Jordan Zevon was born on August 7, 1969 to Marylin ‘Tule’ Livingston and Warren Zevon.
Growing up in an atmosphere that ate, drank, and slept music, it was no surprise that Jordan would be entrenched in that world. It was also no surprise that he had a hard time focusing on any one thing for longer than a minute. Both traits his father was well known for although, Jordan got a certain grounding from his mother that kept him from going too far over the deep end.
By the time he attended University High School (although his attendance was spotty)
he joined his first band, the New Originals, as a drummer and vocalist. Mostly a cover band with an ironic name, the band started evolving writing original material and later changed their name to THE iMPOSTERS. THE iMPOSTERS showed promise and nailed steady gigs at the Whiskey, Roxy, and several other LA clubs, drawing sold out crowds and building a growing fan base. But Jordan, never known for long term commitments, left the band to pursue… well he wasn’t sure what direction he wanted to go but he did continue to write songs. At the same time he crossed over to the other side of the fence and joined Arista Records staff as Coordinator of West Coast Tour Press. This afforded him the opportunity to work with artists like Sarah McLachlan, Notorious B.I.G., and Outkast as well as legendary label heads like Clive Davis and Puffy Combs. But his restlessness as well as his creative streak got the best of him again and in 1996, Jordan, along with a couple of his friends: Director Gil Cates, Jr. and musician Jordan Summers (from the then reformed iMPOSTERS), formed Trademark Entertainment and produced an award winning short film called Screening that became a film fest darling (which he and Summers co-wrote). He was also executive producer for the feature film, $pent, starring Jason London. But just like his Dad his attention span waned again and Jordan left Trademark Entertainment in 2001 and began to do web design for the UK company, Art Science, before forging out on his own. He continued to write and record; appearing on several albums of his father’s. In addition, he sang harmonies for All Day Sucker, the group that was formed by some former members of THE iMPOSTERS. Jordan then joined his pal Phil Jamison to work for the legendary amplifier company, Matchless.
In August 2002, life took a dramatic turn for Jordan when his father was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a deadly form of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure that also took the life of Steve McQueen. Warren was given only a few months to live and spent that time finishing his final album, The Wind. Because of his failing health and the demands of recording, Warren asked Jordan to Executive Produce the album along Warren’s longtime friend and collaborator Jorge Calderon. The Wind was a commercial and critical success that even earned him his first Grammy (posthumously), which Jordan along with Jorge and his sister Ariel accepted at the 2004 Grammy awards. After outliving his doctor’s prediction by 9 months and not only achieving the completion of The Wind, but also the accompanying VH-1 documentary, Warren Zevon passed away a week after the album’s release. Before his death, Warren told Jordan that he should use his studio (Anatomy of a Headache) to record his music and follow his dream. With his heart always entrenched in music, Jordan began to write and record at the relocated and renamed, Mixed Headache Studios. When Artemis Records brought up the idea of recording a tribute record for Warren, Jordan and Jorge joined forces again to produce Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon. Jordan also performed a previously unreleased song, Studebaker on the record with such legendary musicians as David Lindley, Waddy Wachtel, and Caldorone.
As John Lennon wrote, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans” and Jordan would learn how true that was when 3 weeks after his father’s death, the news came that his Mother, Tule Livingston Dillow, was diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer. Music was set aside as the family began the process of care for Tule while she underwent a painful series of radiation and chemotherapy. What was originally thought to be a treatable cancer started to spread quickly and was eventually too aggressive to fight. Tule died on March 3, 2004.
Knowing how much his parents believed in his music and armed with a newfound appreciation for life, and the support of his recent marriage to “the one that almost got away,” Jodi, Jordan knew it was time to get serious about his own future. First he and Jordan Summers wrote a song that won the 2006 USA Songwriting Contest entitled The Jokes On Me. Then he enlisted the help of some long time friends who are very talented musician/producers. His own album will be released on New West Records, June 26. When asked to describe his sound Jordan said, “It’s organic rock/pop. Something I always told my Dad to stick with. I hated when he used synthesizers and drum machines.”
Jordan is the national spokesperson for the Asbesdos Disease Awareness Organization. As their spokesperson, he continues to speak to members of congress to draw attention to asbestos related deceases and appears at benefits to raise funds.
All and all Warren would be pleased to see the roads Jordan is traveling and to quote a message Jordan had saved on his answering machine after one of Jordan’s performances… “Johnny, that was fucking amazing. I’m really proud of you Johnny Son.”