Friday, July 13, 2007

pearls of wisdom from Crystal Zevon's I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

from William "Stumpy" Zevon (Warren's dad): "Life was shit. We were poor, and it was either too hot or too cold. There was never enough room to move around in, and never enough food to eat. My best memory is one birthday. I was around ten, and my father came home with a cucumber. We never tasted a cucumber, and he took out his knife and divided it up. We each got a slice. It was cool and it tasted like candy to us. What did we know? We never had candy. That was the best birthday I remember. What I knew was I had to get out of that shithole. And, I did."

from guitarist Waddy Wachtel: "The first time Warren offended me was after a gig in Greensboro, North Carolina. He was so rude and cold and scumbag-like. He was trying to sing and he was falling off the bed, and he threw this guitar at me. 'Here, take this,' treating me like some piece of shit. It turned out he was taking Quaaludes. I didn't even know what that was at the time. He had a bottle of 'Ludes, plus a snootful of booze, and he was despicable.
Then the next day, he'd just be the other asshole. Still an uptight guy, but able to laugh at a joke or at himself. But that night he was without humor and without caring, and it was really offensive to me. I'd never been treated like that by anyone, especially not someone I thought was a friend. I found out it was drugs, but I always say it's a poor workman who blames his tools."

from Crystal Zevon: "At my request, Warren told Ariel he wouldn't be coming home anymore, then he went inside and started stuffing stuff into paper bads. The party was still going on, but he'd done his duty and he was clearing out as quickly as possible.
Warren said, 'Kim and I would like to pick Ariel up tomorrow and have our own birthday celebration with her.' I agreed, even though I knew he was drinking. They were supposed to pick her up for lunch the next day, and they were about three hours late.
I still have this hauntingly beautiful black-and-white photo of Ariel, all dressed up for her daddy, sitting on this big boulder in front of our house, waiting. She stayed there for a full two hours, refusing to come inside."

from (former Rolling Stone writer and girlfriend) Merle Ginsberg: "One of Warren's favorite thing when we would come home was to look at his answering machine, and if there was no blinking light, he'd say, 'My favorite person called.'"

from (Artemis Records owner) Danny Goldberg: "I wanted to meet Warren to make sure he knew what he was getting into in terms of what the business had become. The business keeps changing every two years as far as what artists need to do in order to have a chance.
I brought a guy who works with me named Michael Krumper to lunch. Warren was incredibly polite and focused and wanting me to like him. He was wearing a suit and looked perfectly coiffed, and clearly wanted to send a message that he was not going to be difficult to work with and that he knew where the business had gone as far as his place in it. He was almost painfully polite. I didn't need him to be that polite. I just wanted to be sure he wasn't out of his mind."

more Danny Goldberg: "The people at the company grew to like Warren. He went through this period where he would insist on Mountain Dew in his hotel room, and kind of torture people over it. One day Daniel Glass, who works for us, was sitting next to him on a plane and he said, 'Warren, everybody loves your music, but what is with this yelling at people if there's no Mountain Dew?' He says, 'Well, I figure that people respect me more if I act like an asshole.' Daniel says, 'No, they really don't. Please stop it.' He says, 'Really? They don't?' He says, 'No. In fact, it's not a good idea.' And he never did that anymore. It was like he turned off a switch."

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