Oh my God. I hadn't read last week's column, and I'm so very thankful that I did. That's gotta be my favorite one so far. The Day 7 entry is priceless.
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Also, in honor of the "Weird Al" concert my boys and I are going to tonight, here's some of the phone interview I had with him. There would have been much more in the article but since I talked to him his parents died and that had to be mentioned, which filled my space. Just thought you might get a kick out of it. (And yes, I do write about other things occasionally, but this was a particularly Yankovic-filled month)
CB: First, congratulations on the Grammy.
AL: Oh, thanks, so much!
CB: That's your third, so… does the thrill go away after the first two?
AL: No, it really doesn't, this Grammy meant as much to me as the first one, 'cause, you know, it's been fifteen years since my last Grammy and I was beginning to think (finishes in a sobbing voice) they didn't care anymore. Actually it was nice to get that kind of validation. I don't know if you know or not, but for the last ten years I wasn't even eligible for a Grammy because, for some bizarre reason, they limited the comedy category to Spoken Word which was, you know, basically the "Yankovic Exclusionary Rule."
CB: Jealousy, I'm assuming.
AL: (laughs) They changed it back this year and I got nominated and I won. I was thrilled.
CB: Have you ever parodied older artists or songs and seen their sales go up?
AL: I'm sure they have, we never really track that. I know that when we do current parodies I've definitely heard from those artists and record labels that their sales went up. I don't know about classic artists. You know, I would have to assume so, you know, because it's publicity. So I would like to hope that, you know, I helped Don McLean's catalog sales a little bit when my "American Pie" parody came out.
CB: Probably more than Madonna did.
AL: (laughs) Yeah, well... Hers was a little funnier than mine.
CB: People may not always realize how many original songs you do. Do you ever sneak off by yourself and write something serious?
AL: No, I really don't have any desire to do that. I think there's enough people in the world already that do serious music. I enjoy my niche, it's not like... There's a lot of people, over the years, who have achieved some kind of success doing novelty music or comedy music, and then they turn around quick and go, "Oh, that was just to get attention. Now I can show my true art." That's not me, this is what I do for a living
CB: After about 25 years, I think you've gotten the attention.
AL: Yeah, yeah. There's no "Serious Al" album waiting in the wings, you know, for the right moment.
CB: When I heard "Hardware Store" the first thought I had was the same as when I heard "Albuquerque." You did this to annoy your fans.
CB: Because it didn't work, we memorized them anyway. I'm just curious, did you have that in mind?
AL: Well... (laughs)
CB: "Ha! Take that!"
AL: I just wanted to see people try to sing along and just passing out.
CB: After years of love songs that (with maybe one exception) have been, let's say, bitter and maniacal, now you release a song about a sleazy make-out artist and suddenly you're married. Is there a connection?
AL: (laughs) Well, in a way I felt like I had more license to do a song like that now because when I was single people might, you know, think, "oh, was this autobiographical, is he really like that?"
AL: And in a way, and this is kind of an odd comparison, but I kinda feel like Howard Stern when he was married, he kind of had license to be really creepy on the air because people knew that deep down, "oh, he's a family man, he loves his wife, he's got kids, you know, this is just kinda like, his schtick." So I kinda felt like, you know, now that I'm happily married, and all that, that I can be creepier. (laughs)
CB: Well, good for you!
AL: (laughs) Yeah, it won't be so offensive to people.
CB: So does your daughter have her own accordion yet?
AL: Ah, not yet. I don't know if I want to place that on her.
CB: You've made over a dozen Gold and Platinum albums and videos, received nine Grammy nominations and won three, made a cult-favorite movie, the Simpsons episode you appeared on won an Emmy, and you have the key to the city of Wausau, Wisconsin. What's left?
AL: (laughs) I want to see if I can go for the key to Waukisha.
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