JAN. 24, 1947-SEPT. 7, 2003

By Jackson Browne
Updated December 26, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

Farewell: Jackson Browne pays tribute to Warren Zevon

When we were recording Warren’s first album, there was always a question in my mind of whether there was a mass audience for him, because he was so much smarter than everybody else. But he just assumed his audience was as intelligent as he was. The result was a rich legacy of songs steeped in a balls-to-the-wall exuberance and a great sensitivity. He once told me about going to an acupuncturist, because he had the flu and needed to get on a plane to go do a show. The acupuncturist gave him a very powerful Chinese remedy and told him adamantly to drink it in 12 installments. Of course, Warren drank the whole thing at once and went to the airport — and he wound up having a seizure in the departure lounge. He later told me that as he went down clawing the air and his head hit the terrazzo, he thought, ”Oh, God, please don’t let me die and let Jackson write a song about me.” But no one needs to write any songs about Warren, because he wrote them all himself. His songs were very personal, but they resonate through all of our lives. (Zevon died of lung cancer in Los Angeles.)