From USA Today:
Shortly after he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, Warren Zevon handed his pulmonologist copies of recent albums Life’ll Kill Ya and My Ride’s Here and said, “Doc, just look at the titles and ask yourself why I have this eerie acceptance.” . . .
“I’ve often infuriated sincere interviewers who asked why I write all these death songs,” he says. “I’d tell them, ‘I don’t know.’ I guess I have the answer now. Maybe as writers, we carry some kind of physical knowledge of our fates, and work through them.
“To me, the message of my songs, of all songs, is ‘enjoy life.’ My message as a person who evidently doesn’t have much more planned is the same. It’s the only message I ever thought art had any business having.”
Though Zevon would have chosen a sunnier destiny, he’s grateful his diagnosis reawakened a personal philosophy to “notice you’re alive.”
“You make the most of every word, every poem, every flower,” he says. “I sure notice that I’m alive now. I did before, but not as much as I should have. All I can say is what I’ve always said: If you break your leg, stop thinking about dancing and start decorating the cast.”
As a bit of an “excitable boy” myself, I find this news very disturbing.