Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Friday: Chicago Bull Salutes Wesley Willis

From Wikipedia: Wesley Willis (May 31, 1963 – August 21, 2003) was a musician and artist from Chicago. A diagnosed schizophrenic, he gained a sizable cult following in the 1990s after releasing several hundred songs of unique but simple music, with emphasis on his humorous, bizarre stream-of-consciousness lyrics.
Not much is known about Wesley's childhood, however it is documented in Chicago Department of Children and Family Services records that Willis and his siblings spent most of their childhoods in various foster homes. Wesley was a large man, standing 6'6" (198 cm) and weighing 350 lb (160 kg).

In 1989, Willis began hearing what he called "demon voices" and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He often mentioned that his demons were named "Heartbreaker," "Nervewrecker," and "Meansucker". He called his psychotic episodes "hell rides". Alternatively, he declared rock and roll to be "the joy ride music" and Willis often indicated that listening to and performing music helped him battle the voices.On August 21, 2003, at the age of 40, Willis died due to complications from chronic myelogenous leukemia. A memorial service for him was held on August 27th, in Chicago, Illinois.

At the time of his death, he had recorded over 1,000 songs but his total life savings were less than $300. Having sold out hundreds of venues across the country, the question still remains where all of Willis' money went. In a Howard Stern interview, it was mentioned that Willis would receive as much as a $10,000 advance for the production of an album, and that he would then earn a portion of the money received from album sales and live shows.

One of my friends in high school went to go see Willis in concert downtown, but Willis got stoned before the show, and was too scared to go out and play in front of a live crowd. If you've never heard Wesley Willis're in for a treat. Enjoy.

Cut The Mullet:

Rock 'N Roll McDonalds: (The dorks in this are quite funny)

Arnold Schwarzenegger: (Goes to show his "cult" status)

Birdman Kicked My Ass:

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