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Jello News

08/22/03: Jello Biafra On Wesley Willis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: WESLEY WILLIS 1963-2003

A letter from one of his biggest fans, Jello Biafra:

We lost Wesley Willis some time before 9PM Chicago time August 21, 2003. Word is he died peacefully. The likely cause may be heart failure. Wes had been battling leukemia for less than a year. No services are planned as of yet. There will probably be a memorial concert, or at least a gathering in his honor in Chicago in the near future. We will let you know.

Wesley will go down as one of the most unique songwriters and entertainment personalities in history. 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 over come his horrifically poor background, child abuse, racism, chronic schizophrenia and obesity among other things. He was the most courageous person I have ever known. Yet through it all he had such a deep, all-encompassing love of life. Little things, big things. He loved bus rides. He loved watching trains. He loved writing songs about how much he loved his friends. He loved travelling to new towns so he could headbutt new friends. Is there any band he saw that escaped being in their own song about how much he loved their show? He was so warm, so sweet, so giving. He could be a handful when he came to visit; but as soon as he left, we'd miss him immediately.

As his long time friend Dennis Cooper said, "No More Demons." The voices in Wesley's head can't yell at him and put him down any more.

Wes was deeply religious. He was afraid that if he died he would no longer get to go see bands play. If there is a hereafter I hope he's right up front as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, his beloved Otis Redding and his dear friend Bradley from Sublime "storm the stage" as the crowd "roars like a sea monster." All opening for Wesley, of course.

It will be hard now that he's gone, but I'm not going to let myself stop enjoying the funny stuff, or the look on people's faces when they first hear "Rock n Roll McDonalds," or the memories of the good times and Wesley's many adventures. He wouldn't want it any other way. There are many down times when all I have to do is think of one of Wes's songs, something he said or simply marvel at his Wesley-isms, and the clouds part and a smile comes to my face. I think he does that for a lot of people. He always will.

Rock over London Rock on Chicago

Sail on, Wes. I love you.

Jello Biafra 8-22-03

For more info and MP3's:
http://www.alternativetentacles.com/bandinfo.php?band=wesleywillis


08/15/03: Jello Declines Latest DK "re-union" PR stunt "Offer"

Re: Their press release "inviting" me to join their cash-in nostalgia show in Hollywood on August 19th.

To put it mildly, this reeks of false advertising. They obviously aren't serious or they would have called me on the phone. Instead, their message came through their lawyers and their publicist.

What's the matter, not enough Hot Topic bozo teens flocking to stuff cash in their bikinis? Are they having that much trouble selling tickets to a bar that holds less than 600 people?

If they really want to, "bury the hatchet," why won't they stop suing me? They have been dragging me through court for almost six years now, and have refused attempts to compromise and settle.

I feel sorry for anyone duped into paying top dollar for a ticket because they heard, "I might be there". But I hardly think I'm "letting fans down" by refusing to be part of a nostalgia scam.

It makes even less sense than the California Recall election. Sorry I'm not running, folks, but I didn't want to take votes away from Gary Coleman.

No, seriously, I'm supporting the high-quality Green Party nominee with the vision and skills to govern - Peter Camejo! Please vote for him.


07/14/03: Ice-T & Jello on a hot afternoon

Jello Biafra introduced Ice-T /BodyCount at the Warped Tour on Saturday in San Francisco. Jello got to the Teal Stage and was putting down Bush and his politics and constant war, etc. irritating the crowd who then started throwing full bottles of pop at him (and one orange stink bomb). He loved it, stirring up controversy, making people think - ah, being "punk"! What a novel idea at the Warped Tour!

Jello also attended Ice-T /BodyCount 'sPalo Alto show Saturday night. Ice-T introduced Jello to the crowd and told everyone to give their support and respect to Jello, cause he's a real G. Then Jello sang Cop Killer alongside Ice-T on stage. At the end of the set Jello dove into the crowd, getting a ride.


07/03/03: Jello Jealous Again at Black Flag Show
Here is what happened during the Rollins Band show at the Fillmore on Tuesday night:

Henry Rollins enlisted Keith Morris to tour with him and the guys in Mother Superior that are also the musicians for the Rollins Band. They perform Black Flag songs. All proceeds go to raise money for DNA testing for the West Memphis Three (www.wm3.org).

They are also promoting the recording, Rise Above, that features various singers (Lemmy, Ice-T, Hank III, QOTSA, etc.) singing Black Flag songs. All proceeds of Rise Above benefit the West Memphis Three.

As they tour, they ask different singers to join them on stage for a song. The song Jello performed was Jealous Again. Jello also pulled the winning raffle ticket for a clear body Dan Armstrong Dan-electro guitar. All of the people that participated on the Rise Above record signed it, including Jello.

P.S. It was a blast, the crowd roared like a lion when Jello got to the stage. And yes, Jello dove into the crowd at the end of the song. Awesome! He wore his WM3 t-shirt too.


06/24/03: Jello Wants Your Help : Wesley Willis vol. 3

A note from Jello:

"Hello! I'd like to talk more about the latest ugly chapter in the increasingly Kafka-esque DKs,Inc. nightmare, but our attorney's have me under a strict gag order not to shoot my mouth off until the next round of court hearings.

Meanwhile, its full speed ahead on a mid-Fall release of the long-awaited Wesley Willis' "Greatest Hits, Volume 3" CD. We would like your input & help in putting this new album together.

We don't think studio recordings exist of some of his more recent classics. Does anyone out there have good live recordings of any of these songs?:

George Bush is a Stupid Asshole
Osama Bin Laden
Michael Jackson
Look Out For The Turd Burglar
Get Your Brains Splattered
I'm Hoo Riding on You
Thou shallt Not Kill
Mothra

He also wrote an entire album abot his struggle with Leukemia. Did he perform any of that on the last tour?

We only want these if the sound quality is good, "the rock band is aw-some-" and Wesley is fired up.

Other hot performances and between-song monologues are welcome too. (I'd still like to hear those early cassette tapes he sold in subway stations in the early 90's.)

Other nominations are welcome but I'm already at a logjam of over 40 winners. Got any good photos? Wesley tattoos? (I saw 2 in one day (!) in Denver awhile back.)

To submit material:

CDRs, pictures of Wesley and your Wesley tattoos:

ATR
PO Box 419092
San Francisco, CA
94141
attn. Wesley Willis Volume 3 Submission

MP3s to : info@alternativetentacles.com

With the world on a hellride and demons here at home his spirit is more uplifting and refreshing than ever.

Stay off the Hell Bus,

Jello Biafra"


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