According to news source, LA Weekly, when we think of rockers from any era who left us before their time, we tend to follow the same well-worn script. Died young-ish? Clearly drugs, drink and Keith Richards–level hard living were to blame. Exactly like your parents warned you about.
In the case of acerbic singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, those kinds of fallacies still follow his legacy. Zevon’s son Jordan, an award-winning musician and spokesman for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), regularly corrects misconceptions about his dad’s 2003 death from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Granted, the elder Zevon had his hard-drinking and heavy smoking days, but his untimely demise at age 56 came long after he’d gone sober and smoke-free. It had nothing to do with the rock & roll lifestyle and everything to do with a misunderstood disease you only hear about on late-night infomercials from ambulance chasers.
Jordan Zevon said, “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 nonmusical 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. We found out about certain brands of duct tape that have it. It’s not banned; people think it is, but it’s not, and that’s what we’re trying to do”.
Zevon’s son went on to say, “It’s still out there. I hate to be a scaremonger, 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. Yeah, well there’s this myth that Dad was a lifelong smoker. And it’s so irritating. He had quit years and years before. There’s not much of a connection between smoking and mesothelioma. And I get that all of the time, things like, “Lifelong smoker Warren Zevon …” For more on the story in LA Weekly, click on the above link.
Asbestos exposure causes many diseases in the USA including mesothelioma and lung cancer. Lung cancer is the top cancer killer in the U.S. It’s diagnosed in more than 220,000 people a year and it killed nearly 160,000 people last year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Asbestos exposure can lead to diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. If you, a family member or a friend were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we may be able to help. We have been assisting our clients with their asbestos cases since 1975. Please contact our office at 1-800-995-6991, for a free consultation.