Heaven Stood Still : The Incarnations of Willy DeVille

Posted January 20 2023, door: Emily Schaapman

Heaven Stood Still : The Incarnations of Willy DeVille

Heaven Stood Still : The Incarnations of Willy DeVille


A documentary, made by the American Larry Locke, that portrays the life and music of a unique artist who has received far too little recognition, both during his life and posthumously, for his unique position within traditional American music of the 70s and 80s. and '90.


Larry noticed that many greats from the music scene (Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Peter Wolf, Ben E. King, Herman Brood and many others) admired Willy DeVille but had a hard time coming out about it.

He was also intrigued by the question: “Why DeVille received recognition in Europe but was hardly known in America.” Was it his drug image? This curiosity has resulted in a beautiful documentary with many unique images.


Like what Willy DeVille?

DeVille started his music career in the CBGB punk scene in 1970s New York with his band Mink DeVille. Mink DeVille's concerts were attended by the crème de la crème of the music world. Willy: Born Billy Borsey in the mill town of Stamford, Connecticut, he forged a completely unique identity for himself. His love for music and films were his inspiration and his escape to the big city. His powerful singing voice and ever-evolving stage personas conjured up adventurous forays into rhythm and blues, cajun, salsa, mariachi and tejano music. With his “Spanish-Americana” he was one of the most original and romantic figures of the rock era.

DeVille sold a million records in Europe during his 35-year career with hits such as Spanish StrollHey JoeYou Better Move OnToo much heart. He was nominated for an Academy Award for the film's theme song 'Princess Bride'. The song was played at many American weddings, but almost no one knew who the singer was. DeVille appeared on all the major stages in Europe, but in his home country he remained almost completely unknown. You could say America's most undiscovered treasure. 

This documentary hopes to change that. Because the Netherlands has a strong DeVille fan base, Larry Locke gave permission to show Heaven Stood Still at 6 locations in the Netherlands before the documentary goes on the festival circuit. This unique documentary can be seen at

17-2 Amsterdam: De Melkweg 

18-2 Groningen: De Oosterpoort 

19-2 Rotterdam: Delantern Window

24-2 Helmond: De Cacaofabriek 

25-2 Heerlen: Filmhuis de Spiegel 

26-2 Deventer: Mimik

3 reactions

  • Martin Bouwmeester

    Martin Bouwmeester

    March 01, 2023

    Er wordt in de documentaire afgevraagd, waarom , ondanks dat oa. MR. Herman Brood een grootheid uit de muziekscene, Willy DeVille bewonderden, maar er moeilijk voor uitkwamen. Misschien een hele rare vraag voor het CONSERVATIEVE Zwolle…..Maar kan het Herman Broodmuseum hier geen rol in spelen/ bemiddelen met een ander filmhuis in Zwolle?? Zodat de rechtgeaarde cultuurliefhebbers in Zwolle de documentaire ook kunnen zien??? Vind Heerlen en Helmond dan ook een rare keuze. Zo mensen , ik roep hierbij tot steun op : Haal die prachtige docu naar Zwolle!!!!! De cultuurstad van Overijssel toch????? Vriendelijke groet, Dhr. M. Bouwmeester

  • Anonymous


    February 08, 2023

    DVD Willy DeVille Voorlopig wereldwijd alleen in de filmtheaters
    Wellicht ooit op Netflix of iets dergelijks. DVD staat niet op de planning. Docu is zeer de moeite waard

  • Nanja van den Broek

    Nanja van den Broek

    January 30, 2023

    Komt er ook nog een dvd van uit ??? Die zou ik heel graag willen kopen ..
    Vriendelijke groet, Nanja

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