Birthdays, Mortality, and Warren Zevon

Birthdays, Mortality, and Warren Zevon

I spent the better part of yesterday working from a Panera Bread restaurant while waiting for my power to be restored after Tropical Storm Fay decided to move from my front porch.

While working, more times than not, I am listening to Pandora.  And, as often happens, a song played that brought back many memories – good and bad.  The song yesterday was “Back in the High Life Again” as sung by Warren Zevon.  Warren Zevon died in 2003 of lung cancer, and was responsible for much of the soundtrack of my teens and twenties.

Coincidentally, yesterday was my mom’s birthday (still living) and today is – or was – my dad’s birthday (deceased 2004).

When my dad passed away, I listened to Warren Zevon’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and is still on an iPod playlist that I made that day of the songs I listened to while getting ready to fly back to Nashville following the news of my dad’s passing.

Listening to the Warren sing also brought back memories of another friend, Eric Martin, with whom I used to listen to Zevon quite a bit back in the late 80s and early 90s.  Eric was a former sideman (a drummer) for Slim Whittman (yes – THAT Slim Whittman).  I gave Eric his first programming job back in 1988, and worked with Eric until his premature death in 1998 of a brain tumor.

What do all of these things have in common?  Nothing really, other than Warren Zevon.

I wish I had something profound to say to neatly tie up all of the memories and feelings that come flooding back every time certain Zevon songs play – remembering Jr. High girlfriends, camping out with friends, late night drinking with buddies.  I’m just not equipped as a writer.

This morning I perused You Tube looking for Warren Zevon clips and was immediately reminded why I love his music so – the guy was a freakin’ genius and talented as hell.  As David Letterman commented, he was “the real deal.”

So, as I listen to Warren Zevon sing about raking leaves with Liza and Liz cleaning up the yard, I’ll be thinking of these people and many other happy memories.

And wondering what I’m gonna feed the family for breakfast.

2 thoughts on “Birthdays, Mortality, and Warren Zevon

  1. I know how you feel, and you’re right about the genius description. Also, brave, honest, eccentric and flawed. I’ve found that I avoid listening to him now. It just makes puts me in a funk — xcept for detox mansion and those yelps, which always make me smile.


  2. Sigh. It was a very sad day when Zevon passed. As with John Lennon, you can’t help but wonder what kind of music he would have written in his later years. For me, “The Wind” is almost too sad to listen to. There was a documentary I saw somewhere that followed Zevon as he produced that album. It’s really amazing – a portrait of a very courageous and (surprisingly) soft spoken man.


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