Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Letterman Bids Farewell to Zevon

The star of CBS's "Late Show" spent several minutes of Monday night's broadcast reminiscing about his friendship with Zevon and his admiration for his music. Soon after Zevon announced last year that he was dying, Letterman turned over an entire program for a visit with him, and he showed clips from that show Monday.

Zevon, known for songs including "Werewolves of London" and "Excitable Boy," died Sunday at 56.

"He was a poet and a storyteller and a good friend of ours," Letterman said.

"We all knew this was coming, hoping that it wouldn't, but yesterday afternoon in California the inevitable happened. So we're very sad about that."

He noted that Zevon had appeared as a guest on the program and Letterman's old NBC "Late Night" show more than a dozen times and had filled in for bandleader Paul Shaffer nearly two dozen times.

"People are always asking me what do I like about his music," Letterman said.

"It was just thundering and exciting and rhythmic and complicated and unusual rock 'n' roll," he continued. "It was not the kind of rock 'n' roll you would hear much of. And then the lyrics, oh my God, the lyrics were so vivid. Just very evocative and each song that you listened to was like watching a motion picture."

Shaffer and the band played Zevon's songs throughout the show, which ended with Letterman speaking to the camera, saying, "Goodnight, Warren, we'll see ya."

Warren Zevon Private Service/Ashes to be Scattered

Family and friends are planning a small private memorial service for singer-songwriter Warren Zevon.

His manager, Brigette Barr, says at that time Zevon's ashes will be scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

A public memorial service may occur at a later date. Zevon died Sunday in his sleep, a year after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He was 56

The head of Zevon's record company says Zevon "exited in a most extraordinary way." Danny Goldberg of Artemis Records, in New York, says it's amazing that Zevon was given three months to live, yet completed an album, released it and was able to see how well it sold. Goldberg says not only was Zevon a great musician, but "a very nice guy, with a curmudgeony exterior that masqueraded a very caring personality."

His final album, "The Wind," was released two weeks ago.

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