Chronicle of a death foretold

by Henry on September 8, 2003

Sad news, if not unexpected; “Warren Zevon”:http://www.ew.com/ew/report/0,6115,483368~7~0~iconoclasticrockerwarrenzevon,00.html has just died. A few months ago, Michael Swanwick wrote this “short short story”:http://www.michaelswanwick.com/fiction/zevon.html which is, I think, about as good a pre-emptive obituary as Zevon could have asked for.

Update – incorrect link fixed thanks to Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who himself “records Zevon’s passing”:http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/003482.html#003482.

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Doug 09.09.03 at 6:21 am

“…drinkin a pina colada at Trader Vic’s/His hair was perfect…”

“Excitable boy they all said”

“He ain’t been right since Viet Nam”

“Patty Hearst heard the burst…”

“Send the envoy”

“But don’t it make you want to rock and roll
All night long
Mohammed’s Radio
I heard somebody singing sweet and soulful
On the radio, Mohammed’s Radio”

“And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill”

“Dry your eyes my little friend”

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead”

“Send lawyers, guns and money
And get me out of this”

“So I’m going to hurl myself against the wall
Cause I’d rather feel bad than not feel anything at all”

“Well, I met a girl in West Hollywood
I ain’t naming names
She really worked me over good
She was just like Jesse James
She really worked me over good
She was a credit to her gender
She put me through some changes, Lord
Sort of like a Waring blender”

“Accidentally like a martyr”

“I worked hard, but not for the money
Did my best to please
I used to think it was funny
Til I realized it was just a tease

Don Quixote had his windmills
Ponce de Leon took his cruise
Took Sinbad seven voyages
To see that it was all a ruse

(That’s why I’m) Looking for the next best thing
Looking for the next best thing
I appreciate the best
But I’m settling for less
Cause I’m looking for the next best thing”

He wasn’t next best at all. Not at all.

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