Monday, July 16, 2018

"Wesley Willis"

If you happened to catch one of my tweets late yesterday, you'll note how I said I was was ashamed that up until yesterday, I'd never heard of the late Wesley Willis, or his musical genius.

I wasn't kidding about that because I'd truly never heard of him before.
I'm willing to bet many of you out there probably haven't either.

You will after today....

Here's a little intro into Wesley's life:

   Here's one more if you want a quicker snippet of the Wesley Willis experience in under 5 minutes:

And here's his wikipedia link for further detailed info I may skip over

So basically Wesley Willis was an unconventional musician who also happened to be a chronic schizophrenic. In he was constantly plagued by inner demons who always put him down and tell him horrible things. In order to drown out those voices, he'd often take long bus rides, or Joyrides, as he called them, listening to music for hours on end and drawing many Chicago city landmarks.

Here's some examples of his very vibrant work:

Over his brief lifetime, he'd go on to draw thousands of these drawings, often selling them for 20-40$ a pop.

It wasn't until after his death that his works would go on to make bigger money than that, hundreds of  of dollars big money:

There's even exhibits in certain art museums all over the world, even as far as Egypt, where his famous cityscapes hang.

Eventually he started making his own music. And it caught on, growing into a small, but faithful following on the Indy music scene.

With the help of some local punk musicians, Wesley formed his own band, the Wesley Willis Fiasco from 1991-1996, influencing many mainstream musicians and music industry movers and shakers such as Eddie Vedder, Members of Rob Zombie's band White Zombie, Mike D of the Beastie Boys, Henry Rollins, and legendary producer Rick Rubin, who signed Willis to a recording contract for his American Recordings sub-label.

He'd also go on to tour, as well as make frequent appearances on MTV, especially MTV2 as well as that time he was a guest on the Howard Stern show.

Here's a track listing of a lot of these, and to me they're funny as fuck, and no not in an exploitative way, but because he sings a lot about kicking or getting his ass kicked by certain famous superheroes, or imploring someone to suck on some various animal's dicks.

Trust me, the songs are funnier than I'm doing them justice right now.

Sadly Willis would die of complications from Leukemia on August 31, 2003.
Gone way too soon, but influencing countless others with his musical talent and art.

Why he even makes a cameo of sorts, in a 2013 issue of the Phew 52-era Wonder Woman
as a supporting character named Milan, a blind demigod with the power of far-sight who just so happens to really physically resemble Willis.

Anyways, do yourself a favor and see what all the fuss is about. Who knows, you just might get a couple of laughs at out of it.

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