Petition 2004
(July-September 2004)

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"Weird Al is awesome....Having Weird Al do your song is one of the pinnacles of 'making it.'"
--Barenaked Ladies' Steven Page

September 10, 2004, 6PM EST

This is it, gang! The pages have been bundled, bound, boxed, and are currently en route to New York.

Almost three thousand individual signatures, collected over the course of just six weeks, are on their way to hopefully convince the folks at the Rock Hall that Al should be inducted. I'm not sure how many pages there were in total, but if it's any indication, I had to use two 400-page binder clips.

Now comes the hard part...waiting for this year's list of nominees to be announced.

No matter what happens, we have every reason to be proud of ourselves. We were able to organize, cooperate, participate, and get impressive results in a very, very short amount of time...and all because we share an admiration for this artist. Imagine the number of signatures if we had a whole year to do this!

And for those of you who didn't get a chance to sign the petition, there is still time to send in a letter to the foundation.

Stay tuned for any and all news! Way to go, everybody!

August 27, 2004, 9PM EST

As threatened, on the main page I have now added a counter indicating exactly how many petition signatures are in my possession, either sent in from field operatives or collected myself. Many more pages are en route to me as I type, so that number will definitely change in the coming days.

I can't stress this enough: If you still have signed pages and have not heard from me for some reason, please contact me as soon as possible. It's now crunch time.

For everyone else, please send in your letter now!

August 25, 2004, 7PM EST

As if the last bit of news on here wasn't cool enough, Shelley reported earlier this week that she (with the help of her son) was able to get the signature of none other than Steve Jay! Steve knew exactly what the petition was for, and Shelley convinced him to sign after explaining that an induction for Al would also represent an induction for the band as well. Way to go Shelley!

Meanwhile, more and more pages have been arriving, so I'll continue to plan to set up some kind of signature counter on the main page...probably on Friday of this week.

August 23, 2004, 10PM EST

Well, the petition's official tour is over, ending with a trio of vital shows in the Great Lakes region (hopefully two Chicago radio stations kept their promises to mention the petition on their morning shows). Pages upon pages are coming in as we approach the end of the month, and everyone has been amazing me with all the hard work they've done.

Today a huge packet arrived from Cinnamon containing two large chunks of pages from the eight shows she attended. Right on top, there was a little surprise for me....

I guess we can cut Al some slack for not listing his city and state.

Seriously, though, I really cannot put into words exactly how thrilled I am, but let's just say the shock was so great I asked someone to come into the room to verify it just to make sure I wasn't seeing things. In all, including Mr. Yankovic's, Cinnamon (and her help) collected a mind-blowing total of 2,116 signatures!

Needless to say, this will make up the bulk of the signature total, but I want to stress that everyone's help is appreciated. No number is too great or too small. I am so proud of everyone for their help, even those who crapped out on me.

By the end of the week, I'll have up on the main page a running counter listing the total number of signatures collected so far, based on what has arrived. Already the total is more than I optimistically expected, so I'm going to be very curious to see what we end up with.

I know it sounds a little hokey, but I feel quite confident now that everything will work out for our little cause...I hope, I hope, I hope.

By the way, if you had collected signatures for a show and have not heard from me yet, please contact me as soon as possible.

Thank you so much Al and Cinnamon!

August 12, 2004, 6PM EST

The past week has been a busy one to say the least. The petition saw its last California concert, pages from field operatives around the country have been arriving, and I've finished the campaign press release and have been distributing it to the various non-evil news organizations. In fact, one San Francisco morning show wanted to interview me before the Great America show, but after doing some quick research on the deejay it didn't seem as if such a chat would have been presented seriously (or, as seriously as this topic can get!). Besides, the focus for this whole campaign should be on Al, not on who's putting it together.

The petition tour schedule has been fully updated. There's still time to volunteer if you'd still like to, provided you're going to a show in August!

We've got a last minute volunteer going to the Minneapolis show tonight, Amee. Like I've been doing for every show, I sent announcements to the local radio stations, so hopefully there will be plenty of Twin Cities Al fans who want to help us out.

Meanwhile, my brother Dale will be in Chicago this weekend at the Wizard World convention collecting signatures. If you're attending the three-day event, just look for the six-foot guy with muttonchops and a bowler hat...really! If you don't feel like looking that hard, Dale will be asking for signatures before the convention doors open as people wait in line, and I know he'll be hanging around the toy company booths.

August 3, 2004, 5PM EST

I can't believe it was almost a month ago when I hinted at our first scheduled celebrity petition signer. Since then, others have added their names, but that probably wouldn't have happened if this person didn't get the ball rolling for us by agreeing first. Today, their signature finally arrived.

As many of you have guessed from my not-too-subtle hint, that person is the Knack's Doug Fieger, whose megahit "My Sharona" inspired Al's first single "My Bologna" (and it was Doug who suggested to Capitol Records that they sign Al!). In recent years Doug has been a big supporter of Al's music, and we are honored that this new wave pioneer has helped out our cause. In fact, Doug even became a "field operative" and passed the petition around himself!

I had momentarily thought I had jinxed myself by making that hint about Doug last month, but thankfully everything worked out as planned.

I am also pleased to announce that the petition tour schedule has been updated with the first non-concert dates! And I didn't have to look far for a volunteer. My brother Dale, whom you ALCONers may remember as the guy in the makeshift Guy Boarded Up in the Wall "costume" at the first convention, will take the petition with him when he attends next week's Wizard World Chicago, one of the biggest comic book and pop culture conventions in the country. It may be a little harder to keep your eyes out for him due to the size of the convention hall, but we're working on a strategy that may or may not involve diddy-boppers.

Also, we're getting down to the wire on the West Coast, so if there's any Californians out there who haven't signed the petition yet, you're running out of the chances! Look for Squirrelygirl in both Santa Rosa and Santa Clara this week!

We only have a month left! If you haven't sent in your letter to the foundation yet, by all means do so. And there are still a number of Al shows this month without field operatives, so it's not too late to volunteer!

July 29, 2004, 11PM EST

They've been over for quite some time now, but I'm still hearing of good news from the folks who went to the Orange County Fair concerts. Cinnamon alone was able to get well over a thousand signatures! I can't say it enough...way to go gang!!!

It also sounds as if the Portland show went well. I was told by local radio station KVMX (107.5) that they were going to mention the campaign on their morning show before that night's concert, as they were also giving away tickets for it. I have no idea if they really did give it a plug, but if so then I do thank them.

Now moving on to a city with apparently no radio stations, Oxnard is waiting for us! The venue is actually on board this time, so there will be nobody hiding in the shadows waiting to jump out in front of a family! In fact, look for Cinnamon and Squirrelygirl collecting signatures in the lobby!

July 26, 2004, 7PM EST

Here we go, three in a row. Another update, another name to announce!

Music legend Don McLean has added his signature to the petition! Don of course is the singer and songwriter of the classic "American Pie," the basis for Al's 1999 Star Wars song "The Saga Begins." Don is in the middle of a world tour right now, so we wholeheartedly thank him for taking the time to sign our petition.

Meanwhile, a last-minute addition has been made to the petition tour schedule. Look for Driew_La_27, Scottidog, and others at Tuesday's night's Portland show!

July 24, 2004, 8PM EST

Al's week of shows at the Orange County Fair is coming to a close tonight, and our field operatives have been doing a fantastic job collecting signatures for the petition. If the first night's numbers were any indication, then this may very well be the petition's most successful week!

In fact, CindyBob was able to get the signature of none other than Miles Jay, Steve's son who subbed for his dad for Al's 2002 shows at the fair. Apparently he was well aware of the petition when asked, so obviously the word is getting around!

For you Californians out there who didn't make it to the fair, the petition's tour schedule has been updated to include additional shows in the state! Tomorrow night, look for Squirrelygirl at the Sacramento Convention Center's theater!

I just can't believe how far this campaign has come in the two weeks since it was "officially" launched. I'm starting to get a really good feeling about it.

July 22, 2004, 5PM EST

Well, my birthday is not until tomorrow, but already I got a present! I am extremely proud to announce that we officially have our first celebrity signer on the petition...and it's not who you might think!

"I Love Rock n' Roll" co-songwriter Jake Hooker not only granted Al permission to parody the song back in 1982, but he also sang on Al's version and it was Jake who introduced Al to Rick Derringer. I am so thrilled that Jake took time out of his schedule to help us out!!

Hopefully I'll be able to announce more big names in the very near future, including the one that many of you have already figured out. In the meantime, I've got some good leads on others. I can't say who just yet, but trust me this will be worth crossing your fingers for! (heck, everyone is!)

I can, however, sadly say that Jimmy Webb, songwriter of "MacArthur Park," politely declined, as he is currently hard at work finishing up a new album and then has a well-needed vacation scheduled through September. But still, Mr. Webb and his management wished us well, so we thank him for at least considering it.

I have also heard that our field operatives at the Orange County Fair are really racking up the signatures this week. Like I did last week, I tried to inform as many local radio stations as I could, so I don't know if that helped at all. Good luck to our Orange County Fairers!

July 19, 2004, 11PM EST

It's been a few days since the last blog entry, but unfortunately there's very little I can say right now. The petition tour schedule has been added to, so hey that's something!

For those of you going to the Orange County Fair this week, be on the lookout for Cinnamon, i_love_yankovic, and stupidsurgeon27 (CindyBob), who will all be collecting signatures. Speaking of fan campaigns, Cinnamon will also be handing out buttons for the Star Fund. If you're not going to the fair, be sure to wish our trio good luck!

July 14, 2004, 11PM EST

The petition tour schedule has been updated with the addition of some key upcoming concerts.

I'm still working on a press release, but in the meantime I've started contacting the various comedy radio programs in hopes that they will help get the word out.

July 13, 2004, 11:30PM EST

I'm kinda pooped from getting back from the Barenaked Ladies/Alanis concert (no, I didn't get a chance to talk to them, as my contact at the venue chickened out on me so to speak, but it's not over), but I did want to say we've got one new major name on board for the petition and two additional possibles.

July 12, 2004, 11PM EST

Yesterday I had e-mailed Philadelphia's local "lite rock" station, B101, to ask them to give our little cause a mention on the air, as the Keswick show is approaching fast in the suburb of Glenside. Since I am about, oh, 428 miles away, I am unable to listen to the station to find out if they did just that. If anyone in the area heard them mention the campaign, please let me know.

I'll try to have an official press release written up by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, WOWAY member minnick27 is scheduled to collect signatures after the show, so be sure to keep your eyes out for him around the tour bus!

July 11, 2004, 10PM EST

Two new dates added to the petition tour schedule!

We still need more volunteers!

July 9, 2004, 7PM EST

Still waiting to hear back from a couple of venues, so hopefully there will be an update to the petition's tour schedule over the weekend.

In the meantime, however, I am excited beyond words to announce that we have confirmed our first celebrity signer to the petition! I'm not going to reveal exactly who until the page is back in my hands, just so I don't jinx it, but let's say this person has a real knack for making music.

July 8, 2004, 4PM EST

Welcome to my very first blog-like entry! Hopefully this will be a good way to keep everyone up to date on the progress of the campaign.

Late last week, I contacted the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York to see if they had any problem with someone collecting petition signatures. I spoke with a polite yet somewhat curt woman there named Laurie, who told me she was the casino's assistant director of entertainment. I explained what we wanted to do, stressing that the gathering of signatures would be done peacefully and not confrontational at all. Laurie explained that although the casino doesn't have a general policy on such activities, she couldn't really think of a reason why that wouldn't be allowed, as long as the person isn't getting into anyone's face or being disruptive. But just to be safe, she told me she would forward my request to her boss, the actual director of entertainment. Laurie said I should expect to hear back from them on either Monday, July 5, or Tuesday, July 6.

Well, naturally Tuesday came and went and I did not hear back from anyone at the casino. Meanwhile, the date of the show was rapidly approaching.

Yesterday, Wednesday, I was already exhausted from partying all morning at the Kerry/Edwards rally in downtown Cleveland, their first campaign appearance together. After getting a second wind back at home, I called the casino again. Laurie answered the phone after I was connected to the entertainment office. Not surprisingly, she couldn't recall who I was or what I had asked her about, even though I had just spoken to her not even a week before (one would think the words "Weird Al petition" would have jogged her memory). I began to explain the fan campaign again, and she promptly interrupted so she could take another phone call. It was starting to feel like those scenes in Michael Moore movies in which a person he's asking questions to just wanders away without excusing themselves.

Laurie came back, so I continued my explanation. I'm sure she's a really nice person, but she seemed quite unconcerned. She made no apology for not having someone get back to me, like she promised, but she did connect me with yet another person.

A gentleman named Joel McKissick answered, describing himself as (if I recall correctly) the entertainment manager. I have no idea if this was to be the same person Laurie originally said she was going to forward my request to. Anyway, I once again explained the petition request, and once again I was interrupted for another phone call. I was already starting to see where this was going.

Joel came back, so I continued. He then explained that the casino doesn't normally allow such activities to go on, saying that people would assume the casino is sponsoring such a cause (why would they assume that??). He then tried to politely scold me for asking him about this so soon before the concert. Yeah, if only I didn't spend the last week waiting to hear back from this venue!

Joel continued that I would have to e-mail him a proposal, and he would forward it to the people who would make such a decision, but he warned me that permission didn't look very likely. I just want to point out that so far the decision has been in the hands of Laurie, whoever this supposed "director of entertainment" was that she was going to talk to (who may or may not exist), Joel, and now whomever Joel answers to. What exactly is the point of having directors and managers if they have no power to make decisions??

So anyway, by now it was pretty clear that I was getting jerked around. Oh well, what can ya do? After all, we wouldn't want to give the impression that a casino is trying to help people, right?

But still, WOWAY member Weirdstef will be there collecting just may have to keep your eyes open for her.

Hopefully, the next venue I contact will be a little more cooperative.

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