Willie Spicer

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Lovers of unique instruments, homemade musical gadgets, and kooky sound effects may hold a special place in their hearts for this artist, but they shouldn't. He doesn't deserve it. Actually, that doesn't…
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Lovers of unique instruments, homemade musical gadgets, and kooky sound effects may hold a special place in their hearts for this artist, but they shouldn't. He doesn't deserve it. Actually, that doesn't really make sense, either, because there is no "he." There was no Willie Spicer. The so-called virtuoso of the sneezaphone did not really exist. Admittedly, it is a reality that one is reluctant to accept. After all, the world of Spike Jones was full of real, flesh and blood creatures who became masters at burping on cue or creating bizarre sounds that could only be identified by the most brazen onimatopoeia: "glug," for example. Many of these performers, such as Doc Birdbath or Sir Frederic Gas, would later claim to be the inventors of gags or arrangements that had been credited to their bandleader instead. Wouldn't it be just like the supposedly arrogant Jones to write a musician completely out of the picture, to claim the man didn't exist and give himself credit for the brilliant birdaphone solo on "Der Fuehrer's Face"? The birdaphone was the rubber-band powered thingie that created the rude, nearly-censored sound on the chorus of the latter song, and it was actually invented by Jones when he was still in high school, a good place for such a sound effect. Willie Spicer belongs to the unique classification of made-up credits, showing up like jottings throughout the performing arts as well as in the literature of writers such as H.P. Lovecraft or Raymond Queneau who would refer to non-existent writers and quote from their non-existent texts at length. Some examples of musicians who don't really exist except as lines of type follow below in the listing for similar artists, because after all, that is appropriate. Jones himself almost burned the gambit out, crediting I.M. Arson as the vocalist on "My Old Flame." The meaning behind the name of Willie Spicer, no doubt originating in some off-color band joke, has not been recovered by Jonesian scholars. Indeed, some of these people seem to think there is a Willie Spicer, referring to him in credits as if he was a real person. Of course, there are people named Willie Spicer who exist, including the designer of a golf course in Florida and the unfortunate subject of this news account from 1898: "Willie Spicer, little son of Stephen Spicer, Esq., cut his head with a hatchet on New Year's day." Perhaps he recovered in time to play the sneezaphone solo on "Hotchia Cornia."