In sifting through some of the many piles and pockets that construct the outer planets of a life, I found a mix tape (actual cassette) made by my former and late husband, who was precise and frequently consumed with making such tapes. At an earlier time I found one of his old reporter's notebooks, page after page with each song timed to the second, to fit them together with as little blank air as possible. This cassette was called "Cowboys, New Moons and Lost Loves." Which has nothing, on first glance, to do with Willy DeVille, other than in the wider view, where it is all about riding fences, waiting for celestial shifts, perhaps regret and believing in our dreams. I first heard him as Mink DeVille, part of the origins of punk and a house band at New York's CBGB, which is a terrible oversimplification of a textured and enduring musical career.
William Goldman's THE PRINCESS BRIDE, a book to inspire any would-be fantasy writer with its characters, humor and pure fairy tale exaggeration, became an equally memorable movie. Mr. DeVille and Mark Knopfler performed the theme song. A storybook story, which could also be said of the themes from "Across the Borderline," composed by Ry Cooder from the soundtrack of THE BORDER, sung in the film by Freddie Fender. Cooder and Fender, stories for another day. If you visit Willy DeVille on YouTube, you will also find his version of a song from my teen years, "You'd Better Move On." On that jukebox selection as well as those shown here, you can see he was not one to phone it in. Watching and listening to him, I wonder if in my slow fashion, it is also possible to be at the same time flat out. As they remind us in 12-step programs, half measures availed us nothing.