Peace Fighter: A Podcast Interview With Crystal Zevon

Tom Smith, Crystal Zevon and Paki Wieland saying "Let Gaza Live" at Senator Peter Welch's office in Washington DC, February 2024
Tom Smith, Crystal Zevon and Paki Wieland in Washington DC, February 2024

By Marc Eliot Stein, World BEYOND War, February 23, 2024

Crystal Zevon travelled from Vermont to Washington DC to join protestors from Code Pink and elsewhere in confronting cowering politicians and diplomats in Washington DC about Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza. This was a familiar journey for Crystal, a deeply committed longtime activist who kicked off her life of conscious engagement as a pre-teen townie in Aspen, Colorado in the 1960s when she tried to run away from home to hear Martin Luther King speak.

Her unique life story continued when she married the eccentric genius singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, whose own attitudes about violence and the travails of human coexistence contrasted her own. Our in-depth interview ranges back and forth between the political and the personal as we talk about Crystal’s past struggle to overcome alcoholism and raise a family while remaining connected to the changing landscape of progressive activism in our tumultuous times.

Crystal Zevon on the World BEYOND War podcast

Some of my favorite moments in this interview are about the interpersonal struggles of a determined activist: the painful loss of friends, the endless need for forgiveness. We also talk about Crystal’s GoFundMe campaigns to help individual Gazans, about US Congress’s shocking decision to censure the brave Palestinian congressperson Rashida Tlaib and about the disappointing cowardice of Tennessee Congressperson Steve Cohen in supporting this censure. Other topics include Ukraine, Bernie Sanders, Extinction Rebellion, the idea of a post-USA world, and the need to converge the climate movement with the peace movement.

I was inspired to interview Crystal Zevon after watching videos of Code Pink’s DC protests on Instagram and then reading “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead”, her oral history of Warren Zevon’s career as a rock star. This is a fascinating book, bursting with the complexities and paradoxes of music, creativity, obsession, love and life.
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon

Musical excerpts in this podcast: “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner” and “Piano Fighter” by Warren Zevon, “Hasten Down The Wind” by Linda Rondstadt.

The World BEYOND War Podcast page is here. All episodes are free and permanently available. Please subscribe and give us a good rating at any of the services below:

World BEYOND War Podcast on iTunes
World BEYOND War Podcast on Spotify
World BEYOND War Podcast RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Our Theory of Change

How To End War

Move for Peace Challenge
Antiwar Events
Help Us Grow

Small Donors Keep Us Going

If you select to make a recurring contribution of at least $15 per month, you may select a thank-you gift. We thank our recurring donors on our website.

This is your chance to reimagine a world beyond war
WBW Shop
Translate To Any Language