Music: Hollywood Desperado

In the dark hours before dawn, while his pregnant wife Crystal lies asleep, Warren Zevon struggles to compose a symphony in his backyard studio in North Hollywood. It is an ambitious undertaking for a man who by day is a successful rock songwriter. "When I was 13, I got an autograph from Igor Stravinsky," Zevon recalls. That inspired him to start teaching himself harmony and counterpoint and even to bring a few fledgling compositions to the master's home for his inspection. "When puberty hit, I turned to rock," Zevon goes on. "I could see...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!