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FWIW, Yankovic explains that while he isn't obligated to get permission from an artist to parody their works, he insists on doing so, and if they refuse, he'll move on to something else.
Yes, he says that a lot. He's been screwed out of a song once where the artist wanted it, but the label objected so he stopped working on the song - I think it was later released as part of Squeeze Box or something because the artist finally convinced the label to approve it.

It was also a problem during his early days. These days, artists WANT him to do a parody - it's a final sort of thing that says they've "made it". But he's only ever done one request (from Madonna - "Like a Virgin" to "Like a Surgeon") and that was because she shared the label with Al so was able to apply a little pressure that way.

Who cares if you got some music award, getting Weird Al to do a song based on yours is the ultimate exclusive award and so very few of them are handed out.

I have a DVD of Weird Al music videos - it was one where I had to learn how to rip a DVD audio track out so I could listen to it on my iPod back in the day.
 

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Yes, he says that a lot. He's been screwed out of a song once where the artist wanted it, but the label objected so he stopped working on the song - I think it was later released as part of Squeeze Box or something because the artist finally convinced the label to approve it.
According to the Wikipedia article for "You're Pitiful," the label still has never agreed to it, which is why it's only been released as a free online song.
 

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when I tell friends how good he and his band are, they always respond with "really?". They are actual musicians.
That's because they assume all Al does is replace the lyrics, and they never hear the original stuff.

He's performing in OKC over Labor Day weekend. Waffling,only the crapseats are left at this point.
 

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And the setlist is all original songs. No parodies allowed. I'm not sure he's done that before.
I like Weird Al and some of his original songs, but paying to see Weird Al NOT do his parodies (which are his most well known songs) is like going to see Springsteen and he doesn't do Born to Run or seeing The Who and they don't do Won't Get Fooled Again. Those songs are fine as an album cut, but in concert I want to see the hits, especially if I've never seen him.
 

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I've seen Weird Al in concert four times, including with a symphony orchestra the last time -- always take the family. He's touring now and I have tickets for an October show. Weird Al is definitely worth seeing live in a mid-sized venue if possible -- when I tell friends how good he and his band are, they always respond with "really?". They are actual musicians.
That's always been the case from my experience. People can't seem to get the fact that Weird Al puts on as good a show, and sometimes a better show, than the artists he parodies. They're probably the best musicians in show business.

Think about it: they're duplicating not only the music, but in most cases the shows, that the other artists produce. Different songs, completely different styles. As Ruben Valtierra (his keyboard player & musical director) puts it, Al's show is like a broadway play every night. Not the acoustic "indulgent" shows, but the full productions. The acoustic shows lets them expand and showcase the musicianship.
 

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I like Weird Al and some of his original songs, but paying to see Weird Al NOT do his parodies (which are his most well known songs) is like going to see Springsteen and he doesn't do Born to Run or seeing The Who and they don't do Won't Get Fooled Again. Those songs are fine as an album cut, but in concert I want to see the hits, especially if I've never seen him.
His original songs are funnier than some of his originals, and many of them are "style parodies" that sound like other artists. Not just that, but since they're comedy, hearing them performed live would only make them funnier since it's your first time hearing them. I wish I could hear Melanie for the first time again, or One More Minute, or Albequerque. Oh my god Albequerque.

 

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His original songs are funnier than some of his originals, and many of them are "style parodies" that sound like other artists. Not just that, but since they're comedy, hearing them performed live would only make them funnier since it's your first time hearing them. I wish I could hear Melanie for the first time again, or One More Minute, or Albequerque. Oh my god Albequerque.

I know most of his originals. My favorite is Don't Download This Song. But again, if I'm paying to see Weird All, I want to see his "greatest hits" and not his album filler. I know some of them are great songs, and I would like to see some of them. But again, it's like going to see your favorite band for the first time and not seeing the band perform it's greatest hits. You might still enjoy it, but you'd have that feeling of disappointment. Heck, I saw Springsteen during his last tour and he didn't do my favorite song, Thunder Road. But he did do all his biggest hits, so while I was disappointed in not hearing my favorite he has a TON of famous songs that made up for it and that's what I paid to see him perform.

I remember years ago, Van Morrison was famous for doing concerts and NEVER performing his big hits and the fans HATED that. But he refused, and I'm sure it cost him money.
 

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it's like going to see your favorite band for the first time and not seeing the band perform it's greatest hits.
The originals are his greatest hits to me. You can only listen to Eat It or White and Nerdy so many times- because the originals were played to death before Al parodied them. I wouldn't be listening to Al today if it all he did was lyric parodies.

I won't bawl if I don't hear Saga Begins, Fat or Like a Surgeon. I will bawl if I don't hear Hardware Store, Craigslist or Dare to be Stupid.
 

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The originals are his greatest hits to me. You can only listen to Eat It or White and Nerdy so many times- because the originals were played to death before Al parodied them. I wouldn't be listening to Al today if it all he did was lyric parodies.

I won't bawl if I don't hear Saga Begins, Fat or Like a Surgeon. I will bawl if I don't hear Hardware Store, Craigslist or Dare to be Stupid.
It's like with any band, the die hard's greatest hits are often album cuts, but the casual fan's greatest hits are what they hear most often. More people know Eat It or The Saga Begins than Don't Download This Song or Albuquerque .

It's like saying Little Piggies is a greatest Hit and Yesterday isn't.
 

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It's a Fair Use defense. I've always read Yankovic's insistence on the artist blessing as a "consent on content"- the actual lyrics that Al's replacing. e.g. Al approaches James Blunt on parodying "You're Beautiful", and Blunt signs off on Al's lyrics. (Atlantic Records eventually revoked permission for "You're Pitiful")

It's a classy thing to do, and I think it keeps the work "above board" and at an Al-standard. I've heard some pop-music parodies that were crass, obnoxious and pretty awful.

Al used to parody the video when he would do the You're Pitiful song live where he would be removing shirts during it and would end with one that said Atlantic Records Sucks.
 

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When we saw Al last month his second encore was “UNPLUGGED MEDLEY” which included:
Amish Paradise
Smells Like Nirvana
White & Nerdy
Word Crimes
Yoda

First Encore was a cover of Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl

The main concert was all Al originals.
 

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I was standing in line to check luggage in Atlanta around 1994 and Weird Al and his girlfriend or wife were right behind me. He said he had a show somewhere in town. I could not believe he was still around way back then!
 
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