I've been a huge fan of Weird Al ever since my brother introduced me to him in grade school. First drawn in by the parodies of songs I loved I soon started to really appreciate and love his original songs as well. Before we get into all that let's take a few steps, well maybe a few decades, back.
Southern California born, Weird Al started his musical career at the age of six when he took his first accordion lesson. The parody artists of the 1970's like Allan Sherman, Shel Silverstein, and Frank Zappa along with other sources like Monty Python and Mad Magazine provided inspiration for the budding artist. Weird Al's biggest inspiration would come from the Dr. Demento Radio Show. During a 1976 school visit Weird Al gave Dr. Demento a demo tape with his original and parody songs on the accordion who then promptly shared it on the radio. Just a couple of years later in 1979 with the Knack's "My Sharona" rocking the charts, Weird Al came up with his "My Bologna" parody that he sent again to Dr. Demento and it received a great response.
After a 1980 guest spot on the Dr. Demento Show and then appearing on The Tomorrow Show for his first TV spot 1981 brought about Weird Al's first big tour as part of Dr. Demento's stage show. Meeting up with his future manager, Jay Levy, on the road then forming a band to record and perform more tunes. Just a few short years and hits later in 1985 The Compleat Al, a mockumentary about Weird Al (also starring and co-written by him!) was released. Followed up with UHF, one of my favorite movies, in 1989. Throughout the late 80's and early 90's Al and his band were still touring and making new(ish) music.
The beginning of 1998 brought on a lot of changes for Weird Al. First was lasik to correct his myopia, then he bid farewell to his mustache. Al debuted the look on his 1999 released Running with Scissors album. Since then Weird Al has keep with the times and come out with parodies of such popular hits like "Whatever You Like", "Perform This Way" and "Word Crimes".
Even though he's a total goof Weird Al will always have a special place in my playlist. Hopefully he will continue to make hilarious parodies for years to come and I can't wait to see what comes out of his mouth next.