Happy Birthday, Walter Zevon

Today is the great Warren Zevon's birthday. The illustration is by editorial cartoonist R. J. Matson who, when he's not drawing for The New York Observer, Roll Call, The New Yorker, The Nation, MAD Magazine, City Limits, etc., also illustrated a CD for Zevon and others for the Capitol Steps comedy troupe.

Zevon was an honorary member of Dave Barry's Rock Bottom Remainders and played with them in 1998. This excerpt is from Barry's remembrance in the Miami Herald from 9/9/03:

He was also fascinated by writing. One of his closest friends was The Herald's Carl Hiaasen, a fellow twisted mind whom Zevon sought out at a book signing after Hiaasen mentioned him in his book Native Tongue. Through Hiaasen, Zevon became an honorary member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band of writers (I'm one) who periodically attempt, without success, to play rock 'n' roll. In 1998, at Hiaasen's urging, we invited Zevon to perform with the band; to our shock, he agreed, and flew to Miami to join us on stage for a performance at the Miami Book Fair.

We did several of his songs, including Poor, Poor Pitiful Me; the hilarious Hula Hula Boys; and the legendary Lawyers, Guns and Money. We also did Werewolves of London, but Zevon insisted that it had to be sung by Stephen King. King happily agreed, belting out a truly frightening version of the song, much to Zevon's delight.

Carnacki has a nice remembrance on his site today.