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"Weird Al used music videos brilliantly. His parodies of both Michael Jackson and Madonna were even more memorable than the original videos themselves."
--Peter Fornatale,
Who Can It Be Now

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Entry for September 28, 2007

Oh my god, can you believe it?!? Al's finally been nominated!!!

Whoops, sorry. Copied and pasted the wrong text there.

Late last night, in yet another stealth announcement, the Rock Hall Foundation announced its 2008 induction nominees. Unfortunately, Al did not make the cut yet again, but some very Al-related artists did!

The big news (well, assuming that the concept of surprise has nothing to do with "news") is that the one and only Madonna has been nominated, with this being her first year of eligibility. Madonna famously suggested by proxy the idea for Al's hit "Like a Virgin" parody, "Like a Surgeon." Madonna would then let Al tackle such subsequent hits as "Papa Don't Preach" and "Ray of Light," allowing him to include them in various polka medleys over the years.

Another brand new nominee are none other than Beastie Boys, who permitted Al to include their late '90s hit "Intergalactic" in his polka medley "Polka Power!" And for those of you who like "six degrees" type of games, Al had previously done a Beastie style parody with 1988's "Twister."

John Mellencamp (or whatever he's calling himself lately) is a returning nominee (who was last nominated in the 2004 class, if our research is correct). As the legend goes, John was going to grant Al permission to parody his megahit "Jack & Diane" as "The Ballad of Chuck & Diane," but a movie studio had apparently acquired the rights to the story within John's song, which thus made it difficult for John to be able to give Al permission. So Al turned the parody idea into an original song, the very early "Buckingham Blues." Al would eventually, finally get to parody "Jack & Diane" when he made a 2003 appearance on The Simpsons, singing the parody "Homer & Marge." The song was very recently released on the soundtrack album The Simpsons: Testify.

Other first-time nominees include hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, folk music icon Leonard Cohen ("Let's try to get Dylan to show up again!"), disco queen Donna Summer, and guitar innovators the Ventures. Returning for another round of voting are Chic (again, just nominate the Sugar Hill Gang already) and the Dave Clark Five (third year in a row now).

Interestingly, in its press release the Rock Hall Foundation used a Kurt Cobain quote to justify Leonard Cohen's nomination. Kurt also once wrote, "'Weird Al' Yankovic is America's modern pop-rock genius."

Like last year, only nine artists have been nominated, and only five will be inducted, with that announcement coming in January. As we've complained in the past, this is a far cry from the as many as fifteen nominees and the as many as seven inductees in previous years.

Yes, we're disappointed that Al will not be on this new ballot, but at least he was looked over in favor of some truly exceptional artists for once (well, okay, four of them, anyway). We're still in the middle of our unbelievable petition tour, during which we've collected nearly 7,500 signatures so far (our official counter on the web site has just ticked past the two-thirds mark of our goal). Support is building across the country, we're getting more and more help by the day, and when we're all finally done we'll have a petition to deliver to the Rock Hall Foundation that every fan will be truly proud of. We will get Al in!

In the meantime, if you haven't volunteered to help with the petition yet, by all means contact us today. Or, if you'd like, you can write to the Rock Hall Foundation at the address on our web site's main page. In the coming weeks, we'll also post addresses to contact the individual members of the nominating committee. And we're finally ready to start talking about our little documentary that we're putting in the works, so if you want to help out with that, give us a yell.

Speaking of our petition tour, it's still going on and tonight we're back in Illinois! Both kaffy© and Alexis will be at Assembly Hall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before Al's show, so if you see either of them, be sure to sign the petition!

That dynamic duo will also be in University Park tomorrow for Al's show at Governors State University, right in the lobby in fact, and we want to thank the school and the theater for allowing us to gather signatures there. Tickets are quickly selling out, so if you haven't bought yours yet, click here!

As of September 28, the following shows still need volunteers....

October 3 Medicine Hat, AB Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre
October 4 Lethbridge, AB ENMAX Centre
October 5 Lewiston, ID Nez Perce County Fairgrounds
October 6 Yakima, WA Central Washington State Fair
October 7 Napavine, WA Napavine Amphitheater
October 9 San Luis Obispo, CA Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center
October 11 Fresno, CA The Big Fresno Fair
October 13 San Diego, CA House of Blues
October 16 Phoenix, AZ Arizona State Fair
October 20 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre

Let's get out there and finally get Al into the Rock Hall!!!

2007-09-28 20:17:52 GMT
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