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...

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