Willy DeVille

Willy DeVille

Infobox musical artist
Name = Willy DeVille

Img_capt = Willy DeVille circa 2005
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = William (Billy) Borsay
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1950|8|25
Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.
Origin = New York
Instrument = Vocals, guitar, harmonica, dobro
Genre = Rock, Soul, R&B , Blues, Cajun, Latin, Cabaret, Mariachi, Creole, Doo-Wop, Country
Occupation = Singer-songwriter
Years_active = 1974–present
Label = Capitol, Atlantic, Polydor, Sky Ranch, Orleans Records, FNAC, Rhino, New Rose, EastWest, Discovery, Eagle
Associated_acts = Mink DeVille, Fast Floyd, Jack Nitzsche, Dr. John, Doc Pomus, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Ben E. King, Mark Knopfler, Eddie Bo, Ernie K-Doe, Brenda Lee, Tom Waits, Los Lobos
URL = [http://www.willydevillemusic.com www.willydevillemusic.com]

Willy DeVille (b. August 25, 1950) is an American singer and songwriter. First with his band Mink DeVille (1974–1985) and later on his own, DeVille in his 35-year career has created songs that are wholly original yet rooted in traditional American musical styles. DeVille has worked with collaborators from across the spectrum of American music, including Jack Nitzsche, Doc Pomus, Dr. John, Mark Knopfler, Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo, Brenda Lee, Los Camperos de Nati Cano, and David Hidalgo. The typical DeVille song—if any of his songs can be called "typical"—is filled with romantic conviction and yearning. Latin rhythms, blues riffs, doo-wop, Cajun music, strains of French cabaret, and echoes of early-1960s uptown soul can be heard in DeVille's work.

Mink DeVille was a house band at CBGB, the historic New York nightclub where punk rock was born in in the mid-1970s. DeVille helped redefine the Brill Building sound, and after his move to New Orleans in 1988, helped spark the roots revival of classic New Orleans R&B. His soulful lyrics and explorations in Latin rhythms and sounds have helped define a new musical style sometimes called "Spanish-Americana." [For example, the term "Spanish-Americana appears on DeVille's [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=80140845 MySpace Music page] . (Retrieved 1-24-08).] Jack Nitzsche said that DeVille was the best singer he had ever worked with. [Edmonds, Ben (2001) Liner notes to "Cadillac Walk: The Mink DeVille Collection." Edmonds wrote, "During my last conversation with Nitzsche, only months before his death last year, the irascible old witch doctor couldn't stop taking about the new album he'd been plotting with Willy, and how DeVille was the best singer he had ever worked with."] He is a star in Europe but unheralded in his native United States.

Critic Robert Palmer wrote about him in 1980, "Mr. DeVille is a magnetic performer, but his macho stage presence camouflages an acute musical intelligence; his songs and arrangements are rich in ethnic rhythms and blues echoes, the most disparate stylistic references, yet they flow seamlessly and hang together solidly. He embodies (New York's) tangle of cultural contradictions while making music that's both idiomatic, in the broadest sense, and utterly original." [Palmer, Robert (September 18, 1980) "Pop: Willy DeVille Band." "New York Times"; p. C32.]

Doc Pomus, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member with whom he penned several songs, wrote about him, "DeVille knows the truth of a city street and the courage in a ghetto love song. And the harsh reality in his voice and phrasing is yesterday, today, and tomorrow—timeless in the same way that loneliness, no money, and troubles find each other and never quit for a minute." [This quote comes from the back cover of Mink DeVille's 1978 album "Return to Magenta."]

Critic Mark Keresman wrote about Willy DeVille, "In some respects, DeVille is the rock & roll counterpart to Sinatra—both can rock, both stared down personal demons, both are capable of rousing memories sweet and sad, and both can navigate the mean streets with panache before winding up on Lonely Avenue at daybreak." ["See" Keresman, Mark (2005) Liner notes to "Coup de Grace".]

Early life

Willy DeVille was born William Borsay in Stamford, Connecticut (he took the name Willy DeVille in 1974). His maternal grandmother was a Pequot, ["See" Cohen, Elliot Stephen (August/September 2006). “Willy DeVille.” Dirty Linen #125. p. 37.] and he is also of Basque and Irish descent. As he put it, "A little of this and a little of that; a real street dog." ["See" Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 1-29-08.)] DeVille said about Stamford, "It was post-industrial. Everybody worked in factories, you know. Not me. I wouldn’t have that. People from Stamford don’t get too far. That’s a place where you die." [Cohen, Elliot Stephen (August/September 2006). “Willy DeVille.” Dirty Linen #125. p. 37.]

DeVille quit school at age fourteen ["See" Rhodes, Dusty (1978) [http://www.ratw.com/issues/13/ville.htm “Issue 13: Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink.”] [http://www.ratw.com/ Rock Around the World.] (Retrieved 1-29-08.) DeVille said, "I was always considered an asshole... I never fit in at school... I was always looked upon as the weird."] and started frequenting New York's Lower East Side and West Village. "It seemed like I just hung out and hung out. I always wanted to play music but nobody really had it together then. They had psychedelic bands but that wasn't my thing." [Rhodes, Dusty (1978) [http://www.ratw.com/issues/13/ville.htm “Issue 13: Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink.”] [http://www.ratw.com/ Rock Around the World.] (Retrieved 1-29-08.)] In this period, DeVille's interests ran to blues guitarists Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, [DeVille said about John Lee Hooker, "I heard John Lee Hooker when I was twelve years old. When I heard that voice, I said, 'Man I gotta sound like that.' So I was 12 years old, with my face full of freckles... I went around saying 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...' trying to sound like John Lee Hooker. I'm very happy that he has finally got the commercial success, because he has influenced so many people..." "See" Editors (1994) [http://personal4.iddeo.es/rangel/entrebasicoe.htm “ Interview: Concierto Básico.”] "Canal magazine." (Retrieved 3-9-08.)] and especially John Hammond. [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 1-29-08).] [Harris, Craig (2006) [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:g9frxqq5ldde "Willy DeVille: Biography."] Allmusic. (Retrieved 1-29-08.)] "I think I owe a lot about my look, my image on stage, and my vocal riffs to John Hammond. A lot of my musical stance is from John," Deville said. ["See" the Billy Pinnell interview with DeVille on Australian radio on the 1994 Raven CD reissue of "Miracle."] He credited Hammond's 1965 album "So Many Roads" with "changing my life." [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 1-29-08).]

DeVille abandoned his band Billy and the Kids in 1970 and struck out for London in search of like-minded musicians ("obvious American with my Pompadour hair"), but was unsuccessful finding them; he returned to New York City after a two year absence. [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 1-29-08.)]

His next band, The Royal Pythons ("a gang that turned into a musical group" [FaceCulture Interview (June 7, 2006) [http://www.faceculture.nl/artist.php?id=267 Willy DeVille: Willy about funerals, songwriting, second sight, his grandmother.] [http://www.faceculture.nl/ FaceCulture.com.] (Retrieved 4-6-08.)] ), was not a success either. Said DeVille:

I decided to go to San Francisco; there was nothing really happening in New York. Flower power was dead. All the day-glo paint was peeling off the walls. People were shooting speed. I mean, it was real "Night of the Living Dead". So I bought a truck and headed out west. I traveled all around the country for a couple of years, looking for musicians who had heart, instead of playing 20-minute guitar solos, which is pure ego. [Rhodes, Dusti (1978) [http://www.ratw.com/issues/13/ville.htm “Issue 13: Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink.”] [http://www.ratw.com/ Rock Around the World.] (Retrieved 1-29-08.)]

Mink DeVille Years

: "For a complete history of this band, see Mink DeVille.In San Francisco, DeVille founded what would become Mink DeVille with bassist Rubén Sigüenza and drummer Tom "Manfred" Allen in 1974. The band, soon joined by guitarist Fast Floyd, played under the names Billy DeSade & the Marquis and the Lazy Eights before settling on the Mink DeVille name; William Borsay took the name Willy DeVille. In 1975, DeVille persuaded the band members to try their luck in New York City. "I conned the guys into believing that if we went back to New York I could get us work, because I knew the city and the ropes of how stuff worked, which was stretching it." [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 1-29-08.)] In New York, they hired guitarist Louis X. Erlanger, whose blues sensibilities helped shape the band's sound. Mink DeVille became one of the original house bands at CBGB, the New York nightclub where punk rock music was born in the mid 1970s. "We played (at CBGB) for three years," DeVille said. "During that time we didn't get paid more than fifty bucks a night." [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 1-29-08.) DeVille had only sour memories of CBGB. He did not play any benefit concerts or recordings for the nightclub. He told "Music Street Journal": "The whole band only got $50 dollars a night, even to the end. That's why I never went back there. I've never walked through those doors other than to have maybe a beer once. I was down in New Orleans and I came up here, kind of going down Memory Lane so to speak. I ended up on Bowery down there and I thought, 'Let's see what's going on here.' I walked in (to CBGB) and I saw Hilly (Hilly Kristal) standing there. I had a big straw hat on, silk suit. He bought me a beer and it got around to 'Would you like to come back?' I said, 'No Hilly and you know wny? Because you never treated me right. You never were fair to me.'" ("See" Olma, Greg [2006] [http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/williedevilleinterview.htm "Interview with Willy DeVille."] " [http://www.musicstreetjournal.com/ Music Street Journal.] ") He told "Leap in the Dark": "They keep asking me to come and play there (at CGBG) for 'old times' sake' and you know that's not for me. That's for people who want to go there and say they saw me there, or Lou Reed in sunglasses or some such stuff." ("See" Marcus, Richard [2006] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] )] The band appeared on "Live at CBGB’s" (1976), a compilation album of bands that played CBGB.

There was the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, the Talking Heads, and us. We were the five big draws. And then one night this blond-headed guy came in to CBGB, Ben Edmonds (an A&R man for Capitol Records, and previously an editor for "Creem"). He was the guy who was responsible for being the visionary who saw that we were different than they were and that we could probably have a career playing music. So we went into this cheap little studio and did four songs, which Edmonds gave to Jack Nitzsche. I didn’t even know who Nitzsche was. Nitzsche did all the Phil Spector stuff that we grew up with and loved. We just fell in love with each other. We were buddies to the end. He was like my crazy uncle. I called him my mentor and my tormentor. ["See" interviews on "Live in the Lowlands (DVD)" (2006; Eagle Rock).]

In December 1976, Ben Edmonds signed the band to a contract with Capitol Records. Wrote Edmonds:

When Mink DeVille took the stage (at CBGB) and tore into "Let Me Dream if I Want To" followed by another scorcher called "She's So Tough," they had me. These five guys...were obviously part of the new energy, but I also felt immediately reconnected to all the rock & roll I loved best: the bluesy early Stones, Van Morrison..., the subway scenarios of the Velvets, Dylan's folk-rock inflections, the heartbreak of Little Willie John, and a thousand scratchy old flea market 45s. Plus they seemed to contain all the flavors of their New York neighborhood, from Spanish accents to reggae spice. ["See" Edmonds, Ben (2001) Liner notes to "Cadillac Walk: The Mink DeVille Collection."]

"Cabretta" and "Return to Magenta"

In January 1977, Mink DeVille recorded its debut album, "Cabretta," produced by Jack Nitzsche. Nitzsche, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, would produce three albums for Mink DeVille. Nitzsche said about Willy DeVille, "We hit it off right away. Willy pulled out his record collection, he started playing things, that was it. I thought, 'Holy shit! This guy's got taste!'" [McDonough, Jimmy (2005) [http://www.spectropop.com/JackNitzsche/friends.htm "Jack Nitzsche 1937-2000."] Jack Nitzsche's Magical Musical Word. (Retrieved 3-28-08.)] Nitzsche was a perfect fit for Willy DeVille, whose tastes ran to the Brill Building sound that Nitzsche and Phil Spector had pioneered in the early 1960s. Said Willy DeVille, “You listen to that music and you hear those really high strings, and that percussion, and the castanets; that's all Jack's (Jack Nitzsche’s) work. All that really cool stuff.” [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 1-29-08).]

"Cabretta", a spicy, a multifaceted album of soul, R&B, rock, and blues recordings, was selected number 57 in the "Village Voice"'s 1977 "Pop & Jazz Critics Poll"; [Christgau, Robert (1977) [http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/pnj/pjres77.php “The 1977 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll”] . [http://www.robertchristgau.com/ Robert Christgau website.] (Retrieved 2-1-08.).] a single from the album, “Spanish Stroll,” was a top-20 hit in the U.K. [Ankeny, Jason (2005) [http://www.answers.com/topic/willy-deville?cat=entertainment “Mink DeVille.”] [http://www.answers.com/ Answers.com.] (Retrieved 2-1-08.)] The band's followup album, "Return to Magenta" (1978), continued in the same vein as "Cabretta," but with a twist. "We went against strings on the first album—decided it should be outright, raw, and rude." [Rhodes, Dusti (1978) [http://www.ratw.com/issues/13/ville.htm “Issue 13: Mink DeVille: Smooth Running Caddy: The Tale of the Mink.”] [http://www.ratw.com/ Rock Around the World.] (Retrieved 1-29-08.)] On "Return to Magenta," however, Willy DeVille and producers Jack Nitzsche and Steve Douglas employed lavish string arrangements on several songs.

"Le Chat Bleu"

For Mink DeVille's next album, "Le Chat Bleu" (1980), Willy DeVille wrote several songs with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Doc Pomus. Guitarist Louis X. Erlanger had become acquainted with Pomus while frequenting New York City's blues clubs and had urged Pomus to check out the group. Wrote Alex Halberstadt, Pomus's biographer:

One night Doc's pub crawl took him to The Bottom Line just a block east of Washington Square Park (in New York City). He sat at his usual table and watched an empty spotlight. Cigarette smoke wafted into the shaft of light from offstage while the sax player blew Earle Hagen's "Harlem Nocturne." Willy DeVille strode out of the wings and snatched the mike. With his pedantically trimmed pencil mustache he looked like a cross between a bullfighter and a Puerto Rican pimp. The tightest black suit clung to his thin frame; he wore a purple shirt, a narrow black tie and shoes with six-inch points. A Pompadour jutted out above his forehead like the lacquered hull of a submarine. The show was the most soulful Doc had seen in ages. Onstage, Willy’s band, Mink DeVille, had nothing in common with the New Wave CBGB bands that the press had lumped them with. Unlike Television, the Ramones, or Blondie, at heart Mink DeVille was an R&B band, and Willy an old-fashioned soul singer. He borrowed much of his phrasing from Ben E. King and couldn't believe it when someone told him that Doc Pomus wanted to meet him after the show. "You mean the guy who wrote 'Save the Last Dance for Me'?" He was even more amazed when Doc asked whether he'd write with him. "Look me up. I'm in the book," Doc hollered before rolling away (in his wheelchair). [Halberstadt, Alex (2007) "Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus." New York: De Capo Press. p. 213.]

DeVille said about their first meeting, "Now here I am at 29, a writer, doing pretty good and I've just been asked if I want to write songs with a guy who helped lay the foundations for the music I fell in love with sitting at my mother's kitchen table when I was only seven years old. You've got to be kidding!" ["See" the "as told to Lawrence Albus" notes on the 2003 Raven CD reissue of "Le Chat Blue."]

The "Rolling Stone" Critic’s Poll named "Le Chat Bleu" the fifth best album of 1980; ["Rolling Stone" magazine. [http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/rolling.htm#80 1980 - Critics.] Rolling Stone End off Year Critics & Readers Polls. (Retrieved 3-14-08.)] music historian Glenn A. Baker declared it the tenth best rock album of all time. [Baker, Glenn A. (1987) [http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/steveparker/world_critics_lists.htm "Individual Critics Top 10s."] The World Critics Lists ~ 1987. (Retrieved 3-14-08.)] Of the original members of Mink DeVille, only Willy DeVille and guitarist Louis X. Erlanger played on the album. It was recorded in Paris. "I wanted to record the album in Paris," said DeVille, "because I desperately wanted to use Jean-Claude Petit, whom I had contacted through Édith Piaf's songwriter Charles Dumont, for string arrangements... The band with me was a dream come true. I've got Phil Spector's horn player, Steve Douglas (who also served as producer), on tenor and baritone. Elvis Presley's rhythm section, Ron Tutt and Jerry Scheff, want to play with me. Wow! That's pretty cool! Songwriting with Doc Pomus. Not to mention Jean-Claude doing the strings. How can I go wrong?" ["See" the "as told to Lawrence Albus" notes on the 2003 Raven CD reissue of "Le Chat Blue."] Wrote Alex Halberstadt:

(Willy DeVille) created a record that sounded like nothing that had come before... It was clear that Willy had realized his fantasy of a new, completely contemporary Brill Building record. To the symphonic sweetness of the Drifters he added his own Gallic romance and, in his vocal, a measure of punk rock's Bowery grit. Doc (Pomus) was elated when he heard it. Thinking they'd signed a New Wave band, Capitol didn't know what to do with Willy's rock and roll chanson and shelved it for a year. When it was finally released in 1980, "Le Chat Bleu," remixed by Joel Dorn, made nearly every critic's list of the year's best records. [Halberstadt, Alex (2007) "Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus." New York: De Capo Press. pp. 214-215.]

Kenny Margolis, a longtime Willy DeVille sideman who played accordion and keyboards on "Le Chat Bleu" said, "Capitol in the U.S. did not know what to do with "Le Chat Bleu" because they perceived Willy as this punk rocker from CBGBs and he came back from Paris with a very different kind of record. They didn’t understand the record, but they understood it in Europe. They released it immediately in Europe and everybody loved it." ["See" interviews on "Live in the Lowlands (DVD)" (2006; Eagle Rock).]

Capitol Records released the album only in Europe. However, "Le Chat Bleu" sold impressively in Europe and in America as an import, and Capitol finally released it in the United States in 1981.

The Atlantic Albums

"Willy had found a more appreciative reception at Atlantic Records, where head man Ahmet Ertegün signed him to a fat new recording deal and promised to personally shepherd his career...," reported "Rolling Stone" in 1980. "According to Willy—never one to let false modesty intrude on a good story—the Atlantic Records chairman said, "You got the look, the performance, the writing, you know exactly what to do.'" [Sears, Rufus (October 30, 1980) "Willy's back—and knocking 'em dead: Mink DeVille spurred on by success of 'Le Chat Bleu.'" "Rolling Stone." p.20-22.]

No members of the original Mink DeVille save Willy DeVille remained in the band, but DeVille continued recording and touring under the name Mink DeVille. “Those boys went through the wars with me, the $50 a night bars, and I had to turn on them and lop their heads off and say, ‘I love you man, but that’s the way it’s gotta be.’ I still feel guilty about it, but we were just a good bar band. That’s all we were. We weren’t ready to make great rock and roll records.” [Cohen, Elliot Stephen (August/September 2006). “Willy DeVille.” Dirty Linen #125. p. 38.]

Wrote critic Robert Palmer in 1981:

Mr. DeVille's career never quite took off, despite the impressive breadth and depth of his talent. He is recording a new album for Atlantic records, having departed from his previous recording commitment under less than amicable circumstances. And on Friday night he was at the Savoy, where he demonstrated with an almost insolent ease that he is still ready for the recognition that should have been his several years ago. He has the songs, he has the voice, and he has the band. And he has expanded the scope of his music by adding elements of French cafe songs and Louisiana zydeco to the mixture of rock, blues, Latin and Brill Building soul that was already there. [Palmer, Robert (April 20, 1981) "Willie DeVille and Band." "New York Times."]

Said Willy DeVille:

I had band problems, manager problems, record company problems. And yeah, I had drug problems. Finally I got a new recording contract, with Atlantic, and a new manager. I cleaned up my act. I figured that since playing music with people I was friends with didn't seem to work out, I would hire some mercenaries, some cats who just wanted to play and get paid. And those guys turned out to be more devoted to the music than any band I ever had. They're professional, precise, but they're full of fire, too." [Palmer, Robert (September 25, 1981) "Pop Jazz; Willy DeVille and the Mink in Weekend at the Savoy." "New York Times."]

DeVille recorded two albums for Atlantic, 1981’s "Coup de Grace" (produced by Jack Nitzsche) and 1983’s "Where Angels Fear to Tread." Both albums featured saxophonist Louis Cortelezzi and had a full-throated Jersey Shore sound that evoked Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny. Wrote Thom Jurek about "Coup de Grace," “The band's sound combined with Nitzsche’s timeless production style, which combined with that voice to create a purer rock and roll noise than even Bruce Springsteen’s in 1981. [Jurek, Thom (2006) [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:jifixqr5ldae “Review: Coup de Grace.”] Allmusic. (Retrieved 2-1-08.)] Wrote Jurek about "Where Angels Fear to Tread," “DeVille and his band were burning through the pages of rock and R&B history (there are a couple of doo wop and New Orleans-flavored cuts as well) with raw swagger and astonishing musicianship. Why they didn't catch and George Thorogood and Southside Johnny (briefly) did is a mystery that will be up to 1980s historians to figure out.” [Jurek, Thom (2007) [http://wc10.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:kifixqr5ldae~T0 "Review: Where Angels Fear to Tread."] Allmusic. (Retrieved 2-1-08.)]

The albums DeVille recorded for Atlantic sold well in Europe but not in the United States. Explained Kenny Margolis, who played piano and accordion in DeVille's early 1980s bands, "I don’t think the American public had a chance to experience him because in America at that time you had MTV telling you what to like. Europe had not had MTV at that point and they were very open to different music." ["See" interviews on "Live in the Lowlands (DVD)" (2006; Eagle Rock).] DeVille said about his years with Atlantic Records, "Ahmet Ertegün and I got along, but we never got anything done." ["See" interviews on "Live in the Lowlands (DVD)" (2006; Eagle Rock).]

"Sportin' Life"

In 1985, DeVille recorded "Sportin' Life" for the Polydor label. As he had done on "Le Chat Bleu", DeVille wrote some songs with the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame member Doc Pomus. The album was recorded at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama with DeVille and Duncan Cameron producing. The song “Italian Shoes” was a hit in Europe, [Eagle Rock Entertainment (2007) [http://www.eaglerockent.com/eaglerockUSA/artist_bios.php?band_id=9 "DeVille, Willy."] Web site of Eagle Rock Entertainment. (Retrieved 3-8-08.)] but some critics thought the album was overproduced. Wrote Allmusic: "Its sound is steeped in mid-'80s studio gloss and compression that often overwhelms quality material." [Jurek, Thom (2007) [http://wc09.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:0ifixqr5ldae~T1 “Review: Sportin’ Life.”] [http://wm01.allmusic.com/ AllMusic] (Retrieved 3-16-08.).] However, David Wild of "Rolling Stone" praised "Sportin' Life," calling it "the most modern, polished sound of (Willy DeVille's) career." He added, "Pushed to center stage, DeVille delivers, singing with more passion and more personality than ever before." [Wild, David (March 27, 1986) "Sportin' Life: Mink DeVille." "Rolling Stone", p. 114-115.] After "Sportin' Life", DeVille dropped the "Mink" moniker and began recording under his own name.

"Miracle" by Willy DeVille

Although Willy DeVille had been recording and touring for ten years under the name Mink DeVille, no members of his original band had recorded or toured with him since 1980's "Le Chat Bleu". Beginning in 1987 with the album "Miracle", DeVille began recording and touring under his own name. He said, "Ten years with the band was enough for Mink DeVille; everyone was calling me 'Mink.' I thought it was about time to get the name straight." ["See" the Billy Pinnell interview with DeVille on Australian radio on the 1994 Raven CD reissue of "Miracle."]

DeVille recorded "Miracle" in London with Mark Knopfler, the Dire Straits guitarist, serving as his sideman and producer. He said, "It was Mark (Knopfler’s) wife Lourdes who came up with the idea (to record "Miracle"). She said to him that you don't sing like Willy and he doesn't play guitar like you, but you really like his stuff so why don't you do an album together?" [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 3-6-08.)] "Storybook Love," a song from "Miracle" and the theme song of the movie "The Princess Bride", was nominated for an Academy Award in 1987; DeVille performed the song at that year’s Academy Award ceremony.

Knopfler heard ("Storybook Love") and asked if I knew about this movie he was doing. It was a Rob Reiner film about a princess and a prince. The song was about the same subject matter as the film, so we submitted it to Reiner and he loved it. About six or seven months later, I was half asleep when the phone rang. It was the Academy of Arts and Sciences with the whole spiel. I hung up on them! They called back and Lisa (his wife) answered the phone. She came in to tell me that I was nominated for "Storybook Love." It's pretty wild. It's not the Grammys — it's the Academy Awards, which is different for a musician. Before I knew it, I was performing on the awards show with Little Richard. It was the year of "Dirty Dancing," and they won. [Rene, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille Fan Page. (Retrieved 1-30-08.)]

In New Orleans

In 1988, DeVille relocated from New York to New Orleans, where he found a spiritual home. "I was stunned," he said in a 1993 interview. "I had the feeling that I was going back home. It was very strange... I live in the French Quarter, two streets away from Bourbon Street; at night, when I go to bed, I hear the boogie that comes from the streets, and in the morning, when I wake up, I hear the blues." [Laura Rangel (1993) [http://personal4.iddeo.es/rangel/kingcreole.htm Interviews: King Creole] . [http://personal4.iddeo.es/rangel/main.htm Willy DeVille: Spanish Stroll.] (Retrieved 1-29-08.)]

In 1990, DeVille made "Victory Mixture", a tribute album of classic New Orleans soul and R&B which he recorded with some of the songs' original composers. The album was recorded without the use of overdubbing or sound editing with the goal of capturing the spirit of the original recordings.

I got all the original guys to come back in, like Earl King, Dr. John and Eddie Bo. Allen Toussaint played side piano. I brought in the rhythm section of The Meters on a couple of cuts. We call it the "little" record. It's funny, because I was just trying to get them money, the writers of the songs, 'cause they all got ripped off in the 1950s and 1960s. They were all fascinated, and Dr. John (who had played on DeVille's 1978 album "Return to Magenta" and who DeVille knew from his association with Doc Pomus) convinced them that they wouldn't get ripped off by this northern white boy. That's when I crossed over to being a local here in New Orleans. We were all pleased with it. It's recorded the way it was originally done back then. It's live with no overdubs anywhere, no digital, no editing. We played the song several times and just picked the best take, the one that was the most natural. It's on FNAC/Orleans Records. I'm really proud of that one. [Rene, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille Fan Page. (Retrieved 1-30-08.)]

"Victory Mixture" was recorded for a small independent label, Orleans Records, which licensed it to Sky Ranch (FNAC) in France. "It sold over 100,000 units in Europe very quickly—our first gold disc," said Carlo Ditta, founder of Orleans Records and the producer of "Victory Mixture". [Sinclair, John (August 24–September 5, 1998) [http://johnsinclair.us/10for2/index.php?Itemid=110&id=699&option=com_content&task=view “Orleans Records Story.”] On the Road with John Sinclair. (Retrieved 3-6-08.)]

In the summer of 1992, DeVille toured Europe with Dr John, Johnny Adams, Zachary Richard, and The Wild Magnolias as part of his "New Orleans Revue" tour. "The travel, buses, and planes and the accommodations had to be some of the worst I've ever experienced," he said, "but the shows themselves were great. At the end of each show we'd throw Mardi Gras rows out to the audience, you know strands of purple and gold beads, and they'd never seen anything like it and they loved it.” [Marcus, Richard (2006) [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html “Interview: Willy DeVille.”] [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/ Leap in the Dark (a blog).] (Retrieved 3-6-08.)]

Recording in L.A.

In 1992, DeVille recorded "Backstreets of Desire", the first of four albums he would record in Los Angeles with producer John Philip Shenale. [DeVille recorded these albums in Los Angeles with John Philip Shenale as producer: "Backstreets of Desire" (1992), "Loup Garou" (1995), "Crow Jane Alley" (2004), and "Pistola" (2008).] "I say it every time I record in L.A. — that I'll never do it again, and I keep doing it... It's crazy. I just record and go to the hotel, and never go out, then back to the studio. I hate L.A. It's the worst. I think they eat their children there. I never saw any kids. It's a pity there aren't more studios in New Orleans." [Rene, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille Fan Page. (Retrieved 1-30-08.)] Although DeVille complained about having to record in Los Angeles, recording in that city nevertheless put him in touch with many talented Latino musicians who helped shape his distinctive Spanish-Americana sound. For "Backstreets of Desire", he was joined by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Efrain Toro, Mariachi los Camperos, and Jimmy Zavala, as well as New Orleans musicians Dr. John and Zachary Richard and L.A. session musicians Jeff Baxter, Freebo, Jim Gilstrap, and Brian Ray. Allmusic said about the album:

Willy DeVille's "Backstreets of Desire" stands tall as his masterpiece as both a singer and a songwriter. DeVille's considerable reputation in Paris buoyed him up to make this disc... With guest spots by Dr. John, Zachary Richard, and David Hidalgo, DeVille creates a tapestry of roots rock and Crescent City second line, traces of '50s doo-wop, and elegant sweeping vistas of Spanish soul balladry, combined with lyrics full of busted-down heroes, hungry lovers, and wise men trying to get off the street. The sound of the album balances Creole soul and pure rock pyrotechnics. DeVille sounds like a man resurrected, digging as deep as the cavernous recesses of the human heart. [Jurek, Thom (2007) [http://wm04.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:difqxqrhldse “Review: Backstreets of Desire.”] [http://wm01.allmusic.com/ All Music Guide] . (Retrieved 2-2-08.)]

"Backstreets of Desire" included a novel mariachi version of the Jimi Hendrix standard “Hey Joe” that was a hit in Europe, rising to number one in Spain and France. ["See" Rene, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille fan page. (Retrieved 2-2-08.)] "The song originally comes from the Texas-Mexico border area," DeVille said. "They call it Texico. I tried, instead of doing something that sounded like Jimi Hendrix that would have been a cliché, I tried to take the song back to the way that it must originally have sounded, which would be with mariachis. It's classic, but it's classic with a little twist. A little different. I put a bit of pachuco Canal Street slang talking. I added a couple of verses of my own." [Editors (1994) [http://personal4.iddeo.es/rangel/entrebasicoe.htm “ Interview: Concierto Básico.”] "Canal magazine." (Retrieved 3-9-08.)] "Backstreets of Desire" was released in the United States in 1994 on Rhino Record's Forward label.

Continued Success in Europe

DeVille was married in the late 1970s to Toots, [Alex Halberstadt, Doc Pomus's biographer, wrote about Toots: "Half French and half Pima Indian, Toots favored a pair of nose rings, snow-white kabuki make-up and a Ronettes-style beehive the color of tar. She'd once put out a lit Marlboro in a woman's eye just for staring at Willy." (Halberstadt, Alex (2007) "Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life and Times of Doc Pomus." New York: De Capo Press. p. 214.} DeVille said about Toots in 1996, "I haven't seen her in over ten years. I ran off on her, I guess. She was fascinating, all right. She loved to fight and pull knives out. She used to get me into a lot of trouble." (Rene, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille Fan Page. [Retrieved 1-30-08.] }] with whom he had a son, Sean, but in 1984 he married his second wife, Lisa, who proved to be an astute business manager. On the strength of his success touring and selling albums in Europe, they bought a horse farm in Mississippi and begin living there as well as their apartment and studio in New Orleans' French Quarter. "I finally got the plantation," DeVille told an interviewer in 1996. "I just bought this house and 11 acres. It looks a little bit like Graceland... I got into horses since my wife is into them. We're raising Spanish and Portuguese bullfighting horses. The bloodline is 2000 years old. She's into breeding, but I just love riding. I've also got five dogs, fourcats and a partridge in a pear tree." [Rene, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille Fan Page. (Retrieved 1-30-08.)]

DeVille did not have a recording contract with an American label in the mid-1990s. His next two albums, "Willy DeVille Live" (1993) and "Big Easy Fantasy" (1995), were recorded for FNAC, a French label. "Willy DeVille Live" was a number one record in Spain." [Eagle Rock Entertainment (2007) [http://www.eaglerockent.com/eaglerockUSA/artist_bios.php?band_id=9 "DeVille, Willy."] Web site of Eagle Rock Entertainment. (Retrieved 3-8-08.)] "Big Easy Fantasy" presents live recordings of Mink DeVille Band playing with New Orleans legends Eddie Bo and The Wild Magnolias and remixes from the "Victory Mixture" sessions.

DeVille said, "I was pissed off and I didn't have a record deal for a few years. At the time I didn't want one. I was getting very gun-shy about labels. I was performing in Europe and I was doing great without one. When you get to that stage in your mind, they all start coming around. It's pretty strange the way that happens." [Rene, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille Fan Page. (Retrieved 1-30-08.)]

In 1995, DeVille returned to Los Angeles to record "Loup Garou", again with producer John Philip Shenale. "Musician" said about this album, "Loup Garou" is subtle in nuance but staggering in scope, it connects the dots between all of the artist's sacrosanct influences, often within the framework of a single song... All of it is on the money, performed from the heart..." [Editors (September 1996) “Review of Loup Garou.” "Musician magazine", p. 90.] "Loup Garou" featured a duet with Brenda Lee (“You’ll Never Know”). Said DeVille, "She didn't know who the hell I was. I just called her up, played the song for her, and she loved it. She had her business people check me out, and they reported that I was big in Europe and had been recording for twenty years. So I flew to Nashville (to record with her). That's got to go down in my book as one of the most memorable experiences in my career." [René, Sheila (1996) [http://freenet-homepage.de/willydeville/interview.htm “Interview with Willy DeVille.”] Willy DeVille fan page. (Retrieved 3-9-08.)]

The cover of "Loup Garou" showed DeVille in turn-of-the-century New Orleans garb posing on a street corner in New Orleans' French Quarter. It included voodoo chants and a song subtitled "Vampire's Lullaby." The singer had completely immersed himself in New Orleans culture. Percussionist Boris Kinberg, a longtime member of the Mink DeVille Band, said about the stages of Willy DeVille's career:

To my mind there were three main eras. The first era was the Lower East Side, skinny tie, purple shirt, "West Side Story", Puerto Rican Sharks gang vibe. Then it transmuted into the Mississippi plantation-gambler riverboat rogue, the Rhett Butler thing where he had had custom-made suits, and really got into the period and the clothes and just totally immersed himself in New Orleans, not the present New Orleans, but the New Orleans of the 1880s and 1890s—the Absinthe-drinking, voodoo New Orleans. He totally immersed himself in that. Then he left New Orleans and moved to the Southwest and came back as the second coming of Black Elk. ["See" interviews on Live in the Lowlands (DVD) (2006; Eagle Rock).]

Before moving to the Southwest in 2000, DeVille recorded "Horse of a Different Color" in Memphis. The 1999 album, produced by Jim Dickinson, is one of DeVille's most penetrating blues explorations. It includes a chain-gang song, a cover of Fred McDowell's "Going over the Hill," and a cover of Andre Williams's "Bacon Fat." Allmusic said, "Simply put, no one has this range or depth in interpreting not only styles, but also the poetics of virtually any set of lyrics. DeVille makes everything he sings believable. "Horse of a Different Color" is the most consistent and brilliant recording of Willy DeVille's long career." [Jurek, Thom (2007) [http://wm06.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:jzfexqq0ldfe~T0 “Review: Horse of a Different Color.”] [http://wm01.allmusic.com/ All Music Guide] . (Retrieved 3-9-08.)] "Horse of a Different Color" was the first Willy DeVille album since 1987's "Miracle" to be released simultaneously in Europe and the United States. His previous five albums had been released first in Europe and picked up later, if they were picked up at all, by American record labels.

The typical DeVille song — if any of his songs can be called "typical" — is filled with romantic conviction and yearning. Latin rhythms, blues riffs, strains of country music, and echoes of early-1960s uptown soul can be heard in DeVille's work. "Spanish Stroll" was a hit in the U.S. and the UK in 1977; "Storybook Love" (nominated for an Academy Award in 1987) is the theme song of the movie The Princess Bride; DeVille's "Just to Walk that Little Girl Home" (co-authored with Doc Pomus) can be heard in the movie "The Pope of Greenwich Village"; and his "It's So Easy" can be heard in the movies "Cruising" and "." His song "Assassin of Love" was used in the British film version of Martin Amis' novel "The Rachel Papers" in 1989, which helped make him known in the UK.

DeVille acted in two films in the 1980s, playing a hustler in "Va Banque" (1986) and a bodyguard in "Homeboy" in 1988.

Why DeVille isn't as popular as, for example, Bruce Springsteen, and why DeVille isn't as popular in America as Europe, will always be a mystery to his fans. DeVille suffered from drug addiction for many years, which stifled his career. Among musicians and songwriters, he is highly respected. Songwriter Doc Pomus said about Deville, "He knows the truth of a city street and the courage in a ghetto love song." Critic Robert Christgau was not as kind, calling him "the songpoet of greaser nostalgia." [Christgau, Robert (1978) [http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?id=2290&name=Mink+DeVille Mink DeVille] Consumer Reviews.] However, Robert Palmer wrote, "Certainly his music had an authenticity, a kind of New York soul, that few of his fellow travelers on the punk-rock circuit even aspired to." [Palmer, Robert (April 20, 1981) "Willie Deville and Band." "New York Times".]

DeVille has homes in New Orleans and Mississippi.


As Mink DeVille

* "Mink Deville" (in the U.S.) "Cabretta" (in Europe) (Capitol) 1977:Venus of Avenue D; Little Girl; One Way Street; Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl; Gunslinger; Can't Do without It; Cadillac Walk; Spanish Stroll; She's So Tough; Party Girls
* "Return to Magenta" (Capitol) 1978:Guardian Angel, Soul Twist, "A" Train Lady, Rolene, Desperate Days, Just Your Friends, Steady Drivin' Man, Easy Slider, I Broke that Promise, Confidence to Kill
* "Le Chat Bleu" (Capitol) 1980:This Must Be the Night, Savoir Faire, That World Outside, Slow Drain, You Just Keep Holding on, Lipstick Traces, Just to Walk that Little Girl Home, Turn You Every Way But Loose (American release only), Bad Boy, Heaven Stood Still, Mazurka (European release only)
* "Coup de Grâce" (Atlantic) 1981:Just Give Me One Good Reason, Help Me Make It (Power of a Woman's Love), Maybe Tomorrow, Teardrops Must Fall, You Better Move On, Love & Emotion, So in Love Are We, Love Me Like You Did Before, She Was Made in Heaven, End of the Line
* "Where Angels Fear to Tread" (Atlantic) 1983:Each Word's a Beat of My Heart, River of Tears, Demasiado Corazon, Lilly's Daddy's Cadillac, Around the Corner, Pick Up the Pieces, Love's Got a Hold on Me, Keep Your Monkey Away From My Door, Are You Lonely Tonight?, The Moonlight Let Me Down
* "Sportin' Life" (Polydor) 1985:In the Heart of the City, I Must Be Dreaming, Italian Shoes, Slip Away, When You Walk My Way, A Woman's Touch, Easy Street, Little By Little, There's No Living (without Your Loving), Something Beautiful Is Dying

Willy DeVille

* "Miracle" (Polydor), 1987: (Due To) Gun Control, Could You Would You, Heart and Soul, Assassin of Love, Spanish Jack, Miracle, Angel Eyes, Nightfalls, Southern Politician, Storybook Love
* "Victory Mixture" (Sky Ranch) 1990 (Orleans Records) 1990:Hello My Lover, It Do Me Good, Key to My Heart, Beating Like a Tom-Tom, Every Dog Has Its Day, Big Blue Diamonds, Teasin' You, Ruler of My Heart, Who Shot the La-La, Junkers Blues
* "Backstreets of Desire" (FNAC) 1992 (Rhino) 1994:Empty Heart, All in the Name of Love, Lonely Hunter, Even While I Sleep, Voodoo Charm, Come to Poppa (CD only), Chemical Warfare, Hey! Joe, I Call Your Name, I Can Only Give You Everything (CD only), Jump City, Bamboo Road, All in the Name of Love (Salvation Army Version) (CD only)
* "Willy DeVille Live" (FNAC) 1993:Lilly's Daddy's Cadillac; This Must Be the Night; Savoir Faire; Cadillac Walk; Bamboo Road; Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl; Heart and Soul; Can't Do Without It; Maybe Tomorrow; I Must Be Dreaming; Heaven Stood Still; Demasiado Corazon; Spanish Stroll; Stand By Me; Hey! Joe
* "Big Easy Fantasy" (New Rose) 1995:Jump City, Every Dog Has Its Day, Hello My Lover, Key to My Heart, Bamboo Road, Iko Iko, Meet the Boys (on the Battlefront), Just Off Decatur Street, Leasing You, Beating Like a Tom-Tom, Who Shot the La-La, Voodoo Charm
* "Loup Garou" (EastWest) 1995 (Discovery) 1996:No Such Pain as Love, Running through the Jungle, When You're Away from Me, Angels Don't Lie, Still (I Love You Still), White Trash Girl, You'll Never Know, Ballad of the Hoodlum Priest, Heart of a Fool, Asi Te Amo, Loup Garou, Time Has Come Today, My One Desire (Vampir's Lullaby)
* "Horse of a Different Color" (EastWest) 1999:Gypsy Deck of Hearts; Across the Borderline; Lay Me Down Easy; Goin' over the Hill; One Love, One Lifetime; Needles and Pins; 18 Hammers; (Don't Want You) Hanging Around My Door; The Downing of the Flamingo; Bacon Fat; Time to Time; Chicken
* "Acoustic Trio Live in Berlin" (Eagle) 2002:St. Peter’s Street, Betty & Dupree, It’s Too Late She’s Gone, Spanish Harlem, Trouble in Mind, Storybook Love, Big Blue Diamonds, Shake It Sugaree, Let It Be Me, This Is the Way to Mend a Broken Heart, Hound Dog, Junkers Blues, You Better Move On, Nightfalls, Since I’ve Met You Baby, Heaven Stood Still, Well It’s True So True, Keep a Knockin’ – Sea Cruise, Shake Rattle and Roll, One Night of Sin, Steady Drivin’ Man, Goin’ over the Hill, Bamboo Road, Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot, Carmelita, All by Myself, Billy the Kid
* "Crow Jane Alley" (Eagle) 2004:Chieva; Right There, Right Then; Downside of Town; My Forever Came Today; Crow Jane Alley (For Jack); Muddy Waters Rose out of the Mississippi Mud; Come a Little Bit Closer; Slave to Love; (Don’t Have) a Change of Heart; Trouble Comin’ Everyday in a World Gone Wrong
* "Pistola" (Eagle), 2008:So So Real; Been There Done That; When I Get Home; Louise; The Band Played On; You Got The World In Your Hands; I Remember The First Time; Stars That Speak; I'm Gonna Do Something The Devil Never Did; The Mountains Of Manhattan

As Contributor

* "Live at CBGB’s" (Omfug) 1976:"Cadillac Moon," "Let Me Dream if I Want To," "Change It Comes"
* "Cruising (soundtrack)" 1980:"Heat of the Moment," "It's So Easy," "Pullin' My String" (Columbia; JC 36410)
* "Breathless (1983 film) " 1983:"Bad Boy"
* "The Princess Bride (soundtrack)" 1987:"Storybook Love" (Warner Bros.; WARN 25610)
* "Brace Yourself!: A Tribute to Otis Blackwell" 1993:"Daddy Rolling Stone" (Shanachie; B000006JBF)
* "Tribute to Édith Piaf" 1994:"The Lovers ("Les Amants")" (Amherst Records; AMH 5500-2)
*"I Only Wrote This Song for You: A Tribute to Johnny Thunders" 1995:"You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory" (Castle Essential)
* "Hogshead Cheese" (Appaloosa Records; AP 118-2) 1996:"Hymn in D" (composer)
*"¡Vamos!" (album by Celtas Cortos) 1995:"Cuéntame un cuento" (half English, half Spanish version of this song) (Dro Atlantic)
* "The Orleans Records Story" 1999:"Jump Steady Come My Way" (Orleans Records; OR 2311)
*"A Crooked Mile" (album by Blue Love Monkey) 2001:DeVille served as producer, as well as playing harp and percussion instruments (Cracker Records; 634479413025)
* "Death Proof (soundtrack)" 2007:"It's So Easy" (Maverick, Warner Bros.; AWAR 106172)

DVDs and videos

* Live at The Savoy (Channel 5; CFV 00092) 1986
* From the Bottom Line to the Olympia 1993
* 25 Years of Heart & Soul (EMS) 2002
* The Berlin Concerts (EMS) 2003
* Live in the Lowlands (Eagle Rock) 2006
* Live at Montreux 1982 (Eagle Vision) 2008

External links

* [http://www.willydevillemusic.com/ The Official Willy DeVille Website]
* [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/willydeville.html Willy DeVille Photo Gallery]
* [http://www.willydeville-minkdeville.com/ Willy DeVille International Fan Club]
* [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=231017925 Willy DeVille's MySpace page]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0212151 Willy Deville at the Internet Movie Database]
* [http://www.ratw.com/issues/13/ville.htm Rock Around the World Interview by Dusti Rhodes]
* [http://trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=mink_deville Trouser Press: Willy DeVille]
* [http://blogs.epicindia.com/leapinthedark/2006/05/interview_willy_deville.html Interview with Willy at "Leap In The Dark with Richard Marcus"]
* [http://www.faceculture.nl/artist.php?id=267 FaceCulture: Video interview with Willy Deville]
* [http://www.cologneshark.com/ Cover and Artwork]


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