'll Kill Ya, containing the hymn-like "Don't Let Us Get Sick" and an austere version of Steve Winwood's 1980s hit "Back in the High Life Again".
    More Details Hide Details With record sales reasonably brisk and music critics giving Zevon his best notices since Excitable Boy, Life'll Kill Ya is seen as his second comeback.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    Zevon also played himself on two episodes of Suddenly Susan in 1999, along with singer/actor Rick Springfield.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1996
    Rhino Records released a Zevon "best-of" compilation in 1996, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead.
    More Details Hide Details Zevon also appeared on the Larry Sanders Show on HBO, in 1993, playing himself as a guest on the show, promoting Learning to Flinch.
  • 1995
    In 1995, Zevon released the self-produced Mutineer.
    More Details Hide Details The title track was frequently covered by Bob Dylan on his U.S. Fall Tour in 2002. Zevon's cover of cult artist Judee Sill's "Jesus Was a Crossmaker" predated the wider rediscovery of her work a decade later. The album, however, suffered the worst sales of Zevon's career, in part because his label, superagent Irving Azoff's short-lived Giant Records, was in the process of going out of business.
  • 1994
    His music was also featured in several of William Shatner's TekWar movies from 1994 to 1996. (Zevon is listed as "theme music composer" in the opening credits, and his song "Real or Not" was used as the show's theme song.)
    More Details Hide Details Occasionally, between 1982 and 2001, Zevon filled in for Paul Shaffer as bandleader on Late Night with David Letterman and later Late Show with David Letterman. One example was in 1998 when Shaffer traveled to Canada to film his cameo in Blues Brothers 2000.
  • 1993
    Owing to his reduced circumstances, his performances were often true solo efforts (with minimal accompaniment on piano and guitar); 1993's live Learning to Flinch documents such a tour.
    More Details Hide Details The disc received some airplay on college radio and was considered Zevon's version of Unplugged. Zevon often played in Colorado to allow for an opportunity to visit with his long-time friend Hunter S. Thompson. A lifelong fan of "hardboiled" fiction, Zevon was friendly with several well-known writers who also collaborated on his songwriting during this period, including Thompson, Carl Hiaasen and Mitch Albom. Zevon also served as musical coordinator and occasional guitarist for an ad-hoc rock music group called the Rock Bottom Remainders, a collection of writers performing rock and roll standards at book fairs and other events. This group included Stephen King, Dave Barry, Matt Groening and Amy Tan, among other popular writers, and it has continued to perform one benefit concert per year since Zevon's death. An affiliated project for which Zevon both played and wrote liner notes is the offbeat 1998 album Stranger Than Fiction, a two-CD set attributed to the Wrockers containing rock covers and originals by many of the Remainders authors plus such notables as Norman Mailer and Maya Angelou. Zevon oversaw music for the short-lived revival of the NBC series Route 66 (1993), contributing that show's main title theme, "If You Won't Leave Me I'll Find Somebody Who Will".
  • 1991
    In 1991, Zevon, once again a solo artist, released Mr. Bad Example.
    More Details Hide Details This album featured the modest pop hit "Searching for a Heart" and the rocker "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead", later utilized for the title of the neo-noir film of the same name directed by Gary Fleder; after some skirmishing over the unauthorized use of Zevon's song title, the Zevon track was licensed to play over the film's end credits. Zevon also sang lead vocals on the song "Casey Jones" from the Grateful Dead tribute album, Deadicated (although the cut is credited to regular collaborator David Lindley). Zevon toured the United States (with the Odds), Europe, and Australia and New Zealand during this period.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1989
    The immediate follow-up to Sentimental Hygiene was 1989's Transverse City, a futuristic concept album inspired by Zevon's interest in the work of cyberpunk science fiction author William Gibson.
    More Details Hide Details It featured guests including Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward, Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna bassist Jack Casady, noted jazz keyboardist Chick Corea and a variety of guitarists, including Wachtel, David Lindley, Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukonen, David Gilmour and Neil Young. Key tracks include the title song, "Splendid Isolation", "Run Straight Down" (which had a promotional video that featured Zevon singing in a factory while Gilmour played his guitar solos) and "They Moved the Moon", the latter among Zevon's eerier ballads. Transverse City was a commercial disappointment, and Virgin Records ended its relationship with Zevon soon after the album's release. Zevon, however, contracted almost immediately with Giant Records, and the first issue under Zevon's contract with his new distributor was the Hindu Love Gods album recorded during the Sentimental Hygiene sessions. The album included a cover of Prince's "Raspberry Beret", which became a #23 Modern Rock hit in the U.S.
  • 1987
    Berry, Buck and Mills served as the core of Zevon's next studio band when he re-emerged in 1987 by signing with Virgin Records and recording the album Sentimental Hygiene.
    More Details Hide Details The release, hailed as his best since Excitable Boy, featured a thicker rock sound and taut, often humorous songs like "Detox Mansion", "Bad Karma" (which featured R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe on backup vocals), and "Reconsider Me". Included were contributions from Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Flea, Brian Setzer, George Clinton, as well as Berry, Buck, and Mills. Also on hand were longtime collaborators Jorge Calderón and Waddy Wachtel. During the Sentimental Hygiene sessions, Zevon also participated in an all-night jam session with Berry, Buck and Mills, as they worked their way through rock and blues numbers by the likes of Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Prince. Though the sessions were not initially intended for release, they eventually saw the light of day as a Hindu Love Gods album.
  • 1984
    The trauma allegedly caused him to relapse into serious alcoholism and drug abuse; in 1984, he voluntarily checked himself into an unnamed rehab clinic in Minnesota.
    More Details Hide Details His relationship with Gevinson ended shortly thereafter. Zevon retreated from the music business for several years, except for playing live solo shows, a period of time during which he finally overcame severe alcohol and drug addictions. During this interim period, Zevon collaborated with Bill Berry, Peter Buck and Mike Mills (of R.E.M.), along with backup vocalist Bryan Cook to form a minor project called Hindu Love Gods. The group released the non-charting single "Narrator" on the IRS label in 1984, then went into abeyance for several years.
  • 1983
    In 1983, the recently divorced Zevon became engaged to Philadelphia DJ Anita Gevinson and moved to the East Coast.
    More Details Hide Details After the disappointing reception for The Envoy, Zevon's distributor Asylum Records ended their business relationship, which Zevon discovered only when he read about it in the "Random Notes" gossip column of Rolling Stone.
  • 1982
    Zevon's 1982 release The Envoy returned to the high standard of Excitable Boy but was not a commercial success.
    More Details Hide Details It was an eclectic but characteristic set that included such compositions as "Ain't That Pretty at All", "Charlie's Medicine" and "Jesus Mentioned", the first of Zevon's two musical reactions to the death of Elvis Presley (the other is the song "Porcelain Monkey" on Life'll Kill Ya in 2000). The title track was dedicated to Philip Habib, U.S. special envoy to the Middle East during the early 1980s. In the liner notes for the 1996 I'll Sleep When I'm Dead anthology, Zevon stated that after the song came out, Habib sent him "a very nice letter of appreciation on State Department stationery". The lyrics from another track, "The Hula Hula Boys", were excerpted in Hunter S. Thompson's 1983 book, The Curse of Lono.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1980
    Later during 1980, he released the live album Stand in the Fire (dedicated to Martin Scorsese), recorded over five nights at The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details
    Zevon followed Excitable Boy with 1980's Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.
    More Details Hide Details This album was dedicated to Ken Millar, better known under his nom-de-plume as detective novelist Ross Macdonald. Millar was a literary hero of Zevon's who met the singer for the first time while participating in an intervention organized by Rolling Stone journalist Paul Nelson that helped Zevon temporarily curtail his addictions. Featuring a modest hit with the single "A Certain Girl" (Zevon's cover of a R&B record by Ernie K-Doe scored #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart), the album sold briskly but was uneven, and represented a decline rather than commercial and critical consistency. It contained a collaboration with Bruce Springsteen called "Jeannie Needs a Shooter", and the ballad "Empty-Handed Heart" featuring a descant sung by Linda Ronstadt, which dealt with Zevon's divorce from wife Crystal – the only woman he married legally although she is often listed erroneously as his "second wife". Marilyn "Tule" Livingston, the mother of his son Jordan, and Zevon were in a long-term relationship but never married.
    On May 11, 1980 Zevon and Willie Nile appeared on the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1978
    In 1978, Zevon released Excitable Boy (produced by Jackson Browne and guitarist Waddy Wachtel) to critical acclaim and popular success.
    More Details Hide Details The title tune (about a juvenile sociopath's murderous prom night) name-checked "Little Susie", the heroine of former employer the Everly Brothers', tune "Wake Up Little Susie", while songs such as "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money" used deadpan humor to wed geopolitical subtexts to hard-boiled narratives. Tracks from this album received heavy FM airplay and the single release "Werewolves of London", which featured Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, was a relatively lighthearted version of Zevon's signature macabre outlook and a Top 30 success. Critic Dave Marsh, in The Rolling Stone Record Guide (1979), called Zevon "one of the toughest rockers ever to come out of Southern California". Rolling Stone called the album one of the most significant releases of the 1970s and placed him alongside Neil Young, Jackson Browne, and Bruce Springsteen as one of the four most important new artists to emerge in the decade.
  • 1977
    Zevon's first tour in 1977 included guest appearances in the middle of Jackson Browne concerts, one of which is documented on a widely circulated bootleg recording of a Dutch radio program under the title The Offender meets the Pretender.
    More Details Hide Details Though a much darker and more ironic songwriter than Browne and other leading figures of the era's L.A.-based singer-songwriter movement, Zevon shared with his 1970s L.A. peers a grounding in earlier folk and country influences and a commitment to a writerly style of songcraft with roots in the work of artists like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Though only a modest commercial success, the Browne-produced Warren Zevon (1976) would later be termed a masterpiece in the first edition of the Rolling Stone Record Guide and is cited in the book's most recently revised (November 2004) edition as Zevon's most realized work. Representative tracks include the junkie's lament "Carmelita"; the Copland-esque outlaw ballad "Frank and Jesse James"; "The French Inhaler", a scathing insider's look at life and lust in the L.A. music business (which was, in fact, about his long-time girlfriend and mother to his son Jordan); and "Desperados Under the Eaves", a chronicle of Zevon's increasing alcoholism.
  • 1976
    There, he collaborated with Jackson Browne, who in 1976 produced and promoted Zevon's self-titled major-label debut.
    More Details Hide Details Contributors to this album included Nicks, Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, members of the Eagles, Carl Wilson, Linda Ronstadt, and Bonnie Raitt. Ronstadt elected to record many of his songs, including "Hasten Down the Wind", "Carmelita", "Poor Poor Pitiful Me", and "Mohammed's Radio".
  • 1975
    By September 1975, Zevon had returned to Los Angeles, where he roomed with then-unknown Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
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    His dissatisfaction with his career (and a lack of funds) led him to move to Spain in the summer of 1975, where he lived and played in The Dubliner Bar, a small tavern in Sitges near Barcelona owned by David Lindell, a former mercenary.
    More Details Hide Details Together they composed "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner".
  • OTHER
  • 1947
    Born on January 24, 1947.
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