The Cowsills In Books

Warren Zevon: Desperado of Los Angeles
by George Plasketes
Jun 16, 2016
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers


Page 15-16:
Pages 15-16 When Zevon assembled the band to revitalize the Everly Brothers sound, he hired Waddy Wachtel, and extraordinary guitarist who was in the group Twice Nicely. The union, though initially prickly, marked the beginning of a 30-year relationship between Zevon and Wachtel, who ultimately cowrote songs with Zevon, coproduced three of his albums, and, as a member of the omnipresent Mellow Mafia session collective, contributed to Zevon’s sound. It was also through Wachtel that Zevon met Crystal Brelsford who had datd Wachtel on and off since 1967 when they met in Vermont. After migrating cross-country to Los Angeles, Brelsford managed the fan club of the family singing group the Cowsills, best known for their hits “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,” and a popular version of the rock musical theme, “Hair.” True to the “free love” spirit of the times, when companion crisscrossing wa common practice, particularly in the creative and counter culture communities, Zevon and Brelsford struck a relationship and soon moved in together. Zevon had been in constant transition, moving in and out of the place he lived with Tule Livingston and son Jordan, as well as extended stays at the Tropicana and Hollywood Hawaiian motels, two locales that became central settings in his songs. The couple married in 1974, “Hunter Thompson style,” driving all night across the desert to Nevada, their trip fueled by acid and vodka the whole way, then drinking Bloody Marys until dawn at a Las Vegas casino until the Chapel of the Bells opened. Crystal was the only woman Zevon ever married, even though she is often inaccurately referred to as his “second wife,” a result of Zevon’s relationship with Tule Livingston being mistaken as a first marriage. Zevon himself perpetuated the marriage myth, preferring it to be taken for granted that he and Livingston though staunch anti-establishment Sixties types, were married for his son’s sake. Zevon’s marriage to Crystal ended in 1979, then officially in divorce in 1981, though he continued to refer to her as his wife during his entire life.

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