Today, Sept. 7, is the 7th anniversary of Warren Zevon's death at age 56 from mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.
Zevon's cancer was diagnosed in September, 2002. I'm going to tell the story as best as I can remember Zevon's own account of his experience with Dylan during the time he was so sick, but if someone can find a link to the interview in which Zevon told this himself, please post it. Sorry if I make any mistakes.
Dylan didn't know Zevon but heard about his cancer diagnosis. (Zevon was given only a few months to live). Zevon was working in an L.A. studio when someone announced Bob Dylan was there to see him. Freaking out, Zevon thought it was some kind of a joke. Why would Bob Dylan come to see him? Dylan talked with Zevon, expressed his sadness over hearing that Zevon was ill, and told Zevon he was going to be playing a very small club date and he'd like to give Zevon some guest passes to the gig, if Zevon would like to attend. Dylan added "I hope you'll like what you hear." (Zevon was thrilled). Shortly after, Zevon went to the gig and to his astonishment, Dylan played a set that included covers of 3 of Zevon's songs. With Zevon's permission, Dylan included the covers of Zevon's songs throughout his fall 2002 tour, sometimes playing several of the songs a night. I don't think Zevon told the interviewer why Dylan chose to do this. When you think about it, any possible reason Dylan had to play Zevon's songs on his tour would be an excellent reason.
This is worth posting about not only because it was a class thing to do in tribute to another musician, but because the covers of Zevon's songs were excellent, probably the best performances Dylan gave in 2002.
I could only find a link to one, Dylan playing "Mutineer," which is from a link on the general ER news digest board. Thanks very much to whoever posted it.
Here's the link to "Mutineer":http://mog.com/deadmandeadman/blog/2304110
If anyone has any links to Dylan's covers of "Accidentally Like A Martyr" and "Lawyers, Guns and Money," I hope they'll also post them in this thread. They were some really fine work by Bob. Warren Zevon wrote some extraordinary songs and he is missed.
The fall 2002 setlist link from Olof Bjorner's files shows the number of times Dylan played the Zevon covers. My recollection is that Dylan played at least one of the Zevon songs every night, and often played two. He seemed to favor "Mutineer," which he contributed to the "Tribute to Warren Zevon" album that was released after Zevon's death.