Officially – “Weird Al” is the first recording artist I can recall listening to and knowing who they were. This makes sense considering I was a young boy and he had songs about “boogers”. His first album came out around the time I was born and I followed along from the time I could put a cassette into a deck.
Big Brother Influence
I have an older brother (ten years older) named Todd. As adults, we are strikingly similar – so much that we are working on a joint podcast where we discuss our joint loves (hobbies). Funny enough, this website is partially a creation from one of Todd and I’s conversations.
Todd luckily had a fondness for “Weird Al” and had many of his cassette tapes. Being the younger brother, also sharing a room, I found these cassettes.
I remember Todd having the majority of the cassettes with the big red letters on the front. He had legit copies of all of his albums (one exception would be a dubbed version of UHF). I sampled every album and played them over and over. To this day, I can subconsciously recite every lyric from every song (up until Off the Deep End).
My Own Purchases – My First CD
I was finally getting into music. I’m not sure if there was a rap music trend, but I distinctly remember 2-Pac and Coolio being a big deal. I was not allowed to watch MTV (religious mother) but that would not stop me. In 1996, they had regular blocks where they played music videos. Gangsters Paradise was in regular rotation.
My brother just enlisted in the Navy and my parents were tasked to take him to the Pittsburgh Airport. As sad as this sounds, this was a big deal for me. We did not take vacations and traveling an hour away was monumental. During this trip, I experienced the mall-like quality of the airport. We went into the record store and there it was – Bad Hair Day by “Weird Al”. The hit “Amish Paradise” was played on MTV and I already knew the words. In shocking fashion, my parents bought me the CD.
Not a Guilty Pleasure
Through the years, music has evolved and my taste with it. For many years (mostly high school), I was probably ‘too cool’ and not confident enough to admit that I was a huge “Weird Al” fan. There were a few albums that I don’t even remember listening to when published.
High school came and gone and senior year I probably developed my personality for just not caring what others thought. When everyone was listening to 50-cent, I dialed it back and was a huge Bon Jovi advocate. I soon realized that “Weird Al” and his comedy was engrained in my personality.
There hasn’t been a “Weird Al” album that I haven’t supported from the moment of release. I am even paying it forward – my two oldest children know many of the songs and are frequently requested.