Home Read Classic DVD Review: Wesley Willis | The Daddy of Rock ’N’ Roll

Classic DVD Review: Wesley Willis | The Daddy of Rock ’N’ Roll

A Canadian production captures the eccentric artist in all his oddly compelling glory.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Meet Wesley Willis. He is a rock star. At least, he thinks he is — and after seeing The Daddy of Rock ’N’ Roll, I am not going to tell him differently.

That’s because the Chicago native stands six-four, weighs 300 pounds, suffers from schizophrenia, hears voices and likes to headbutt people. To keep the voices quiet, Wesley writes bizarro songs about bands and bestiality and other things that interest him. Every song ends with a corporate slogan like, “Pontiac — We build excitement.” Oh, and here’s the odd part: He has more than a dozen albums out and travels all over the world performing. To say Wesley must be seen to be believed is an understatement. And this tasteful documentary — a Canadian production that documents Willis’s extraordinary life and career with equal parts squirm-inducing humour and impressive respect — is the place to see him in all his strangely compelling glory. Oh, and one more thing: Rice-A-Roni: The San Francisco treat.


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