So tonight the Princess and I will be going out to see “Weird” Al Yankovic perform at the local corporate-sponsored arena-dome, an event for which I am very excited on a lot of levels.
You see, I’ve been a fan of Mr. Yankovic for a long time. I think I discovered him when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I made a bootleg cassette of his “Dare to Be Stupid” album, copying it from a friend that had opened my eyes to the greatness that is Al. From that point on, Al’s music has literally been an integral part of the soundtrack of my life.
I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but I was fairly nerdy in junior high. And high school. And college. And graduate school. And at work. You get the idea. But here was this guy, singing about all these outrageous things, parroting the cool kids and doing them one better. Because you can’t be a parody artist that lasts thirty-plus years without having a great deal of inherent musical talent on your own. He was the nerd with skills. The regular guy who pointed out just how weird the world really is.
Just so you get an idea of how important his music has been to me…
When my beautiful wife and I started dating, I remember the first time I visited her apartment. While she was in another room I started perusing her CD collection. When I came across not just one but three different Dr. Demento compilations, featuring not only Al’s music but the music of others like him and those that inspired him, I knew that I was in the right place. One of many reasons, to be sure, but one that sticks out in my head. Because I knew that if she “got” Dr. Demento, she’d “get” me as well.
I know that Al is a great entertainer that really just set out to make people laugh and to express his talent, not to change the lives of geeky little kids. But, at least for this geeky little kid, that’s exactly what he did.