“ACCIDENTALLY LIKE A MARTYR” by James Campion : a book review

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Enjoying this Warren Zevon bio ACCIDENTALLY LIKE A MARTYR.

One of the seminal moments in Zevon’s life happened on Christmas Day 1956 when he was 9. His father was a Russian-Jewish immigrant, a former boxer, notorious gangster and professional gambler who went by the name Stumpy. His mother was Scottish-Welsh descent and a strict Mormon. So with a schitzo upbringing like that it’s not surprising that Zevon ended up a conflicted person.

Anyways after a successful gambling bender Stumpy presented Warren with a brand new piano for a Christmas present. His mother — envisioning the piano as a “tool of the devil” — demanded it immediately be removed. A fight broke out between Mom and Dad, and in a rage Stumpy hurled a carving knife at Mom’s head, missing by no more than an inch. Stumpy then sat Warren down on the piano stool and disparaged all his mother’s haughty Christian Mormon talk as so much bullshit. “You’re a Jew, son. Never forget that.”

PS. The piano stayed.

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