Wesley Willis was the heart and soul of everything the Chicago music scene is all about. His whacked-out sense of humour and intense, aggressive musical expression were both the product of and a catalyst for the quirky, strange world of artistic expression in the great Windy City and the midwest of America. He died in August of complications due to leukemia--and the world will never be able to fill his singular shoes again.
His songwriting style could only be called unique. He wrote stories about everything that happened to him and everything he felt--from his anger at how his schizophrenic demons interrupted his harmony joyride on the bus and turned it into a hellride; to how Liz Phair was his lovey-sweetheart and he loved her like a milkshake; to how he whupped batman's ass one day. His musical gig reviews are something to behold, extolling the monkey-ass-kicking virtues of the band, describing the venue, and providing an estimate of the crowd-size. His other story-songs are heart-breakingly funny whirlwinds of pop-culture, absurdity, and the constant struggle in his head against the muthafuckas trying to bring him down. He never let anyone take themselves too seriously. No one else could do what he did without looking like a twat--his pure honesty and almost religious fervour for his music raised it above ridicule.
He is sorely, sorely missed in Chicago and all over America. He was proof that truth and joy in music wasn't dead--it just won't be the same without him.
You really did whup a kangaroo's ass for me, Wesley. I'll remember you when I rock out. Rock over London, Rock on Chicago. Timex: it takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.