George Plasketes provides a comprehensive chronicle of Warren Zevon’s 40-year, 20-record career and his enduring cultural significance. Throughout, Plasketes explores the musical, cinematic, and literary influences that shaped Zevon’s distinctive style and songwriting themes.
Warren Zevon (1947 2003) was one of the most innovative songwriters in recent popular music history, and Plasketes (Russell Banks: In Search of Freedom) captures the full range of Zevon's skills in the first full-length biography of the artist. Plasketes provides a comprehensive analysis of Zevon's entire body of work from his self-titled debut in 1976 to The Wind, recorded and released during his last year alive that serves as an almost definitive look at his "legacy of tortured brilliance," which still attracts new admirers today. Especially fascinating is Plasketes's look at how Zevon's debut "endures as one of the most delightfully dark visions of Southern California culture, demystifying the Hollywood scene, its desperation and decadence." Also good are his in-depth looks at some works that critics overlooked at the time of their release, such as "Transverse City" ("Zevon's most ambitious record") and "Life'll Kill Ya" ("a gem, a modest masterpiece"). Plasketes admits his reliance on "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon" the exhaustive posthumous oral history compiled in 2007 by Zevon's ex-wife, Crystal but he adds plenty of original work to fully illuminate the art behind the wild stories from Zevon's alcohol and drug binges.
Customer ReviewsSee All
if you are looking for the story behind the man, not the man behind the story, this book is for you. Each and every album, song, musical relationship with those who influenced him and those who he influenced are studied. Warning, if you aren't a true Zevon fan, this might be a tough read.
I have found new meaning to his music because I better understand what motivated it. He was a complex dude...often his music was prophetic and, as George Plasketes says often, "noir".
Zevon quipped when nearing the end, "Enjoy every sandwich."