19 March 2022
Artist: WILLY DEVILLE
Who: Celebrated singer-songwriter, born William Paul Borsey Jr.
in Stamford, Connecticut on 25 August 1950. He’s best known as
frontman of his band Mink DeVillle, but he also had a succesful
solo career after that band broke-up. He passed away on 6 August
2009, only 58, due to pancreatic cancer.
With the release of debut album Cabretta in 1977 critics put him
in the ‘new wave’ category just because these were the years of new
wave. He had nothing to see whatsoever with that label. He was a rock
and soul man at heart, adding Latin rhythms, blues riffs, doo-wop, Cajun
music. That effervescent mix, his high-quality songwriting talent, his
energetic live shows (I saw a couple of them) and last but not least his
genuine voice made him really special.
Active: 1968-2009 / 6 LPs with Mink Deville and 10 solo
DeVille told an interviewer at one point: “I have a theory.
I know that I’ll sell much more records when I’m dead. It isn’t
very pleasant, but I have to get used to this idea.”
Bob Dylan: “DeVille stood out, his voice and presentation
ought to have gotten him in there (Rock and Roll of Fame)
Three top live moments…
– SPANISH STROLL –
(Sweaty version in Montreux 1982)
– LOVE AND EMOTION –
(Pinkpop Festival, The Netherlands 1985)
– HEAVEN STOOD STILL –
(Goosebumps – Berlin 2002)
WILLY DEVILLE: Story