Enjoy Every Sandwich

David Letterman interview.
He talked about the last time Warren Zevon was on Late Night, shortly before he died of cancer in 2003. They were in the dressing room after the show. Chatting.

"Here's a guy who had months to live and we're making small talk. And as we're talking, he's taking his guitar strap and hooking it, wrapping it around, then he puts the guitar into the case and he flips the snaps on the case and says, `Here, I want you to have this, take good care of it.' And I just started sobbing.

"He was giving me the guitar that he always used on the show. I felt like, `I can't be in this movie, I didn't get my lines.' That was very tough," Letterman said.
Warren Zevon. Was dropped from his record labels again and again and again as critically acclaimed albums were commercial failures.
Yet he kept making more and more amazing music.
And had such amazing friends.
And did not seem to be a douche.
How did he not get discouraged and turn into a bitter ass?
I get so discouraged sometimes. How do I not turn into a bitter ass?


Jeremy said...

A few choice nuggets about Warren Zevon, from wikipedia:

(1976) "It was during this period that Zevon's excessive vodka intake earned him the nickname "F. Scott Fitzevon," a reference to the American novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose early, alcohol-fueled death Zevon seemed bent on repeating."

(1982) "After the disappointing reception for The Envoy, Zevon was dropped by his label Asylum Records, which Zevon discovered only when he read about it in the Random Notes gossip column of Rolling Stone. The trauma caused him to relapse into serious alcoholism, and he voluntarily checked himself into an unnamed rehab clinic somewhere in Minnesota. Zevon retreated from the music business for several years, during which he finally overcame severe alcohol and drug addictions."

Warren Zevon also had obsessive-compulsive disorder and a phobia of doctors.

I think you could make the case that he did become discouraged. And then, he collapsed, miserably and totally. And then, he got over it and got back to what he did. Just like you, Ms. Coil, just like all of us.

Do you know the song "Hit Somebody (the Hockey Song)"? I think it's inspirational. This won't fit, but:


That's on archive.org, if you need it.


Lacy said...

Yeah, you make a great point, Jeremy - you're totally right, the guy obviously DID get discouraged and probably WAS a bitter ass.

But - right! He kept going and it seems his better nature and wisdom ultimately won out. I guess that's what I'm hoping for ... WITHOUT the drug rehab.

I'd skimmed the wikipedia article, but I missed F. Scott Fitzevon, which is so goshdamn funny. Except tragic. Except funny.

Jeremy said...

I mean, maybe the secret is to be so completely miserable and make everyone else so miserable, that eventually, when you do snap out of it, people think you are just a great person. (And not just a great songwriter.) Everybody loves redemption.

Except the people who stopped talking to you during the first part. Which of the 12 steps is the apology step?

I think people are generally so interesting that you can cut a segment out of any person's life, and teach the lesson you want to teach. Life is a beautifully complicated thing.