Warren William Zevon
was a rock and roll singer/songwriter. His songs
are known for their cynical, darkly humorous lyrics, often incorporating political and historical themes.
was born on January 24, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to a Russian Jewish father and a Mormon mother. Soon after, the Zevons moved to California. He often visited the home of composer Igor
Stravinsky to study music.
's musical carrer began as one half
of the male/female duo Lyme & Cybelle in 1966. He was also a session musician, and once
played piano with
The Everly Brothers
in the early
1970s. He wrote songs
for the group The Turtles. His first solo album, 1969's _Wanted
Dead or Alive_, was released
on One Way records, to little public
attention and lukewarm reviews
his career, Zevon
moved to Spain for a short time, playing in a small bar owned
by a former mercernary. Together
they penned the song "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", which
on _Excitable Boy_ (1978).
In the mid 70's Zevon
moved to Los Angeles. He became associated with
Coast music scene, collaborating with
Jackson Browne, who went on the produce his somphomore effort, the self-titled _Warren
Zevon_ in 1976. He also collaborated with
The Eagles, who played on that
album, as well
as Linda Ronstadt, who covered some early Zevon songs
. His 1977 tour included guest appearances during Jackson Browne concerts.
His third album, _Excitable Boy_ (1978), saw commercial and critical success and received heavy airplay on FM radio, particulary the single
"Werewolves of London", which
reached the top ten.
's fourth album, _Bad
Luck Streak in Dancing School_ (1980), was dedicated to novelist Ross MacDonald, who helped Zevon with
personal demons, such
as his alcoholism.
In 1981, a live album, _Stand in the Fire_ was released
. After his sixth album, _The Envoy_ (1982), Zevon
withdrew from music as a full-time career, and rarely
played live shows. 1987's comeback
album _Sentimental Hygiene_ (1987) was released
to positive reviews
. He went on to release
_Transverse City_ (1989) _Mr. Bad Example_ (1991), _Learning to Flinch_
(a 1993 live album) and _Mutineer_ (1995). During the 90's, Zevon
toured regularly in the United States.
In 2000, another comeback
album, _Life'll Kill Ya_, was released
to positive reviews
commercial success, followed by 2002's _My Rides Here_. In the fall of that
year, sadly, Zevon
was diagnosed with
inoperable mesothelioma, and was given around half
a year to live. However, Zevon
lived for about a year. He appeared on The Late
Show with David
Letterman for an entire hour as the only
guest on October 30, 2002. It was there he gave his attitude about living with
a terminal disease: "Enjoy Every Sandwich."
recorded his final album, _The Wind_, released
on August 27, 2003. The album brought him perhaps
the greatest commercial and critical success of his career, but sadly, Warren Zevon died
7, 2003 at his Los Angeles home. He left behind a body of great work and sardonic wit that
come across in music today. _The Wind_ brought Zevon
5 posthumous grammy nominations. In 2004, his son, Jordan Zevon
album, _Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs
of Warren Zevon_, featuring Don Henely, Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, The Wallfowers, Bruce Springsteen, Jordan Zevon
, Bob Dylan, The Pixies and others.