View Full Version : R.I.P. WESLEY WILLIS

08-22-2003, 01:52 PM
i know a lot of people never understood what wesley was about, but some friends of mine were doing a documentary on him, and i got the chance to hang out with wesley quite a bit. i've never met someone with so much passion to play shows and write music (even if it was a simple pre programmed keyboard and ranting lyrics). he has written songs about many friends of mine and he even called my (x) girlfriend up at one of his shows to sing to her because she couldn't make it. he was one of the friendliest people i've met in my life, and he will be missed.......

Dear Friends and fellow Wesleynauts,

We are deeply saddened to report that one of our artists, Wesley
Willis passed away yesterday, Thursday, August 21st. Wesley will be
greatly missed by all that had the privilege to know him, as well as
the fans who have been fortunate enough to experience his genius.

Wesley was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) at the
end of 2002, and had to undergo emergency surgery on June 2nd to
identify the source of, and to suppress internal bleeding. It is not
clear if this bleeding was related to his leukemia or not, and the
exact cause of death is still unknown. Wesley had been recovering at
a Hospice in Illinois, and since the surgery his health had
deteriorated rapidly.

His songs were simultaneously disturbing, hilarious, blunt, and
intoxicating. Wesley's sheer excitement and unaffected honesty about
every cultural phenomenon, defined his music as truly individual, and
truly punk rock. Wesley released well over 50 albums - 3 of which are
on Alternative Tentacles, and a 4th, entitled, Wesley Willis Greatest
Hits Vol. 3 (LP/CD) had already been scheduled for release in October
of this year.

For more information on Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, please visit
http://leukemia-lymphoma.org .

Wesley's Biggest Fan Jello Biafra on Wesley Willis 8/22/03:

We lost Wesley Willis some time before 9PM Chicago time August 21,
2003. Word is he died peacefully. The likely cause may be heart
failure. Wes had been battling leukemia for almost a year.
No services are planned as of yet. There will probably be a memorial
concert, or at least a gathering in his honor in Chicago in the near
future. We will let you know once we find out.
Wesley will go down as one of the most unique songwriters and
entertainment personalities in history. His music, lyrics, drawings,
insight and the way he put them together are like no one else. Ever.
There will never be another.
As I got to know Wes, what really struck me was his sheer will power,
his unrelenting drive to succeed and over come his horrifically poor
background, child abuse, racism, chronic schizophrenia and obesity
among other things. He was the most courageous person I have ever
Yet through it all he had such a deep, all-encompassing love of life.
Little things, big things. He loved bus rides. He loved watching
trains. He loved writing songs about how much he loved his friends.
He loved traveling to new towns so he could headbutt new friends. Is
there any band he saw that escaped being in their own song about how
much he loved their show? He was so warm, so sweet, so giving. He
could be a handful when he came to visit; but as soon as he left,
we'd miss him immediately.
As his long time friend Dennis Cooper said, "No More Demons." The
voices in Wesley's head can't yell at him and put him down any more.
Wes was deeply religious. He was afraid that if he died he would no
longer get to go see bands play. If there is a hereafter I hope he's
right up front as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, his beloved Otis
Redding and his dear friend Bradley from Sublime "storm the stage" as
the crowd "roars like a sea monster." All opening for Wesley, of
It will be hard now that he's gone, but I'm not going to let myself
stop enjoying the funny stuff, or the look on people's faces when
they first hear "Rock n Roll McDonalds," or the memories of the good
times and Wesley's many adventures. He wouldn't want it any other
There are many down times when all I have to do is think of one of
Wes's songs, something he said or simply marvel at his Wesley-isms,
and the clouds part and a smile comes to my face. I think he does
that for a lot of people. He always will.

Rock over London.
Rock on Chicago.
Sail on, Wes. I love you.

Jello Biafra

08-22-2003, 06:42 PM
"Chronic Schizophrenia" is my favorite song by him. I've only heard 3 or 4 though. He heard vulgarities on the citay buses. :(

08-23-2003, 02:30 AM
heres a song wesley wrote about "Dressy Bessy"


08-23-2003, 07:09 AM
Oh no! Not Wesley! He was so cool... Who doesn't laugh when they hear "Cut the Mullet"?
"Tell the barber you're sick of looking like an asshole"... Hahaha