Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wesley Willis: Love You Like a Stick of Butter!

Periodically, I will be posting links regarding bands and musicians that I have a developed a fondness for (or influence as the case may be). I will include links to MP3s as well.

Today, I will be highlighting one of my DIY favorites: Wesley Willis. Wesley died in 2003, but his music lives on. He was a Chicago street performer who created his own unique music.

As the Alternative Tentacles Biography states (MP3s may also be found on this page; you will need to use the pull-down menu to reach his page):

Wesley Willis stood 6'5" tall and weighed somewhere between 300 and 350 pounds prior to contracting leukemia, and liked to greet people with a headbutt. Wesley enjoyed walking the streets of Chicago, peddling his detailed ballpoint/felt-tip renderings of the city and riding around on the bus. On October 21, 1989, he began hearing voices and was shortly thereafter diagnosed as having chronic schizophrenia. Willis claimed to have "schizophrenia demons" in his head that take him off of his "harmony joy rides" to put him on "torture hell rides". In 1992 Wesley began writing songs, and soon after, guitarist Dale Meiners took Wesley in to his studio to record them. After many line-up changes, Meiners and Wesley formed the Wesley Willis Fiasco, with Wesley as frontman. Willis had built up a small cult following with his bizarre, three-chord rants about trivial everyday items, music, and people he knows. For the first part of the 90's, several independently released tapes of his songs appeared, eventually followed by indie recordings of his albums. He now has over 1000 songs in circulation and has recorded at least 50 albums. At one point he recorded 4 different albums in 36 days. Each one is completely finished in 5 hours or less.

He was certainly a musician's musician.

A tribute Internet Album is also available for free downloand Here.

Love you like a stick of butter, Wesley. RIP.