Friday, May 16, 2008

The Daddy of Rock has Died

For those of you unfortunate enough not to ever see a live performance
of Wesley Willis, there is a documentary available on DVD entitled The
Daddy of Rock'N Roll
which may help shed some light on the subject.

For those of you who don't know, Wesley Willis was a paranoid schizophrenic
artist from Chicago who used to draw pictures in marker and sell them on the
streets. He also recorded several hundred songs as a solo artist, as well as with
his rock band, The Wesley Willis Fiasco.

The DVD follows him around his typical day, and shines some light, if you will, on
his "unique" creative process.
At one point in the video, he is at Kinko's printing out his amusing and somewhat obscene lyrics to his songs,
and later he is at the zoo doing research on a song about beastiality.

There are several interviews with his friends, including engineer/producer Dale Meiners,
who reflects on all of Wesley's songs being around 2 min. 50 secs.
so that they can be more "radio friendly."

Also, his friend Tammy Smith also discussed his medical conditions and the lack of
appropriate healthcare for paranoid schizophrenics and others who are homeless, it seems, by

Tammy Smith
had a song about her on the first Wesley Willis album I purchased,
Wesley Willis Greatest Hits. This song, the first on the CD, is also featured.

"Rock and Roll McDonald's"

I was fortunate enough to catch a live show of Wesley several years ago, where he autographed my CD, posed for pictures, and yes, headbutted me.

Sadly, Wesley Willis died a few years ago, more or less
peniless. This doc was made before then, but he certainly had
a unique voice, which is something all of us as creatives should
strive for.

Rest In Peace, Wesley Willis
May 31, 1963 – August 21, 2003

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