On what would have been his 71st birthday, today we celebrate the life and career of Warren Zevon. The American musician and songwriter’s career spanned more than 30 years, during which he created more than 15 albums and worked with music visionaries including Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, REM and Neil Young.
Zevon is most familiar for his acclaimed track “Werewolves Of London,” which was found on The Excitable Boy in 1978. As NPR reports, Zevon lived a life on the edge and his music reflected this in themes of life and death. He was a witty and clever writer, a musical protégé on piano, a heavy drinker, and an extremist.
In 1981, Zevon announced his addictions and got sober, claiming he didn’t want to die a coward. In 2002, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and spent the rest of his time saying goodbye with one last album, The Wind. At 56 years old, Zevon died in 2003 and America lost a legend.