I'd been saving my "brush with Zevon" anecdote for his death, and I'm sorry to say that his time came.
In late 1990, I parted on bad terms with a boyfriend who was also a
Warren Zevon fan. Zevon was in town about a month later. I expected to
run into my ex at the show when I arrived during the opening act. The
club was crowded, so I wasn't surprised that I didn't see him. Then I
realized it was a familiar voice over the P.A. He was up on stage,
alone with his guitar.
Afterwards, I got the full story. He'd brought his guitar to the club
in hopes of getting Zevon to autograph it. The scheduled opening act
was a no-show. The manager of the venue spotted the kid with the guitar
and asked if he could fill in for the absent support act.
When Zevon took the stage, he was full of praise for my ex's bravery. I
think his exact words were, "Has that guy got cojones or what?!"
Afterwards, my star-struck ex was getting Warren and his cohorts to
sign anything he could as evidence of his magical opportunity. The
irony was that, with an audience of about 700, I was the only person
there who already knew him. He quickly realized that unless he treated
me right, I could deny that the whole thing ever happened.
Meanwhile, I introduced myself to Zevon. I had done a telephone
interview with him earlier that year but had never met him
face-to-face. He acknowledged he'd never read my article because his
label had already dropped him, so he scribbled down his manager's
address where I could send a copy.
Swell guy, underappreciated talent. RIP, Warren.