In the news
Rock cult hero Wesley Willis dies
Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 26, 2003
Wesley Willis, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound former homeless man who channeled his schizophrenia into an unlikely career as a rock music cult hero, died Thursday. He was 40.
He had undergone emergency surgery in June for internal bleeding and had remained in a Chicago hospice since. At the end of last year doctors had told him he had chronic myelogenous leukemia, but the cause of death had not been determined as of Friday, according to a spokeswoman for his record company.
Willis had attracted admirers in the punk world because of the cathartic effect his unfettered emotional outbursts shared with punk's raw energy.
Most recently he recorded for Alternative Tentacles Records, a San Francisco Bay Area label started by Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra. Other fans included Black Flag's Henry Rollins, the Beastie Boys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
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In the newsRock cult hero Wesley Willis dies