Biography of legendary singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, spanning his nomadic youth and early recording career to his substance abuse, final album, and posthumous Grammy Awards
As is the case with so many musicians, the life of Warren Zevon was blessed with talent and opportunity yet also beset by tragedy and setbacks. Raised mostly by his mother with an occasional cameo from his gangster father, Warren had an affinity and talent for music at an early age. Taking to the piano and guitar almost instantly, he began imitating and soon creating songs at every opportunity. After an impromptu performance in the right place at the right time, a record deal landed on the lap of a teenager who was eager to set out on his own and make a name for himself. But of course, where fame is concerned, things are never quite so simple.
Drawing on original interviews with those closest to Zevon, including Crystal Zevon, Jackson Browne, Mitch Albom, Danny Goldberg, Barney Hoskyns, and Merle Ginsberg, Nothing's Bad Luck tells the story of one of rock's greatest talents. Journalist C.M. Kushins not only examines Zevon's troubled personal life and sophisticated, ever-changing musical style, but emphasizes the moments in which the two are inseparable, and ultimately paints Zevon as a hot-headed, literary, compelling, musical genius worthy of the same tier as that of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
In Nothing's Bad Luck, Kushins at last gives Warren Zevon the serious, in-depth biographical treatment he deserves, making the life of this complex subject accessible to fans old and new for the very first time.
With refreshing candor, journalist and musician Kushins traces the ups and downs of Warren Zevon's incendiary life and music career in intimate detail. Drawing on interviews with Zevon's family, friends, and fellow musicians, Kushins provides a year-by-year chronicle of his subject's struggles to stay sober, write songs, and make records. Born in Chicago in 1947 to a bookie father and Mormon mother who divorced, Zevon gravitated to music in junior high and developed a love of classical music to which he would return later in life. By the time he was 20, he was writing songs prolifically and in 1976 released his first record, Warren Zevon, to critical acclaim. Zevon had been drinking heavily throughout his 30s, and in 1984 he entered rehab. A sober Zevon in 1987 released Sentimental Hygiene, whichcontained his humorous take on rehab in the song "Detox Mansion," which was "a deliberate push in introducing Warren to a new generation of fans." When Zevon was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, he worked tirelessly to finish The Wind, which was released just before he died the following year. Kushins's energetic writing and his deep dive into Zevon's life and music offers a rounded and complete portrait of an enigmatic musician.