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Hipster Of Danger 2.0
Monday, August 25, 2003  
Rock over London, Rock over Chicago: Wesley Wills, We'll Miss Ya!!

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Singer/songwriter Wesley Willis (news), a diagnosed schizophrenic who recorded more than 50 albums during his career, has died after a long battle with chronic myelogenous leukemia
The Chicago-based artist underwent emergency surgery to suppress internal bleeding on June 2 and remained in hospice care until his death on Aug. 21. He was 40.

Standing 6'5" tall and weighing more than 300 pounds, Willis began writing songs in 1992, primarily about his favorite rock 'n' roll artists. He would also be frequently seen riding the Chicago bus lines, selling his accomplished pen drawings of the cityscapes.

In the mid-'90s, Willis released two albums for Rick Rubin's American Recordings label. They deviated little, if at all, from formula: three chords, a chorus with the subject's name repeated over and over, and an outtro featuring the slogan, "Rock over London, rock over Chicago."

Willis' "Greatest Hits Vol. 1" was released in 1995 by Alternative Tentacles, the label run by former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra. A second volume followed in 1999 and a third edition will be released on Oct. 7. "Volume III" will feature video footage of Willis as well as downloads and an art and photo gallery.

"Wesley will go down as one of the most unique songwriters and entertainment personalities in history," Biafra said in a statement. "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 overcome his horrifically poor background, child abuse, racism, chronic schizophrenia and obesity, among other things. He was the most courageous person I have ever known."

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.



I saw wesley about three years ago in deep ellum. He appeared to the ordinary eye as a crazy crackhead, but to the millions of fans who jammed out to his hits including "Rock N' Roll McDonalds", "I Whupped Batmans Ass", "Kris Kringle Was A Car Thief" and "Feel The Power Of Rock and Roll", he was a true musical messiah...A individual who helped keep rock from totally going bubblegum/emo. Wesley spoke the truth on various topics including racism, religion, politics, and popular culture. We've lost a real social commentator in wesleys passing. May wesley bless the man upstairs with the same rocking lyrics he blessed us, his fans, with.


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