Weird Al: The Book
by Nathan Rabin and Al Yankovic
I've been a huge fan
of Weird Al Yankovic since the early 1980s -- the first of his parody songs that
I can remember hearing was "Another One Rides the Bus", followed by "Ricky".
This book is a blast to read -- filled with anecdotes, rare photos from Al's
life and career, song lyrics, Al's tweets, and recollections from Al's friends
and bandmates. Told in purely chronological order,Weird
Al: The Book, starts with Al's childhood, with the formative influences on
his eventual career, such as Dr. Demento, and carries us through 2011 and his
latest album release, Alpocalypse. Al's history is broken into five
chapters -- "Portrait of the Parody Artist as a Young Man", "The Eat It Guy",
"Kurt Cobain Saves Rock & Roll and Also Al's Career", "A New Look Al for a
New Era", and "The Alpocalypse Approaches". Also included are a complete
discography and videography. Plenty of space in these pages is dedicated to the
creative process -- what exactly inspired and went into the making of many of
Al's greatest songs and madcap music videos. The sense of humor prevalent
Al: The Book perfectly captures Al's sarcastic, poke-fun-in-a-loving-way
tone. If you've ever enjoyed a Weird Al song/video, either his spot-on parodies
like "Eat It", "Like a Surgeon", "Smells Like Nirvana",
"Amish Paradise", "The Saga Begins", "White & Nerdy" or
"Perform This Way", or you prefer his originals, like "Slime Creatures
From Outer Space", "One More Minute", "Christmas at Ground
Zero", "Bob", "Don't Download This Song", "Weasel Stomping
Day" or "Polka Face", you'll enjoy this terrific but short biography.
My only complaint is that the author(s) could have easily gone into far more
detail about most of the stories told in this book -- it barely scratches the
surface of Weird Al! [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to track down any of
his albums (none of which are currently owned by the libraries) or search online
for his many hilarious music videos. And, if you ever have the chance, make sure
you see him in concert live!]. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [Subscribe to
Scott's monthly booklist newsletter It's All Geek to Me! - on the Books,
Movies & More newsletter sign-up page].
[ official Weird Al web site -- also a great source for viewing Al's music videos! ]
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