Mary, who was of Italian and English descent, had come to California from Kentucky , and gave birth to Alfred ten years later. A door-to-door salesman traveling through Lynwood offered the Yankovic parents a choice of accordion or guitar lessons at a local music school. Yankovic claims the reason his parents chose accordion over guitar was "they figured there should be at least one more accordion-playing Yankovic in the world", referring to Frankie Yankovic ,  to whom he is not related.
He attended Lynwood High School. Yankovic was active in his school's extracurricular programs, including the National Forensic League sanctioned speech events, a play based upon Rebel Without a Cause , the yearbook for which he wrote most of the captions , and the Volcano Worshippers club, "which did absolutely nothing.
We started the club just to get an extra picture of ourselves in the yearbook. Demento and early fame Yankovic received his first exposure via Southern California and syndicated comedy radio personality Dr. Demento 's radio show, saying "If there hadn't been a Dr.
Demento, I'd probably have a real job now. Demento spoke at Yankovic's school where the thenyear-old Yankovic gave him a homemade tape of original and parody songs performed on the accordion in Yankovic's bedroom into a "cheesy little tape recorder". The tape's first song, "Belvedere Cruisin'" - about his family's Plymouth Belvedere - was played on Demento's comedy radio show, launching Yankovic's career.
Demento said, "'Belvedere Cruising' might not have been the very best song I ever heard, but it had some clever lines [ It was sort of like amateur music night, and a lot of people were like wannabe Dan Fogelbergs. They'd get up on stage with their acoustic guitar and do these lovely ballads.
And I would get up with my accordion and play the theme from And people were kind of shocked that I would be disrupting their mellow Thursday night folk fest. Yankovic said he had originally been nicknamed "Weird Al" by fellow students and "took it on professionally" as his persona for the station.
The song mocked famous nearby landmarks such as Bubblegum Alley and the fountain toilets at the Madonna Inn. In mid, shortly before his senior year, " My Sharona " by The Knack was on the charts and Yankovic took his accordion into the restroom across the hall from the radio station to take advantage of the echo chamber acoustics and recorded a parody titled " My Bologna ".
Demento, who played it to good response from listeners. Yankovic met The Knack after a show at his college and introduced himself as the author of "My Bologna". The Knack's lead singer, Doug Fieger , said he liked the song and suggested that Capitol Records vice president Rupert Perry release it as a single. Yankovic, who was "only getting average grades" in his architecture degree, began to realize that he might make a career of comedic music.
Demento Show, where he was to record a new parody live. While practicing the song outside the sound booth, he met Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz , who told him he was a drummer and agreed to bang on Yankovic's accordion case to help Yankovic keep a steady beat during the song. They rehearsed the song just a few times before the show began. Yankovic's record label, TK Records , went bankrupt about two weeks after the single was released, so Yankovic received no royalties from its initial release.
His stage act in a Phoenix, Arizona , nightclub caught the eye of manager Jay Levey, who was "blown away". Yankovic admitted that he had, so Levey held auditions. Schwartz continued on drums. Yankovic's first show with his new band was on March 31, In , Yankovic's first self-titled album was released on Scotti Bros. The song " Ricky " was released as a single and the music video received exposure on the still-young MTV. The first single " Eat It ", a parody of the Michael Jackson song " Beat It ", became popular, thanks in part to the music video, a shot-for-shot parody of Jackson's "Beat It" music video, and what Yankovic described as his "uncanny resemblance" to Jackson.
The movie also featured some clips from Yankovic's trip to Japan and some clips from the Al TV specials. The book, resembling a scrapbook, included real and fictional humorous photographs and documents. Yankovic and his band toured as the opening act for The Monkees in mid for their second reunion tour of North America. Yankovic claims to have enjoyed touring with The Monkees, even though "the promoter gypped us out of a bunch of money.
Up through , six of Yankovic's albums were produced by Rick Derringer , for which he won two Grammy Awards. However, due to a combination of Yankovic's more complex musical scores involving horns and other instruments , and drug-related issues that Derringer had at that time, Yankovic took over production of his albums in Demento , was released with the box set compilation Permanent Record: Al in the Box.
Demento Society, which issues yearly Christmas re-releases of material from Dr. New look and career to present Yankovic's "classic" look before eye surgery: In addition to shedding his glasses, he had shaved off his mustache and grown out his hair.
He had previously shaved his moustache in for the video of " Ricky " to resemble Desi Arnaz , and for the " Amish Paradise " video. The commercial featured Yankovic in the short-haired wig from the music video for Hanson's "River", claiming his new look was an attempt to "get back to the core of what I'm all about", that being "the music". Yankovic said that the benefit of digital distribution is that "I don't have to wait around while my songs get old and dated—I can get them out on the Internet almost immediately.
These five digitally released songs were packaged as a digital EP titled Internet Leaks , with "Whatever You Like" retroactively included in the set. However, upon first submitting it to Lady Gaga's manager for approval which Yankovic does as a courtesy , he was not given permission to release it commercially. As he had previously done under similar circumstances with his parody of James Blunt's " You're Beautiful ", which was titled " You're Pitiful " , Yankovic then released the song for free on the internet.
Soon afterwards, Gaga's manager admitted that he had denied the parody of his own accord without forwarding the song to his client, and upon seeing it online, Lady Gaga granted permission for the parody.
Yankovic has stated that all of his proceeds from the parody and its music video will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign, to support the human rights themes of the original song. The set is contained within a mock-up of Yankovic's very own accordion. If there's a cheese pizza on the band bus, I might sneak a piece. Margolis and Heavy D. For a couple of hours each night, I could go onstage and put on a big fake smile and pretend like everything was just OK. List of songs by "Weird Al" Yankovic Parodies Yankovic is well known for creating parodies of contemporary radio hits, typically which make up about half of his studio releases.
Unlike other parody artists such as Allan Sherman , Yankovic and his band strive to keep the backing music in his parodies the same as the original, transcribing the original song by ear and re-recording the song for the parody. Most Yankovic songs consist of the original song's music, with a separate, unrelated set of amusing lyrics.
Yankovic claims he has no intention of writing "serious" music. In his reasoning, "There's enough people that do unfunny music. I'll leave the serious stuff to Paris Hilton and Kevin Federline. Yankovic is the sole writer for all his songs and, for "legal and personal reasons", does not accept parody submissions or ideas from fans. Madonna was reportedly talking with a friend and happened to wonder aloud when Yankovic was going to turn her " Like a Virgin " into " Like a Surgeon ".
Madonna's friend was a mutual friend of Yankovic's manager, Jay Levey, and eventually Yankovic himself heard the story from Levey. In Yankovic's early career, before recording his first album, he had performed such polka medleys in live shows in California, though then using songs from lesser-known bands like Bad Brains and the Plasmatics.
He had been inspired to do so from Spike Jones, who had transitioned classical music into polka. The resulting "Polkas on 45", which featured songs from Devo , Deep Purple , Berlin , and The Beatles , was popular, and the polka medley became a staple of all but one of Yankovic's future albums.
Yankovic stated that he does not have any unreleased original songs, instead coming up and committing to the song ideas he arrives at for his albums and other releases. Other songs of his have appeared in films or television series as well, such as " Dare to Be Stupid " in The Transformers: Recurring themes One of Yankovic's recurring jokes involves the number He had originally just pulled the number 27 as a random figure to use in filling out lyrics, but as his fans started to notice the reuse of the number after the first few times, he began to purposely drop references to 27 within his lyrics, videos, and album covers.
He explains that "It's just a number I started using that people started attaching a lot of importance to. Another recurring joke is his attraction to female nostrils or nostrils in general.
Yankovic also asks his celebrity guests if they could "shave his back for a nickel. Yankovic has also put two backmasking messages into his songs. The video for " Dare to Be Stupid " is, as stated by Yankovic, a style parody in general of Devo videos. The video for " I Lost on Jeopardy " includes an appearance by Greg Kihn , the artist whose song, "Jeopardy", was being parodied, along with Don Pardo and Art Fleming , Jeopardy's original announcer and host, as themselves. Florence Henderson plays an Amish seductress in "Amish Paradise".
While most videos that Yankovic creates are aired on music channels such as MTV and VH1 , Yankovic worked with animation artists to create music videos for release with extended content albums. The DualDisc version of Straight Outta Lynwood features six videos set to songs from the release, including videos created by Bill Plympton and John Kricfalusi ; one video, "Weasel Stomping Day" was created by the producers of the show Robot Chicken , and aired as a segment of that program.
For the Alpocalypse, Yankovic produced videos for every song; four of those were previously released for each of the songs on the EP Internet Leaks , with the videos for the remaining songs released via social media sites and included in the deluxe edition of Alpocalypse. These live-action and animated videos were produced by both previous collaborators such as Plympton for "TMZ",  video content providers like Jib-Jab and SuperNews!
To help promote his album Mandatory Fun in social media circles, Yankovic produced eight music videos for the album releasing them over eight consecutive days with release of the album, believing it "would make an impact because people would be talking about the album all week long". He chose to distribute the videos to different portals to avoid burdening any single one with all of the costs and work needed to produce them.
This approach proved to be successful, as the total collection of videos had acquired more than 20 million views in the first week. I don't want to be embroiled in any nastiness. That's not how I live my life. I like everybody to be in on the joke and be happy for my success. I take pains not to burn bridges. This created difficulties in recording his first medley "Polkas on 45" since it involved thirteen different royalty schemes, but since then he has established a relationship with most large music publishers to easily secure the license to use their songs.
When Jackson granted Yankovic permission to do "Fat", Jackson allowed him to use the same set built for his own " Badder " video from the Moonwalker film. This refusal, coming shortly after the commercial failure of Yankovic's movie UHF in theaters, had initially set Yankovic back; he later recognized this as a critical time as, while searching for new parodies, he came across Nirvana , leading to a revitalization of his career with " Smells Like Nirvana ".
Additionally, Cobain described Yankovic as "a musical genius". What ya gonna do? Al in the Box booklet referred to the song's "compound fracture of a title. I'm not sure why, and I've obviously never been very happy about it. In , Yankovic directed the music video for their song " Mixed Up S.