Why I Listen to ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s Music

If you didn’t realize I was a “Weird Al” fan, I’d be shocked.

I’ve only been listening to his music since the 7th grade, when a friend introduced me to a couple of his earlier albums. To be more specific, I dubbed parts of “In 3D” and all of “Dare to Be Stupid.” I scrimped and saved to purchase the originals less than a year later, completing the collection with his self-titled debut. Well, I was a kid – and those bootlegs certainly turned me into a rabid fanboi.

I was rather perturbed when my 8th grade music “teacher” (who, I swear, was once an officer in Hitler’s Gestapo) asserted that Yankovich wasn’t a true musician. Mind you, I was probably more upset that she tacked an ‘h’ onto the end of his name. It’s Yankovic – I’ve never needed a spell checker. Either way, I couldn’t make the argument that crafting parodies AND originals made for a well-rounded musician… because she was God’s gift to music.

And then Polka Party was released.

I still remember standing next to a classmate while we were putting our respective bins away for the day. She was singing a few bars from Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer – and I took it from there, whirling my way through the maze of a Yankovic polka. She turned to me and said: “You’re weird.” And I responded: “Thank you.”

I’m fairly confident that was the first time in my life I felt normal. It’s been that way ever since. This sense of normality is one of the biggest reasons why I listen to “Weird Al” Yankovic’s music.

Maybe I cling to tradition too tightly: to get up out of bed, drive across town, and walk into a department store to pick up a physical copy of an album. Are they even called ‘albums’ anymore? Maybe using that terminology alone dates me. Even with a digital copy readily available through legal means, I was not dissuaded from the day’s mission.

To tell you the truth, I think the last CD I purchased before “Alpocalypse” was Weird Al’s “Straight Outta Lynwood.”

I’ve met him a couple of times before (backstage), and I’ve talked to him over the phone (for a very brief, relatively-pointless interview on TechTV during the Helpathon). Maybe we’ll meet again at some point in the not-too-distant future. Who knows?

4 thoughts on “Why I Listen to ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s Music”

  1. To be honest, I was surprised you would go to a store to get an album. Anyway, I’m glad to see someone else share an interest with Weird Al, because I’ve been told he doesn’t make “real music” and let’s get real, how can anyone call pop music today real music?

  2. Does it matter if he makes “real music” or not? Nothing really defines what real music is anyway, as long as it has a beat I guess it’s called music. Plus, music should make you happy. If listening to what others may call crap makes you happy, be it so.

  3. Right there with ya Chris!  I love Al’s music.  Probably his original songs even MORE than his outstading parodies, because they are just SO .. out there.  

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