Monday, September 08, 2003

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.

No comments: