LOS ANGELES, CA - Celebrated recording artist composer Warren Zevon, oneof rock music's wittiest and most original songwriters, has been diagnosed with lung cancer which has advanced to an untreatable stage. Zevon received the news last month and is spending time with his children and has begun writing and recording as many songs as possible in the weeks that lie ahead. He's in the recording studio next week. Zevon is handling the news with his characteristic dark aplomb. "I'm okay with it, but it'll be a drag if I don't make it till the next James Bond movie comes out," said Zevon.
In the third decade of his career, the eccentric swings of which read like a novel by Carl Hiaasen (Warren's fishing buddy and frequent songwriting collaborator), Zevon is receiving some of the best notices of his professional life. His most recent My Ride's Here (Zevon's most rockin' effort in a while) on Artemis Records features contributions from Irish poet Paul Muldoon, Hunter S. Thompson and Hiaasen, and a cameo from David Letterman, was deemed a "cranky, funny and totally winning effort" by Rolling Stone. The New York Daily News wrote, "These writers make cynically beautiful music together." In 2000 Zevon ended a five year absence from the recording scene with Life'll Kill Ya, which "fleshed out the swaggering cynicism of his youth with sympathy and humanity", wrote the Los Angeles Times.
The irony isn't lost on Zevon who in l993 told Entertainment Weekly, "If you're lucky, people like something you do early and something you do just before you drop dead. That's as many pats on the back as you should expect."
Zevon's recording career began with the release of l969's Wanted Dead or Alive and the critically acclaimed l976's Warren Zevon, produced by Jackson Browne. His career went into high gear with the release of Excitable Boy in l978 which featured the legendary "Werewolves of London" and established him as a unique and acerbic talent, "equal parts berserk satirist and strung out romantic". He released six albums in the '80s, Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School, the live Stand in the Fire, The Envoy, Sentimental Hygiene, which was recorded with members of R.E.M., and Transverse City. In l990, another collection of material from the Sentimental Hygiene sessions was released under the name Hindu Love Gods. Three more albums in the 90s followed, Mr. Bad Example, the live Learning to Flinch and 1995s Mutineer. In 1996, Rhino/Elektrareleased a 44-track boxed set titled I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. On October 15, Rhino Records will release Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon, a collection of tracks from nearly all of his albums.
You're all so WONDERFUL. Why did they ever have to remove you from the continuity? You'd have made for MARVELOUS stories. You WILL make marvelous stories. And the FIRST story of the new world will be a story of REVENGE! -- The Psycho Pirate, Animal Man 23, May 1990.
I have to say that article was an interesting and far more sympathetic and knowledgeable take on Zevon than I'm accustomed to seeing. I'll always remember seeing him at the Vogue in Indianapolis in early 1991. Three hours of some of the most incredible music I've ever seen and still one of the best concerts I've had the privilege of attending.
"Verhoeven's _Starship Troopers_: Based on the back cover of the book by Robert Heinlein."