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Warren Zevon


BethR
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NPR announced this morning that Warren Zevon has died.

Here's the story from Reuters:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...people_zevon_dc

AP, with a few more details:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor.../obit_zevon&e=1

His last CD, "The Wind," is on its way to me, but hasn't arrived yet. A number of great folks are part of it, including T Bone Burnett. There's a version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

I guess I always have a soft spot for the artist who can take me to the dark, crazy, painful side and to the sweet, heartfelt side--sometimes in the same verse, the same song. "Excitable Boy" is a masterpiece of ironic horror. "Carmelita" captures the romance and the tragedy of addiction. "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" may be the best song about vengeance ever.

May God have mercy on his soul.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Hmm. Guess I'm the only Warren Zevon fan on the board. So I'm going to add this tribute from my brother Bill, the real music geek in our family, reposted here with his permission. Bill now a pretty serious Mennonite & teaches high school in Manitoba:

I first saw Warren Zevon in Boulder, soon after Excitable Boy came out. The concert started late, as the band's instruments had not arrived on the same plane as the band. After cadging equipment from Firefall, and dispensing with the opening band for the first show, Zevon announced to the crowd in the Glenn Miller Ballroom, "Apologies belong at rock concerts like strichnine belongs in acid, but we're sorry to be late. But we will not apologize for the music you are about to hear."

The band launched into "Johnny Strikes Up the Band," and won us all over with a raucous, if occasionally slower, set of the great, vivid and weird songs from Warren Zevon and Excitable Boy. The campus [uC-Boulder] paper the next day panned the second show. Zevon drank pretty steadily through the first show, from a bottle on his piano, and apparently didn't leave room for a second show.

But I know what we saw and heard, and from then on, a new Zevon album was an instant purchase, no listening necessary. (I could always count on at least two songs better than the one which got air play, and each album continues to provide favorites, some pegged to particular shows or times of life, some approaching as high art as rock and roll can aspire to.

Cleaning up didn't hurt Zevon's music, as it didn't hurt Stevie Ray Vaughn's, and it's a dismal irony that it wasn't the booze or the fascination with violence that got to him, but the smokes, after all.

He sleeps now that he's dead. I imagine by tomorrow he will be well on his way to finishing the list of things to do in Denver, now that he's dead.

Radio stations will play "Werewolves", or "Hasten Down the Wind," I imagine. If you get a chance, though, listen to his tribute to Elvis, "Jesus Mentioned," or my favourite, from Sentimental Hygiene, "Boom Boom Mancini." "The name of the game is be hit and hit back."

We'll miss you, Warren.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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