A music journalist chronicles the dramatic and substance-abusing life of the Grammy-winning singer of "Werewolves of London" and many other songs that never became hits. But original interviews with Jackson Browne, Mitch Albom, Danny Goldberg, Barney Hoskyns, Merle Ginsberg, and others reveal Zevon as a hot-headed, literary, compelling, musical genius worthy of the same tier as that of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
Relying mainly on interviews with friends, family, and fellow musicians, Kushins offers an honest, complete view of the life of this enigmatic musician from a multiplicity of angles ... While it follows chronological order and the interviews are extensive, Nothing's Bad Luck breaks away from the dry, matter-of-fact style of most biographies. Instead, it frames events in a way that add to Zevon's mystique ... Kushins has delivered a nuanced, in-depth, loving look at this complicated figure, one that helps cement him as one of the most complex and captivating musicians of our times.
Kushins is a fan, but he doesn't assume the reader is a fan. Nor is he any kind of connoisseur, measuring his knowledge against others and rating his own more substantial ... Kushins neither condescends to the reader nor annotates the songs to death, as if Zevon was Ezra Pound. On the contrary, it's refreshing to read about how some songs came to be without the clichés of artistic struggle and the baggage of meaning ... Kushin's writing is clear and serviceable, it hums along at a pleasant low idle. It's not overstuffed, but it could be leaner. There's a structural issue where he writes about something that is going to happen—a tour, a recording session—and then when the event comes along, he writes about it again in a way that always contains redundancies. And there are too many sections that end with one-sentence quasi cliffhanger sentences...out of character with the rest of the book. But he tells the story. There are illuminating details ... the book will have you pulling out records, or launching your streaming app of choice, and digging into Zevon's exceptional catalog.
In his first book, journalist Kushins relies on extensive documentation, including hundreds of interviews with Zevon's family, friends and colleagues. These give the reader an intimate, sometimes painful window into 'the conundrum of Warren Zevon.' Readers are advised to have Zevon's extensive catalogue queued up to accompany this absorbing, compelling biography.