Warren was a musician and songwriter noted for his offbeat, sardonic view of life. "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me" and "Werewolves Of London" were a couple of his songs. I know I've heard Barry make referenece to Warren and "Werewolves Of London" on more that one occasion.
Zevon was said to have a lifelong phobia of doctors. In 2002, after a long period of untreated illness and pain, Warren was encouraged to see a physician; when he did so he was diagnosed with inoperable mesothelioma - a form of lung cancer from which he died on September 7, 2003.
Here are at least a few of the Cowsill connections to Warren Zevon:
1. The song "The Time Has Come" (also known as "Crystal Claps") that Paul sings lead on and was released by The Cowsills on London was written about Crystal Zevon - Warren's wife.
2. In her 2007 book I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon, Crystal Zevon makes several references to members of The Cowsills. You can read those here. Those include sessions that Barry sat in on and the fact that Warren called Billy "Bonkers Billy". (BTW Billy referred to Warren as a "f****** sweetheart").
3. Warren was associated with the following musicians whom also have Cowsill ties: Jackson Browne, Waddy Watchel, Bruce Springsteen, The Everly Brothers, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty to name a few.
4. As stated above, I have heard Barry make reference to Warren on several occasions including from the stage at CM V. It is said Barry was running in Warren's group as early as age 18 and Barry considered Warren an inspiration.
5. A 2007 Oxford Magazine article references a diary entry by Barry saying that Warren had come him during those last post-Katrina days and said, "He told me it was okay; he said I could go."
6. In 1976 Susan released a Zevon pen "Mohammed's Radio" on the Warner Brothers label.
7. Billy wrote his song "Embers" for Warren, as they were good friends. (Jeffrey Hatcher later helped finish it) Billy said, "(Embers) I wrote that because it was Warren Zevon's birthday, I didn't have any money. So I said, 'Why don't I just write a song?' And I thought 'The embers keep burning long after the fire.' I mean it's just a fact."
8. There are pictures out there of Billy wearing a t-shirt bearing Warren's mantra "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead."