I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon

November 30, 2013 - Comment

When Warren Zevon died in 2003, he left behind a rich catalog of dark, witty rock ‘n’ roll classics, including “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” “Excitable Boy,” and the immortal “Werewolves of London.” He also left behind a fanatical cult following and veritable rock opera of drugs, women, celebrity, genius, and epic bad behavior. As Warren

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When Warren Zevon died in 2003, he left behind a rich catalog of dark, witty rock ‘n’ roll classics, including “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” “Excitable Boy,” and the immortal “Werewolves of London.” He also left behind a fanatical cult following and veritable rock opera of drugs, women, celebrity, genius, and epic bad behavior. As Warren once said, “I got to be Jim Morrison a lot longer than he did.”

Narrated by his former wife and longtime co-conspirator, Crystal Zevon, this intimate and unusual oral history draws on interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stephen King, Bonnie Raitt, and numerous others who fell under Warren’s mischievous spell. Told in the words and images of the friends, lovers, and legends who knew him best, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead captures Warren Zevon in all his turbulent glory.

Comments

R. W. Rasband says:

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me Crystal Zevon’s “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” is un-putdownable for Warren Zevon fans like me. And I imagine even those unfamiliar with his work will be mightily entertained. I don’t think I’ve read such a revealing rock book since Stephen Davis’ , about Led Zeppelin. I remember when Zevon’s album “The Envoy” came out in 1982 it seemed to me to be a little thin compared with his previous epic, brilliant records. I had no idea, of course. It turns out Zevon was drinking and drugging himself into near oblivion during the 1970’s and much of the ’80’s. When he emerged from this ordeal for the ’90’s he had lost commercial momentum and he watched his career dwindle to almost nothing. It’s a sad story much of the time, but it’s enlivened by Zevon’s brilliantly perverse personality. He was called the Dorothy Parker of rock because of his wit, but he was something much tougher:…

Wayne Klein "If at first the idea is not absu... says:

“I got to be Jim Morrison a lot longer than he did” An unusually witty, intelligent, insightful and downright poetic songwriter, Warren Zevon embraced stardom even when it didn’t embrace him back–he struggled with various addictions OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), watching his contemporaries achieve fame and hold on to it longer. Zevon watched his early fame with the novelty hit single “Werewolves of London” (the title was supplied by Phil Everly–Zevon was musical director for the brothers during their last tour before their estrangement)gradually dissolve despite releasing a series of terrific albums in its wake. Warren avoided doctors for 20 years (he would see his dentist whenever he had a problem)finally giving in when he found himself short of breath and exhausted after a tour of Canada–but by then it was too late for him.Written by Zevon’s former wife Crystal, the book is a mix of narrative written by Crystal along with quotes from friends, family and fellow musicians that played with and admired Zevon that…

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