Warren William Zevon, a famous singer and songwriter known for his hit songs such as “Werewolves in London” and “Excitable Boy,” passed away in 2003 from mesothelioma. His son, Jordan Zevon, also an award-winning musician, vows to keep spreading awareness about how deadly asbestos is with the ultimate goal of getting it banned in the U.S. completely.
In 2003, Warren’s doctor told him he only had a handful of months to live. He was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a rare but deadly disease that’s caused primarily by exposure to asbestos.
Although Warren was once a heavy smoker, cigarettes didn’t lead him developing mesothelioma, despite ongoing rumors. The singer’s father owned a carpet store, and while growing up, Warren would frequently play in the store’s attic, which was filled was asbestos-containing insulation and materials. Additionally, Warren had quit the habit of smoking numerous years before he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
While speaking to LA Weekly, Jordan opened up about his father, including the speculations and rumors that his dad’s rock-n-roll lifestyle contributed to his death. According to Jordan, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Warren’s death at the relatively young age of 56 came about well after he’d given up an unhealthy lifestyle. Yet, many people are still confusing how people develop mesothelioma, including how Warren was stricken with the toxic disease.
According to Jordan,
“There’s just so much misinformation out there about mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases. People see the late night commercials and they equate it with sailors and factory workers, and dad basically never worked a non-musical day in his life.”
And since then, we’ve found out that the whole thing about asbestos is that when it’s dry, a single asbestos fiber can get in your lungs and sit there, and 20 years later you’ve got mesothelioma…”
The battle to ban asbestos hasn’t been an easy one. Jordan, along with several organizations, such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have been fighting unsuccessfully to make asbestos use illegal. Jordan indicated that educating people on how asbestos is released into the air could help the process of getting it banned.
I hate to be a scare monger, but when you’re a musician and you’re playing in some club in Wisconsin and your drummer is banging on the ceiling pipes, you could be getting exposed. So that was the main thing. We’re not trying to scare anybody; we’re just trying to get it banned. It takes so long to gestate and it’s so hard to fight.
In the meantime, Jordan is scheduled to play at the Warren Zevon tribute concert on July 7, at Los Angeles’ Mr. Musichead Gallery. All proceed from the benefit concert’s ticket sales will go to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), a non-profit group dedicated to helping people with asbestos illnesses and spreading education about the dangers of the mineral.
The event will also have a live auction, and a book signing with George Gruel, author of Lawyers, Guns, & Photos: Photographs and tales of my adventures with Warren Zevon.
Other acts performing at the benefit concert include:
- Jorge Calderon
- Leland Sklar
- Matt Cartsonis
- Bob Glaub
- Brian McDonald
- John O’Kennedy
- Billy Watts
- Mark “Pocket” Goldberg
- Eric Kufs
- Zeke Zirngiebel
- David Landau
- Larry Larson
- Randy Brown
- John Wood
Help and Resources for Mesothelioma Victims
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. There is currently over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who are victims to asbestos-related diseases. Use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool today to find a leading mesothelioma attorney in your area. For questions and additional assistance, feel free to contact us at 800-793-4540.