Happy 50th Birthday Wesley Willis! Here are the Punk Legend's 5 Essential Songs.
Last week would have been famed Chicago punk rock legend Wesley Willis' 50th Birthday. A chronic schizophrenic, Willis' boundless creativity helped ward off his personal demons as he released roughly 40 albums in his lifetime both by himself as well as through several different punk labels who treated a Willis release in their catalog like a badge of honor. Being that there's literally hundreds of Willis songs to choose from, we at the Weekly have put together our picks for the top five Wesley Willis songs of all time so that longtime fans and the Wesley-curious alike can look back at one of the most inspiring legacies in music history.
5) "Jesus is the Answer"
Along with the songs on his Casio that made him famous, for a time Wesley played with The Wesley Willis Fiasco, a full blown band that toured with Sublime (who they even split a 7" with) and Lordz of Brooklyn. While the backing made for more complex tracks, it also allowed Willis to experiment with his song structure in tracks like the unforgettable "Jesus is the Answer." Tell it like it is, jack!
4) "Northwest Airlines"
While, yes, there is the contingent that listens to Willis to laugh at him, the majority of his fans are well aware of Willis not only being in on the joke, but appreciate his perspective on the mundane aspects of day-to-day living that most of us take for granted. One such song is "Northwest Airlines." Most storytellers wouldn't begin a tale of riding an airplane with "Once upon a time," or dedicate a third verse to how nice everybody was, but Wesley Willis isn't most storytellers.