(Link above is probably still slashdotted; I got the news from MetaFilter.)
For the uninitiated, Wesley Willis was:
* six-foot-five * three-hundred-plus pounds * diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia * known to headbutt his friends as his own particular greeting * homeless at one point, selling his drawings on the streets of Chicago * the creator of over twenty music CDs (both solo and with his band, the Wesley Willis fiasco), all done in his own idiosyncratic Casio-keyboard-and-ranting style * all of the above.
Rock over London. Rock on, Chicago.
"When WCW tries to be racy, it's generally about as light-heartedly entertaining as watching a man rape a woman in a chicken yard." -- Dark Cheetah
Not so fast there spf. I too was on the receiving end of several Wesley headbutts. He asked me to say "Raaaa" I said "Raaaa". He looked at me, tilted his head to one side and said "Say Roooo". I didn't say it to his satisfaction, so he headbutted me. We did this two more times before he was finally satisfied. I'm legitimately sad knowing that he is no longer alive. He was a beautiful and brilliant man. And, as you said, a wackjob genius. I hope St. Peter has some Advil waiting for him after all the headbutts Wesley gave him.
"Behind that twinkle in your eye, I can see the bitch in you." - 50
That totally shoots down my powerful rock jam session.
Some people laughed at him, many more never knew who he was, but in his own way Wesley was a genius. He put his life out there in an original type of song that really gave the listener the chance to understand him and the problems he lived with. If you've never heard him, give him a listen, and keep an open mind.
Rock Over London, rock on Chicago. Franklin-Sussex Auto Mall--the only choice you need.
He was awesome. I told my sister who was a bigger fan than I, that he had passed away. She asked if it was from a head injury due to the massive amount of headbuts he has taken. I loved his cover of "Girls on Film" that rocked ass! If you haven't, you should see the Sublime tape he is on, funny stuff.
I've just recently been introduced to the the awesomeness that is Wesley Willis, so I'm particularly bummed. Rest in peace, brother.
Rock over London. Rock on Chicago. Wheaties-the breakfast of champions.
"So you're Ben Affleck. You're sitting next to Jennifer Lopez, who's your fiancee, you're eating a eight-foot high sundae, and members of the Boston Red Sox are coming up to you and asking for autographs. If that's not heaven, what is?" - Tony Kornheiser, PTI
I saw him play at a place called "Common Grounds" in Gainesville last fall. It's a small, snooty, chokingly smoky little coffee bar that doubles as a club, at night, and sells tall-boys of Old Milwaukee for a dollar.
Wesley opened with "Osama Bin Laden" and mostly played from a set list. He didn't respond to requests, but it didn't matter, since he was playing lots of favorites. We pretty much lucked out. (One of my friends had seen him in Pensacola a few hours after Wesley had suffered a particularly strong schizophrenic episode. In response, Wesley only played his "excorcizing his demons" songs; and it apparently got dull after an hour of nothing but "suck a male bactrian camel's ass.")
He played "Chickencow" and sort of took requests during his encore. I screamed "I Whupped Batman's Ass" as loud as a could, and he played it. That rocked.
That was the end of the set.
Many Old Milwaukee's had an effect on my bladder, and I made my way toward the tiny two-urinal men's room. I opened the door, and Wesley was in there. (I don't know how he got through the crowd so quickly.) Ordinarily, I would have opted to wait outside, but I had to go. It had been a long set with many, many beers.
So I pee in the urinal next to Wesley, and I think that is a pretty unique situation. He finishes a little before me, and zips up. After I finish and zip up, I turn and notice that Wesley is just standing there. Like many men who find themselves in small bathrooms, I'm not fond of other men staring intently at me while I pee. He puts his hands on the sides of my face.
Now, I'm not terribly concerned that he hasn't washed his hands. That matter is largely secondary to the fact that my face is being held by a 300-pound hulking schizophrenic who's just performed several very angry songs. At that moment, I know that they say that Wesley isn't violent, but the very real fact is that, all fond anecdotes aside, he is still a schizophrenic man who travels with "handlers" — none of whom are within 50 feet of where I am — and who has his giant hands on my head.
Wesley looks me straight in the eye and says, "Say rock." An intense wave of relief floods through me. I know that this is something Wesley does. I say Rock. He headbutts me. "Say roll," he tells me. I say Roll. He headbutts me again. We repeat this exchange twice. After six headbutts, my head really hurts.
Wesley turns and leaves, and I find that my sense of relief has been entirely replaced with a sense of fun and a little giddiness. Grinning from ear to ear, I walk back to the bar, eager and ready to make all of my friends intensely jealous.
No, Chico, I totally forgot about it. I was just digging the moment so much that it didn't even occur to me until the morning.
My friends were outraged, too. One of them (the one who saw Wesley in Pensacola) had seen three Wesley Willis shows. And he was very jealous because his only interaction with Wesley was at the Pensacola show during which Wesley yelled, "I ain't gonna play that [I can't remember the adjective] shit, motherfucker!" in response to my buddy's song requests.
It was truly a bizarrely great and arresting night.
I'm hoisting some iced-tea to you, Wesley, since I don't think beer was a good thing for you or your meds.
During the time Jeff Buckley's first album was out, my sister(The biggest Buckley mark ever) took me to see him play at Toad's Place in New Haven, Ct.. I had to take a piss while the opening act was playing and asked the bartending chick where the men's room was, either she messed up or I did, but I wound up in the dressing/green room area staring right at him and his band drinking, smoking, and just chillin'. At first I was like "this ain't the bathroom", they told me where it was and I said have an awesome show. I was able to mock my sister about it untill she met him in NYC after a show.
Originally posted by Chico SantanaDuring the time Jeff Buckley's first album was out, my sister(The biggest Buckley mark ever) took me to see him play at Toad's Place in New Haven, Ct.. I had to take a piss while the opening act was playing and asked the bartending chick where the men's room was, either she messed up or I did, but I wound up in the dressing/green room area staring right at him and his band drinking, smoking, and just chillin'. At first I was like "this ain't the bathroom", they told me where it was and I said have an awesome show. I was able to mock my sister about it untill she met him in NYC after a show.
Figures... the bathrooms aren't THAT hard to find at Toad's... lucky bastard. ^^;;;
and that my peeps, is WHY I live in California. I knew that freaky cold and rain shit wouldn't last forever. I spent my break sitting outside in the sun. Now I'm bailing from work and catching the last of this awesome day!