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WARREN ZEVON

Summary

George Plasketes provides a comprehensive chronicle of Warren Zevon's 40-year, 20-record career and his enduring cultural significance. Throughout, Plasketes explores the musical, cinematic, and literary influences that shaped Zevon's distinctive style and songwriting themes.

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 ballads of parting and longing. Warren Zevon: West Coast Desperado 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 Top Ten album to record label limbo during the 1980s. 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 Hiassen. It was only after his death in 2003, that Zevon received Grammy recognition for his work. Throughout the 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.

About the Author

George Plasketes is professor of media studies and popular culture in the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University in Alabama. He has written on a variety of music, media and popular culture subjects

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Music / Individual Composer & Musician