episode date - August 12, 2009
I have to say that it hit me hard when I learned of Willy DeVille’s passing. It would be an exaggeration to call him a personal friend, but I did feel close to him. In my younger years, I’d seen him perform a half dozen times or more. Setting up the interviews (we did two with him) gave us a chance to chat informally, which helped to make the interviews go smoothly.
We met a couple of times as well, when he invited Heidy and I to his shows, and to meet with him backstage (Listen to the end of this interview when he asks us to bring our pet Chihuahua with us!). When Heidy and I got married in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, we invited Willy and his wife Nina to attend, but Willy feared picking up an infection. Since then, I’ve intended to call him and perhaps set up another interview, but life always seemed to get in the way of making plans.
Now that he’s gone, I feel grateful that I got to know him, but I also feel denied the chance to know him better. Perhaps the best tribute we can muster at American Hit Radio is to rebroadcast our first interview from 2003. You can hear a lot of Willy’s spirit in this interview, and we play a few of his songs as well. We will miss him very much.
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