Willy DeVille was married in the early 1970s to Susan Berle who had known each other while growing up in. Half French and half Pima Indian, Toots favored a pair of nose rings, snow-white make-up and a beehive the color of tar. She had once put out a lit Marlboro in a woman’s eye just for staring at Willy.
In 1984, DeVille married his second wife, Lisa Leggett, whom he met in California. She became his business manager. They lived near New Orleans and on a horse farm. By 2000, DeVille had cured his two decades long addiction to heroin. In 2001, while in New Mexico, DeVille’s wife Lisa committed suicide by hanging; DeVille discovered her body.
I got in a car accident because I got crazy. I think I was somewhat taunting death because somebody who I loved very much died. And I found them. That’s what that lyric in that song means (she hurts me still since I cut her down). I cut her down.
Next thing you know the police show up, I was in tears … I was in Love with another woman and we were going through some hard times, and I got in the car and I wanted to go off the cliff. I was in the mountains in New Mexico … They came right around the corner head on. You know how big a Dodge Ram truck is?
I broke my arm in three places and my knee went into the dash board … It was bone to bone … I was on crutches and on a cane for about three years and I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I was fucked up.
After her suicide he married Nina Lagerwall, his third wife, who he met in New York in August 2000. They returned to New York City, where he spent the rest of his life. In February 2009, DeVille was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, and in May 2009 doctors discovered pancreatic cancer in the course of his Hepatitis C treatment. He died in New York City in the late hours of August 6, 2009.
As a tear fades away
And the dawn dries a lover’s eyes
No more tears, they’re all gone
Just believe it will always be
My heart in your hand
Knows that all this belongs to me
And like the child here I stay
While your heart sings inside of me
One dream of my live
One night in eternity
The wind whispered soft to me
And heaven stood still
One sigh of the dawn
Sweet instant of memory
One celestial rhapsody
And heaven stood still