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June 28, 2009

"Thanks Michael"

Of course, we're all as stunned as the rest of the world is right now over the recent and sudden death of superstar Michael Jackson. There's very little we can offer that hasn't already been conveyed ad nauseum elsewhere. Despite what one thought of him personally, there was no denying that artistically he was a true innovator and did more for popular music than perhaps any other artist of the last three decades.

Two years ago, we were knee-deep in a massive petition drive to get Al into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, during which Greg made a determined effort to get Michael involved.

Naturally, that was easier said than done, as this was during the height of Michael's financial troubles. People were suing him left and right, he was reported as living anywhere from Las Vegas to the Middle East to an uncharted desert isle, and he was generally the least accessible celebrity in all the world. Greg came close, though, thanks to a couple of extremely helpful Michael fans, and he eventually got a representative's name and address and sent a couple of feelers out. But unfortunately, it ultimately came down to too many people out there representing themselves as "handling" Michael and jobs such as his press agent changing hands on an almost daily basis, so by the time he kept reaching someone new along the chain they had already severed their ties with Michael. After a while, our request just got lost in the shuffle.

Trying to get Michael on board was a no-brainer for the simple reason that he had always been a big supporter of Al's. He was, of course, the first truly major rock star to okay an Al parody. It can't be overstated how much the permission to record "Eat It" boosted Al's career. Record sales aside, it gave a certain credibility to what Al was doing. Though the parody targets of the first album were pop stars in their own right, this was Michael Jackson, unquestionably the biggest music personality in the world at the time. If he got the joke, then what excuse could any other artist possibly have?

Michael again showed graciousness when Al approached him with the idea of parodying "Bad" as "Fat." Michael was not only cool with it, he also loaned Al a recreation of the "Bad" video's subway set that he had built for a portion of his Moonwalker home video. And in perhaps the greatest show of mutual respect, Michael asked Al to be the opening act on the European leg of his Bad Tour. Unfortunately Al was forced to turn Michael down in order to spend the remainder of 1988 to film UHF. Showing that there were no hard feelings, the next year Michael invited Al to make a couple of fun cameos in his music video for "Liberian Girl."

It all showed that the King of Pop had a good sense of humor about himself. It's a shame that we literally ran out of time to get Michael's participation in our effort.

Our hearts go out to Michael's family and friends. If there's any comfort, it's that his music will truly be immortal.

June 19, 2009

Maybe he could get on David Letterman

First off, you have downloaded "Craigslist" by now, yes? You better. We want this bad boy to chart, dag nabbit!

We're continuing our week-long series of "Craigslist"-related activities by targeting the other end of the 11:35 late night spectrum, David Letterman. Can you believe that Dave has never invited Al onto any of his shows? It boggles the mind.

Unlike yesterday with Conan, we actually have a normal staff e-mail address handy for the Late Show, so rest assured that your letters will reach someone!

E-MAIL THE LATE SHOW AND TELL THEM YOU WANT TO SEE AL ON: cbsmailbag@aol.com

When you're writing your requests to these shows, don't forget to mention that Al will soon be starring in the 3-D movie Al's Brain...this way it will sound like Al will have more to promote if he appears.

June 18, 2009

Conan the Librarian

By now, all of you out there have already downloaded Al's new single "Craigslist"...RIGHT?!?

Well then, let's try to help get that promotional ball rolling!

In Al's thirty-year career, he has appeared on numerous talk shows, from Johnny Carson's Tonight Show to...um, Jay Leno's Tonight Show. But there are three major late night hosts/shows that have yet to invite Al on, despite numerous jokes and references to him over the years: David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, and Saturday Night Live.

SNL is currently in reruns for the summer, so we'll hold off on that right now. Let's worry about the other two: Letterman and Conan.

Yesterday during Al's live Ustream/Twitter online chat thingy, he joked that he would swear eternal allegiance to whichever 11:35 talk show host booked him first...so let's see what we can do to make that happen.

First let us try the "new" kid on the block, Conan O'Brien. Conan recently did his own segment on The Tonight Show lampooning Craigslist in a way, so this might be the perfect place for Al to perform his new single.

Now, back in that bygone year of 2008, both Conan's Late Night and Jay Leno's Tonight Show had public e-mail addresses posted that invited folks to write in with guest suggestions. Unfortunately, the current Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien web site does not list such an address, so we'll have to contact the show through NBC's general "contact us" form and hope that it gets to the show's staff.

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT THE TONIGHT SHOW. (Be sure to select the show in the pull-down menu...yeah yeah, we know it still lists Jay's name. Select it anyway.)

If anyone comes across a more reliable e-mail address for The Tonight Show, please let us know as soon as possible!

June 16, 2009

Greg's Blog Promotes "Craigslist"

For those of you who access our blog through our web site, welcome to the inaugural post following the latest and what we hope will be the final upgrade to our server. We were told that our web provider was closing down its own internal blog program, so we were given only a scant couple of options to move our blog to a new provider and still have it remain parked at our web site. We first attempted switching over to WordPress, but it kept crashing and refused to allow us to edit simple things...you know, like the name of the blog. Plus, on our initial setup of the program it had misread the folder we told it to install into and it literally wiped out the entire Make the Rock Hall "Weird" web site! Really, what the heck?!? Does everyone else have these kinds of problems with WordPress??

Don't answer that. We don't really care.

So instead we moved to Movable Type, the software used to (among other things) create the web site for President Obama. Hey, what's good enough for the president is good enough for us, right? As you can hopefully see, to the side are links to the past blog entries, so at least all of the content is still relatively in one place. Hopefully we won't come across too many problems, but if we do we'll try to fix them as soon as possible.

Having said all that....

Now that we're knee-deep in June, we wanted to send out our monthly reminder to everyone to send out a greeting card to the Rock Hall Foundation. Remember, it can be a homemade card, a store-bought one, or anything, just as long as it conveys a simple message: "INDUCT WEIRD AL!"

The address to send your card to is:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
Attn: Joel Peresman
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104
USA

Today Al has released his first single since last year's T.I. parody "Whatever You Like" and the first of four promised singles to come out over the course of the summer. This first song is a fantastic Doors style parody called "Craigslist." We cannot recommend it enough, as it perfectly blends the Doors' trippy, sometimes overindulgent style with some of the more bizarre areas of interest on the sleazy message board-esque web site.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE MP3 FROM AMAZON!

There is also a low budget but cool music video available on Al's YouTube page among other places (including the main page at our parent site, All Things Yankovic). We ask all fans out there to please download the song this week, and to encourage others to do so, so we can get this puppy to chart in Billboard. Come on, let's do better than "Whatever You Like's" puny #104!

We'll also have a couple of other "Craigslist"-related activities posted here throughout the week, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we are still looking ahead to Al Fest 2009, the fan convention to be held August 1 in suburban Los Angeles. Greg will be conducting interviews with attendees to be used in the upcoming documentary about the campaign. This will be the absolute final place a fan will be able to appear on camera for the movie, so if you've been waiting to be interviewed, it's your last chance!

We are currently accepting requests for interview appointments for throughout the day (such as, for example, if you would like to be filmed at two o'clock, etc.). We might even have some sort of incentive ready if you e-mail us a request by a certain date.

NOTE: Greg will not be conducting interviews during the UHF 20th anniversary panel, Bermuda's presentation, or Jim West's performance. He will try to accommodate every fan, but those three convention events will take priority. Thank you for understanding.

So, what are you waiting for? Go download "Craigslist" NOW!