My Album, Funeral Business, Is For Sale!

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on February 22nd, 2014 by Willie

final funeral business cover

After nearly five years of writing, singing, recording and mixing, my first full-length album is complete and available for sale on practically every major internet music store. I actually finished “Funeral Business” three weeks ago but had to wait until iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and all the other music stores made sure I wasn’t uploading copies of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson instead of my own original music.

While “Funeral Business” isn’t “Thriller,” it certainly is a thrilling joy ride of electrifying rock and roll and heart-felt folk-rock stylings. I hate to be one to wave my own banner but I love every song on this record. In many way that was the main inspiration, to create a rock and roll record that I wanted to hear. Well, now that I’m sold on the wonderfulness of “Funeral Business,” I think it’s only appropriate that I share it with the world.

Now I know that buying music isn’t exactly in vogue these days and I completely understand. Often times I need to be convinced by an artist before forking over my money and devotion. Luckily, you can preview some of the best songs on my official YouTube channel by clicking here or by exploring the original music page on this website.

Before I re-list all the sale links, I’d just like to thank everyone who helped me make this record, starting with my great friend Andrew Lee. I’d also like to thank Matt Sturm, Ian Wehrle, Ken Kocses, Sonia Rapaport, Feliziano B. Flores and Lilja Nielsen. Thanks to all you wonderful and beautiful people who not only contributed to the music but also to the overall enrichment of my life.

Ok, to get your paws on “Funeral Business,” please follow the links presented below. All the best,



Google Play


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Willie Simpson, Memory Lane

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on December 31st, 2013 by Willie



UPDATE 12/31/2013: Happy New Years everybody! I just want to let you know that I re-recorded Memory Lane and I updated the music video to reflect all the new sonic goodness! I hope you have a great 2014 filled with tons of dreamy memories.

UPDATE 12/22/2013: Today marks the end of what turned out to be a very productive weekend for me. As you can see below, I updated the song and music video for Chain Letter, and now I am adding a brand new original music video for my song Memory Lane. I wasn’t planning to make a music video for this but my dear friend Sonia and I were wondering around Southern Brooklyn and captured some footage of some swans and ducks and realized we had some interesting footage. Combined with some other stuff we’d filmed over the summer, we found ourselves with a video perfect for Memory Lane. In the clip, you can see me and Sonia bumbling around and excitedly pointing at things by Sheepshead Bay. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it gets you excited for my soon to be released album Funeral Business. Again, big thanks to the ultra-talented Andrew Lee for providing the beautiful electric guitar work to the song. I’d also like to thank Andrew for believing in the song when I was ready to throw it away for some reason. So, without further babbling, here is music video!

Originally Published May 8, 2011:  Andrew and I tweaked the song.  He redid his solo to make it more tuneful, and I redid the chorus to achieve a similar effect.  I’d love for everyone to hear it!

I woke up at 5 am on Saturday Morning and made this, my newest song, Memory Lane.  Well, to be honest, I had written most of the song last fall, but it wasn’t till this past weekend when I figured out how to record it.  Conceptually, I was very much inspired by the Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields single.  But unlike those songs, this one is more universal, and less personal.  The version I present to you is mostly finished.  I might tweak the drums or add a little more guitar color in a future version, but its basically done.  I hope you enjoy it.

Memory Lane featuring Andrew Lee on lead guitar.

(Words and music by Willie Simpson)

Oh, here are the lyrics if you wish to sing along.

Read more »

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My New Music Video, Chain Letter!

Posted in Andrew Lee, Willie Simpson's Original Music on December 22nd, 2013 by Willie

UPDATE: 12/22/2013.  This song has undergone an significant overhaul in the past few months. First, the immortal Feliziano B. Flores came by to help me flesh out the chorus and middle part. Mr. Flores was wonderfully inspiring, providing incredible work under time pressured conditions and my less than reliable producing. I thank him for that. Still, after working through some changes with the talented FBF, it still was missing something. At long last I found the missing piece and balance needed to send the song off on the glittering flying saucer I envisioned in my head when I first created it. As a result, I pulled the original YouTube video down and replaced it with the one below. I hope you enjoy it as I near the finish line of finally finishing my new album, Funeral Business!

Originally published on September 7, 2012: I wrote this song by accident.  I came home from Australia after five months of having no guitar to play with, and started to write a song about how miserable life could be.  The opening line, “27 lonely years, you’ll be living with your fears, if you don’t send, this message to your friends,” was all I had.  I had no idea what the song would be about, but I loved the rhyme scheme and the rapid fire delivery.  As I kept writing lines that fit the pattern, it dawned on me that I was writing about the doom and gloom found in chain letters.  After that revelation, it was only a matter of ripping off “Paperback Writer” and “Day Tripper,” and boom, I had a delirious new psychedelic pop song.  My last music video, “Funeral Business,” featured the Ghostbusters rocking out to that jam, so I figured I’d return to the pop culture well for the equally spooky “Chain Letter.”  One of my favorite shows ever, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” offered the perfect template for a song about tempting supernatural fate.  I’d like to thank my friend Andrew Lee, first and foremost, for his incredible guitar solo.  I’d also like to thank Lilja Nielsen for much needed video editing critiques, and the brilliant George Gross for more of the same.  Lastly I’d like to thank my friends Matt Sturm, Sonia Rapaport, and Ian Wehrle for a bunch of moral support and musical advice.  That’s enough yapping, so please enjoy the song and video below, and remember, chain letters only work when you share them with all your friends, so if you don’t wish to be cursed with 27 years of misfortune, please share this video with everyone you can!

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Making More Rock And Roll, Deconstructing Sgt. Pepper

Posted in The Beatles, Willie Simpson's Original Music on December 1st, 2012 by Willie

Well, I haven’t updated the ole’ website in a good while, and the reason is because I’m still making more rock and roll. The intention of this humble little corner of internet space was never to be a daily rock and roll blog, that happened more or less organically. The site was created to feature my music, and to that end, my album, which I’ve previewed extensively on this site, is nearly finished. The album in question, which I’ve named Funeral Business, is something I’m growing increasingly proud of. The album art, which the ever lovely Sonia Rapaport created, is the thing you’re looking at right above. Right now I’m collaborating on one last tune with Andrew Lee, and from there, the future promises to reflect the glimmering wonderfulness to be entailed within it. I’m planning a mini documentary movie in the coming weeks about the creation of the record, and a further reflection on my thoughts on rock and roll and what it means to me. Its a flourish of self centered activity that I find rather distasteful, but necessary to further spread the joy this music has brought to me. I want to thank all my friends and family who have helped me along the way here, and I also want to post this incredibly cool video someone made deconstructing the “Sgt. Pepper” song, because it goes against everything in my nature to provide an update without some music. This little video is really fascinating, breaking the song down into its component parts, giving you a sense of how the Beatles created their masterpieces. You will also be hypnotized by those groovy multicolored lines of sonic goodness. Enjoy.

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Willie Simpson, My Girlfriend Needs An Exorcism

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on October 28th, 2012 by Willie

I wrote this song originally in 2007 (I think) in a fit of post break up madness. The song was my therapy for an otherwise sad separation. It went through a few iterations before I left it incomplete with shambling static laced vocals, unfinished drums, and an overall horrendous mix. I always kept the song on my back burner though because it had a good structure, and a funny message, and it being near Halloween, I thought it fitting to dust it off and completely re-record it. With the help of the beautiful guitar work of Andrew Lee, who provided me with gorgeous acoustic and electric slide work, not to mention a last minute brilliant backwards guitar solo, I was able to cobble together a more or less complete version of the tune. I’d also like to credit my old buddy Ken Kocses for helping me write the part the in the middle that starts, “what are you thinking?” Ken has always been an enthusiastic fan of my music, and anytime we have collaborated, its always been a fun and thoughtful experience. Anyway, the video below, is merely just the title card above with the song plodding away in the background. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out both the videos for “Funeral Business” and “Chain Letter,” my two other most recent rock and roll projects. Thanks for listening, and Happy Halloween.

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Derek and the Dominos, Presence of the Lord, Covered by Andrew Lee

Posted in Andrew Lee, Derek and the Dominos, Eric Clapton on July 11th, 2012 by Willie

Andrew Lee is an amazing guitar player.  Better then amazing actually, a genius.  How do I know?  Well outside of the fact that he has played lead on a ton of my recordings, including this one, he has just today started making no frills videos showcasing his incredible talent.  The video below shows Andrew, matching Eric Clapton of Derek and the Dominos, note for bloody note.  Andrew’s casual perfection was attained through a hard earned, borderline servile dedication to blues music, a dedication that if you know him in person, is awe inspiring.  Andrew is a real talent who pours genuine emotion into everything he does with a guitar, so please, just take a few minutes to bask in the “Presence of the Lord,” and remember who brought you there, Andrew LEE!

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Willie Simpson, Funeral Business Meets the Ghostbusters!

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on May 2nd, 2012 by Willie

So, several months ago, I posted a song I made called “Funeral Business,” on this site.  The presentation of the song was wrapped around a simple title card youtube video, nothing fancy.  Well, consider the fanciness level knocked up a notch.  Over the past month, I’ve been slaving away on music video extravaganza for this song, and after 9 versions, its finally ready to the world.  The video features your favorite Ghostbusters, as well as your favorite ancillary Ghostbuster characters, all rocking with spooky verve to “Funeral Business,” a song of thrashingly dynamic rock power.  The song’s origins trace back to my college days, neglected, but never forgotten.  When I dusted it off last Spring, I had my good friend and musical genius Ian Wehrle help me flesh out some lyrics and construct a better bridge.  I then brought in another musical genius, Andrew Lee, to play the jaw dropping guitar solo that appears in the middle of the song.  The second, and less draw dropping guitar solo, was performed by me, so future Andrew Lee fans, don’t judge that solo’s simplicity with that of Mr. Lee’s now legendary, um, future achievements.  The rest of the music was produced and performed by yours truly, Willie Simpson.  The video itself, which went through 9 alterations, was willed into its final version with aid coming in the form of technical advice and moral support from film making genius, George Gross.  George is an up and coming movie man whose work not only helped inspire this video, but has been featured on this very site.  (Just click his name to see.)  The deliciously cool title card sequence was edited and co-conceived by this site’s brilliant banner creator, Sonia Rapaport, an insanely talented visual artist in her own right.  I also want to thank Lilja Nielsen, my  sonically battered roommate, who provided candid insight with each incarnation, as well as enormous patience as “soooulll” echoed endlessly throughout our little apartment.  With that, I proudly present, “Funeral Business,” for you all to enjoy and share with your friends.

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Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd, Jugband Blues

Posted in Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Youtube Favs on November 19th, 2011 by Willie

Welcome to the unassuming beginning of Pink Floyd Week here at  My good friend Andrew Lee turned me on to this fantastic early Pink Floyd video of Syd Barrett’s last major contribution to the bands creative identity, “Jugband Blues,” from 1968’s A Saucerful of Secrets.  It makes sense that Barrett, now driving head first down the road of dementia and insanity, would only be able to contribute one song to the last album he would appear on, but its amazing that they took the time to record a promo video with Barrett starring in it.  I mean, at that point, Syd was losing his mind, forced out of the group he essentially founded, was marginalized creatively, yet somehow they all got together to make this thing.  And what a thing it is.  It’s just an awesome example of strait ahead British psychedelia, featuring lyrics that are both deeply personal, and deeply bizarre, and mashing together rock and roll, folk, and marching band orchestration.  It has 3 different keys and 3 different time signatures.  It’s the definition of fractured genius, closing out with the brilliant lines, “and the sea isn’t green, and I love the Queen, and what exactly is a dream, and what exactly is a joke.”  It’s haunting and masterful, and even though Syd was soaked with acid laced insanity, and the other band members were forcing him out, he was still giving Pink Floyd its direction and inspiring its other members to carry on what he started.

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Willie Simpson, Funeral Business

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music, Youtube Favs on September 4th, 2011 by Willie

I first wrote this song when I was a senior in college in 2006.  I had it kicking around until this past Spring when I decided to revive it.  I brought in my friend and musical genius Ian Wehrle to help me flesh out the lyrics and the bridge, and then I brought in guitar genius Andrew Lee to lay down one of the most exciting guitar solos I’ve ever heard.  The image above is taken from some website I found long ago which shows you pictures of tombstones with your name on it.  I think this one was from England.  It was rediscovering this image, lost somewhere on my hard drive, that was also a motivating factor in me bringing this song to life, and I hope you enjoy it.  Remember to vote for me as CBS’s best local NYC Blogger by clicking here! 


Oh, here are the lyrics.

You gotta degree
and now you need a career.
You studied philosophy
so whats it gonna be?
Lets get in the funeral business
there’s money in your buddy’s bones,
or your brother or your mother
or any kind of sucker
don’t you know they’ll all need a home.
See the skeleton playin piano
with a rhythm and a grace untold .
His hollowed out eyes are no disguise,
he’s laughin right in your soul
your soul

I think I finally picked a career
I haven’t had any luck, but its a whole new year
read the lines on my palm, and just look in my heart
where your life ends, is where my life starts
Lets get in the conjurin business
just waitin on a tax free loan
i got an old curse from a crooked nurse
who i married by the sacred stones

A skeleton sang at the wedding
with a voice broken like a ghost.
He put a vestment on when the sun was gone,
you could tell he was the perfect host
The perfect host

I dig my shovel in the dark wet earth
to another fresh grave I’m a giving birth
I guess I’m just a man who spends his days in a morgue
His nights in a crypt with the gutted and gored
(repeat first verse)


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