New Heathens
12Nov/090

Zevon Rehearsals II, Enjoy Every Sandwich

Gettin' excited about the Zevonathon tomorrow night at Banjo Jim's. The guest singers came and rehearsed with the band last night and they were all real cool. Songs sound great. It's going to make for a night of excellent music.

I only saw Warren Zevon once. It was the last gig he ever played. I was in the audience at the famous David Letterman show where Zevon was the only guest. It was the one time in the history of the show that Dave gave his whole show over to a single artist.

Zevon had been diagnosed with terminal cancer a few months earlier. My good friend Abe Bradshaw got me a ticket, for which I'm still grateful to both him and his girlfriend Nicole.

I loved Zevon so much, his songs were more unique and exciting than anyone else's, and it was such a thrill for me to finally see him live. It was also heartbreaking, knowing that soon he would die.

It was during this broadcast that Letterman, a longtime Zevon friend and longer-time Zevon fan, asked him, "What do you know about life and death that I don't?" Zevon gave his poignant line, "Enjoy every sandwich."

Zevon played three songs, "Mutineer," "Genius," and "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner." What was really cool is during the commercial breaks Paul Schaffer led the CBS Orchestra through other Zevon tunes, and the man himself played along.

Here's a clip of Zevon and Letterman's interview, and also Zevon performing his song Mutineer, which he wrote as a thank you to his fans.

If you spot a guy in a red t-shirt on the front row of the balcony off on the right, that's me.

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