When you tell someone that they’re the “best friend my music’s ever had,” it’s usually a sign of mutual respect and admiration between the two parties. And when singer/songwriter Warren Zevon said that to David Letterman during his final appearance on the “Late Show,” it was clear that their friendship was defined by far more than simple late night television pleasantries.
On October 30, 2002, Zevon made his final Letterman appearance after he was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and not given long to live.
Zevon, known for such classics as “Werewolves of London,” “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” was the show’s only guest and spoke candidly with Letterman about his illness while also performing several songs.
When Letterman asked his friend whether his illness had taught him anything, Zevon responded: “How much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.”
Zevon finished up the show with a performance of “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” which Letterman specifically requested.
While in the green room after the show, Zevon gave Letterman the guitar that he always used on the show with this simple request: “Here, I want you to have this, take good care of it.”
Zevon passed away on September 7, 2003 at the age of 56.