Synopses & Reviews
When Warren Zevon died in 2003, he left behind both a fanatical cult
following and a rich catalog of dark, witty rock-n-roll classics that
includes "Lawyers, Guns, and Money," "Excitable Boy," and the immortal
"Werewolves of London." He also left a trove of misadventures and
anecdotes, a veritable rock opera of drugs, women, celebrity, high
times, and hard ways. As Warren once said, "I got to be Jim Morrison a
lot longer than he did."
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead is an intimate and unusual oral history of one of our most original and distinctive rock-and-roll antiheroes. Narrated by his former wife and longtime co-conspirator, Crystal Zevon, the book draws on over eighty interviews with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Stephen King, Billy Bob Thornton, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others who came under his mischievous spell. The result is a raucous and moving tale of love and obsession, creative genius and epic bad behavior. 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.
"For those who know them, the brilliant, dark songs of Warren Zevon (1947-2003) inspire nothing short of adoration; for those who don't, this stunning biography of the irrepressible rock 'n' roll singer/songwriter should send them sprinting to the nearest record store. By taking an unexpurgated, oral-history approach to Warren's life, his former wife and lifelong friend Crystal has crafted a sharp, funny, jaw-dropping rock biography that's among the best of the sub-genre. Provocative and unflinching, her account distills Warren's journal entries and the author's exhaustive interviews with 87 family members, business associates, band mates, fellow musicians and former lovers into a chronology ranging from Warren's ancestry to his death, at age 56, from lung cancer. The impetus for the book was Warren himself-he implored Crystal to tell his story and to 'promise you'll tell 'em the whole truth, even the awful, ugly parts.' The awful, ugly parts turn up often: Warren's addictions (to alcohol, drugs and sex), personal demons (intense obsessive-compulsion and commitment-phobia) and paternal shortcomings (to him, kids were nuisances) all get plenty of play here. But so does Warren's music, for which peers like Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Schaffer offer plenty of insight. This top-notch biography is a must-read for fans, and a highly rewarding read for anyone interested in a close look at the life of a modern rock icon." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A moralist in cynic's clothing, Zevon nails a part of the American character rarely captured in pop music." Bruce Springsteen
"Warren Zevon...was one of the most interesting writers of the era, and certainly ahead of his time." Gore Vidal
"This is an extraordinary book unflinchingly honest, scarily funny, relentlessly cynical and always immensely entertaining. Just like Warren Zevon." Dave Barry
"A harrowing ride through the backstreets of the L.A. music business with the King of Song Noir." Jackson Browne
"Zevon...was a brilliant, funny, biting, tender storyteller...and [this] will keep him in your heart." Mitch Albom, author of For One More Day and Tuesdays With Morrie
"All pop music collections need this book." Library Journal
"Few books have captured so well the L.A. rock and roll scene in all its mindlessness and eloquence." Booklist
"[Crystal Zevon's] affection, candor and dogged pursuit of information make this book an unforgettable journey into the depths of Mr. Zevon's mad genius." New York Times
An extraordinary oral biography of fabled singer-songwriter Warren Zevon is told by his famous and notorious friends and accomplices.
< p=""> Told in the words of his musical accomplices, fellow& ndash; travelers, friends, and lovers, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead is an intimate and unusual biography of fabled singer& ndash; songwriter Warren Zevon, the musical force behind such dark, witty rock& ndash; and& ndash; roll classics as Werewolves of London and Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner. <> < p=""> Narrated by Crystal Zevon, Zevon's former (and only) wife, it draws on interviews with Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Emmylou Harris, Linda Rondstadt, Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham, the Everly Brothers, and a host of other denizens of Southern California's influential rock scene to tell the story of the original Excitable Boy: literary hoodlum, OCD sufferer, brilliant songwriter, and rock& ndash; and& ndash; roll icon.<>
Provocative and unflinching, "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" is the extraordinary oral biography of fabled singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, as told by his famous and notorious friends, lovers, and accomplices.
About the Author
Crystal Zevon is Warren Zevon's former wife and lifelong friend. She lives in Vermont near her daughter, son-in-law, and twin grandsons.