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I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon

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Biography

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I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon is a biography/oral history of rock musician Warren Zevon compiled by his ex-wife Crystal Zevon and published May 2007 by Ecco Books.

The book is an unflinching look at Zevon's "high times and hard ways", and contains many admiring reflections on Zevon's work from his famous musical peers, alongside some unsavory revelations. Included are details about Zevon's abusive behavior toward his ex-wife and children in the 1970s, his many sexual dalliances and his temporary return to drinking and drug use in the aftermath of his terminal diagnosis. Extensive use is made of excerpts from Zevon's private journals, which are concerned largely with his sexual partners, music industry worries and guilt over his relationships with children Jordan and Ariel.

The book intersperses interviews conducted with 87 friends, lovers and collaborators including Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Stephen King, Billy Bob Thornton and Bonnie Raitt. Before his death, Zevon is reputed to have given the project his blessing, and to have requested that the book be uncompromising in its honesty about even the most unflattering details. The front of the book's title is from "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead", a song from Zevon's first major-label record debut and the end of the books title is from "Dirty Life and Times", a song from Zevon's last album.

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