''Werewolves'' rocker Warren Zevon has terminal cancer
Warren Zevon, whose 2000 album was called ”Life’ll Kill Ya,” has terminal lung cancer. ”I’m OK with it,” the ”Werewolves of London” rocker said in a statement, ”but it’ll be a drag if I don’t make it ’till the next James Bond movie comes out.”
By the time that happens (”Die Another Day” comes out Nov. 22, as it happens), he hopes to have recorded a final album’s worth of new songs. On Oct. 15, he has an anthology called ”Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon” arriving in stores, featuring 21 original songs from his three-decade career and one cover (Prince’s ”Raspberry Beret,” which he recorded in 1990 with R.E.M. musicians Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry as the Hindu Love Gods).
The 55-year-old Zevon quit smoking eight years ago, according to Reuters. He didn’t learn he had cancer until a diagnosis a month ago that the disease had already metastasized to his liver, Launch.com reports.
Zevon has long been known for his macabre sensibility, from gonzo tales of violence (”Werewolves,” ”Excitable Boy,” ”Poor Poor Pitiful Me”) to his logo of a skull with sunglasses and a dangling cigarette. While always a critics’ favorite, he hasn’t enjoyed much commercial success since early hits like ”Werewolves,” though he received renewed attention with his 2001 release ”My Ride’s Here,” which featured a cameo by David Letterman and songwriting contributions from authors Hunter S. Thompson and Carl Hiaasen (a Zevon fishing buddy). It’s a career arc he predicted in a 1993 Entertainment Weekly interview. ”If you’re lucky, people like something you do early and something you do just before you drop dead,” he said. ”That’s as many pats on the back as you should expect.”