Musicians Who Are Running Out of Time

Now that the Tragically Hip tour is over, some people are turning to more sombre things. Medium published this article entitled “Everything You Love Will Die.” You’re welcome.

As pleural mesothelioma ravaged his lungs, sapped him of his breath and robbed him of his voice, the idiosyncratic American songwriter Warren Zevon appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman late in 2002 for what was scheduled to be — and ultimately was — his last public performance. The affair was a bleary-eyed rumination on life and death punctuated by a graceful, final charismatic turn behind the mic. Zevon, with whom Letterman developed a long-running friendship over their intertwined careers, was the only guest that evening — a show of reverence and admiration that allowed the two to take eerily poignant conversational turns into dark existentialism and gallows humor.

At a point during their back-and-forth, Letterman asked Mr. Zevon if he’d learned anything more about life now that he was staring down the barrel of his swift decline. Zevon’s off-handed, pithy reply: Enjoy every sandwich.

Keep going.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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