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Marilyn Livingston Dillow was a long time lover of Warren Zevon she passed away in March 3, 2004 in Brea, Orange County, California at the age of 57. She was the mother of Jordan Zevon but is erroneously listed as Warren Zevon's spouse on Findagrave.com.

"The French Inhaler" is mainly intended as a kiss-off to Livingston. The over-all bitter tone of the song was lyrically modeled after Zevon found out about Livingston's post-breakup meeting with another musician. Jordan Zevon has described the lyrics of the song as "French Inhaler is [Warren Zevon's] way of saying 'fuck you' to my mom after she slept with another guy." He also went on to say, "...as much as it pains me that it's about my mother, it is the greatest ex-girlfriend 'fuck you' song of all time."

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