Warren Zevon: Desperado of Los Angeles

Warren Zevon Desperado of Los Angeles Warren Zevon was one of the most original songwriters to emerge from the prolific s Los Angeles music scene Beyond his most familiar song the rollicking hit Werewolves of London Zevon s smart

  • Title: Warren Zevon: Desperado of Los Angeles
  • Author: George Plasketes
  • ISBN: 9781442234567
  • Page: 367
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Warren Zevon was one of the most original songwriters to emerge from the prolific 1970s Los Angeles music scene Beyond his most familiar song the rollicking 1978 hit Werewolves of London Zevon s smart, often satirical songbook is rich with cinematic, literary, and comic qualities dark narratives complex characters popular culture references and tender, romantic balladWarren Zevon was one of the most original songwriters to emerge from the prolific 1970s Los Angeles music scene Beyond his most familiar song the rollicking 1978 hit Werewolves of London Zevon s smart, often satirical songbook is rich with cinematic, literary, and comic qualities dark narratives complex characters popular culture references and tender, romantic ballads of parting and longing Warren Zevon Desperado of Los Angeles is the first book length, critical exploration of one of popular music s most talented and tormented antiheroes George Plasketes provides a comprehensive chronicle of Zevon s 40 year, 20 record career and his enduring cultural significance Beginning with Zevon s classical training and encounters as a youth with composers Robert Craft and Igor Stravinsky, Plasketes surveys Zevon s initiation into the 1960s through the Everly Brothers, the Turtles, and the film Midnight Cowboy Plasketes then follows Zevon from his debut album with Asylum Records in 1976, produced by mentor Jackson Browne, through his successes and struggles from a Top Ten album to record label limbo during the 1980s, through a variety of music projects in the 1990s, including soundtracks and scores, culminating with a striking trio of albums in the early 2000s Despite his reckless lifestyle and personal demons, Zevon made friends and alliances with talk show host David Letterman and such literary figures as Hunter S Thompson and Carl Hiaasen It was only after his death in 2003 that Zevon received Grammy recognition for his work Throughout this book, Plasketes explores the musical, cinematic, and literary influences that shaped Zevon s distinctive style and songwriting themes and continue to make Zevon s work a telling portrait of Los Angeles and American culture.

    One thought on “Warren Zevon: Desperado of Los Angeles”

    1. *3.5* For Zevon fans. More about his music, than the man, which for me was fine, but a couple of errors the author made when attributing; "If my baby don't want me no more, I know her sister will" to Zevon, when in fact this line was in a song called 'Red House' written by Jimi Hendrix. Also the author at the begining of the book, whilst talking about hotels at which Zevon had stayed, mentions New York's Chelsea Hotel, where "Nancy Spungen, Johnny Rotten's girlfriend was stabbed." Spungen was st [...]

    2. Sometimes these books that are part of a 'series' where publishers go hunting for writers to cover certain artists or subjects can be rather thin and formulaic.But this author gets into the subject and his songs to a greater degree than many books of this type, plus his chosen subject is a more interesting and colorful topic than most as well.Talkin' about the man!

    3. While this book is meticulously researched and detailed, it was not an engaging read. The analysis of Zevon's song-writing interested me, but the account is dry and mechanical.

    4. I'm a huge Warren Zevon fan, so this was a fascinating read to me. This book is more of a chronicle of Zevon's song library, and the stories behind his lyrics and music. DESPERADO is a great companion piece to his biography, I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD: THE DIRTY LIFE AND TIMES OF WARREN ZEVON.

    5. Bio of one of my favorite singer songwriters. The book is kind of dry. Lots of facts about context in which he wrote and recorded songs. Some background about how he came to L.A. and the friends he made in the industry. Very little about personal life. Yet, even as I knew his story and followed his career and loved his music, I cried at the end. George Plasketes, the author, helpfully adds Further Reading and Further Listening lists.

    6. The perfect counterpart to "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" by Zevon's ex-wife, Crystal Zevon. Her book, which is not the hatchet job that one might expect from an ex-wife, captures the personal and social milieu Zevon inhabited. Plasketes' book, on the other hand, while referencing Zevon's rather dramatic lifestyle throughout, is focused on the music. Want to know Warren Zevon? Read both.

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