Bonzai Beat with "Weird Al" Yankovic
“Weird Al” Yankovic’s lengthy resume lists singer, rapper, songwriter, musician, producer, satirist, and actor but perhaps he is best known for his humorous parody songs by contemporary musical acts, often poking fun of pop culture. Yankovic chats with Mr. Bonzai about his career, life on the road, upcoming tour and biopic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story starring Daniel Radcliffe.
“Weird Al” Yankovic began marketing his music by sending homemade tapes to the Dr. Demento Radio Show when he was a teenager. Today, Yankovic has become a pop culture icon and the best-selling comedy recording artist of all time. His first recording was released in 1978 on LP, Slo Grown. The song “Take Me Down” was written to benefit the Economic Opportunity Commission of San Luis Obispo County, California, and mocked famous nearby landmarks.
Shortly before his senior year of college in 1979, “My Sharona” by The Knack was topping the charts. Yankovic took his accordion to the restroom across the hall from the radio station he was working in and wrote “My Bologna.” Yankovic later met The Knack and introduced himself as the writer of “My Bologna” and found that Doug Fieger, the band’s lead singer, enjoyed the song and suggested that Capitol Records release it as a single.
Yankovic is a five-time GRAMMY® Award winner and a 16-time nominee. He has four gold and six platinum records and countless movie and television appearances. Yankovic also shares the distinct honor of being only one of four artists to have a Top 40 single in each of the last four decades, a privilege he shares with Michael Jackson, Madonna, and U2. In 2011, Yankovic added New York Times bestselling author to his resume with the release of his children’s book, When I Grow Up. In spring 2022, Yankovic will embark on his latest tour, “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advice Vanity Tour.”
For more information on Yankovic, including upcoming tour dates, please visit https://www.weirdal.com/home/.
Mr. Bonzai is an award-winning photographer, author, and interviewer. He has written more than 1,000 articles for outlets in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has published numerous books, including Studio Life (Mix, 1984), Hal Blaine and The Wrecking Crew (Mix, 1992), The Sound of Money (Focal, 2000), Faces of Music (Cengage, 2006), Music Smarts (Berklee Press, 2009), and John Lennon’s Tooth (BookBaby, 2012). His photos and articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Mix, EQ, Keyboard, Daily Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Magazine, Disney Channel Magazine, Sound & Recording, and Relix, among others. http://www.mrbonzai.co