Finishing Touches

I finished I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, the Warren Zevon biography, yesterday. I knew how it was going to end, of course, but it still made me sad. The book was an unvarnished look at his life, warts and all, and for someone like me who loved his music, it was a fascinating peek behind the scenes at how some of the songs were written and where some of the song titles came from. He wasn't a saint, but he sure was interesting and he sure could make music. One of my biggest regrets is that I never managed to see him in concert.

I listened to all of my Warren Zevon music (104 songs on 9 CDs) over the past several days, in something resembling chronological order, although there was some skipping back and forth. However, on Monday night at work, as I was getting close to the end of the book, I realized that I didn't have his final CD, The Wind, on my iPod. I had ripped it to iTunes, but had taken it off the iPod during one of my purges of music that had never been played after several months. The Wind makes me feel more melancholy than I really want to be while at work, but I had to listen to it to complete the cycle, so I put it back on the iPod yesterday morning and listened to it last night.

One thing that surprised me while reading the book was that his music didn't sell more than it did. I mean, I bought all of the CDs, so I figured that everyone else with an appreciation of witty, sardonic music would have bought them, too. Alas, that wasn't the case. Most people have heard of "Werewolves of London," from the beginning of Warren's career, and they might remember the VH1 coverage of his passing in 2003, and some of the songs off The Wind like "Disorder In the House" and "Keep Me In Your Heart." But the average Joe has probably never heard the great music that he made in between those years. That's the average Joe's loss. I consider those other Warren Zevon CDs to be essential listening on my iPod, and they're there in their entirety, not just selected tracks like I do with some other artists.

Now I have to fill in the gaps in my collection, so my next Amazon purchase will probably include Stand In the Fire and Bad Luck In Dancing School, if I can find them. I'll have to check the Rhino compilation Genius to see if there's anything on it that I don't already have.