Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weird Al: The Book

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 througout Weird 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! ]

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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