|"Weird Al's witty script-flipping and underacknowledged musical talents have irreverently skewered the pop music of any given year. Still, after all these years, Al is hitting career high points."|
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th Edition)
Having trouble getting your letter to the Rock Hall Foundation started? Suffering from a little writer's block? Not quite sure what would be appropriate to include? You've come to the right place.
Although we always encourage fans to come up with polite pro-Al letters on their own, we understand that it can be hard to articulate...um, stuff sometimes. If you're in that boat, please see the sample letter below, which will hopefully point you in the right direction on your letter's content and tone.
Again, the following is only a SAMPLE letter. Please, please try to make it your own. Add personal stories you may have, or your own reflections on Al's importance to rock and roll, or other examples of Al's impact or influence that you can think of. If you're having trouble remembering Al's various accolades over the years, we've set up a handy guide to help you.
If you want to include something else with your letter, be creative. Artwork is always nice, or include some of Al's song lyrics if you'd like. If you have the spare cash, you can always include an example of Al's work, such as the Greatest Hits album or the Ultimate Video Collection DVD. Make your letter stand out!
When you're ready, be sure to send your letter to:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation
Attn: Joel Peresman
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104
If you need any additional help, feel free to check out the FAQ or drop us an e-mail!
|Dear Mr. Peresman,
I am writing to ask that you and the nominating committee seriously consider inducting "Weird Al" Yankovic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his career as the genre's foremost satirist.
No other artist has been more successful at making fun of rock music than Weird Al, becoming not only rock's premier humorist but also one of its most consistently successful artists. Since 1979 he has won three Grammys, earned dozens of Gold and Platinum Records worldwide, and has sold over 12 million comedy records, more than any other artist in history. And he continues to remain popular and relevant to this day, consistently releasing new material to reflect pop music's constant evolution. Al's name has become synonymous with comedic rock.
Done with their full permission, Al's parodies have become badges of honor for the artists targeted, much as how celebrities now hope to do guest voices on The Simpsons. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain once said that he didn't realize his group had "made it" professionally until they had their own Weird Al parody. Al not only provides a much-needed source of comedy relief for whatever rock and roll offers, but he also acknowledges and salutes those innovators who try to push the genre forward.
And it's not so much that Al simply rewrites new lyrics to popular songs. His original material is often critically acclaimed and at times more creative and inspired than his parodies. When Al wrote the Devo-styled original "Dare to Be Stupid," Devo's own Mark Mothersbough essentially said that Al wrote a better Devo song than Devo ever could! One of Al's other shining examples is a nine-minute Frank Zappa salute called "Genius in France," in which every aspect of Zappa's always-evolving career was tackled. Frank's son Dweezil was so touched by the composition that he offered to play guitar on it. Al has earned the respect of the music world, and all by having some light-hearted fun with it.
Al has also influenced many "serious" groups such as Barenaked Ladies, Presidents of the United States of America, Bowling for Soup, and others, who have all seen that a performer can still produce good music and be considered artistic while injecting humor, something so sorely needed in rock and roll. Weird Al's work and its influence on younger generations have guaranteed that humor will always have a place in mainstream music.
One of rock and roll's defining characteristics has been its anti-establishment nature, the way it "sticks it to the man" as Jack Black once said. The Beatles knew it, the Rolling Stones knew it, the Doors knew it, Bruce Springsteen knew it, Nirvana knew it, and so did many others the Rock Hall has already honored and no doubt will one day honor. One of the very acts inducted into the Rock Hall this year have expressed such views against the museum itself. But what does it say if the Rock Hall turns its back on the one artist who has "stuck it" to rock music and its biggest stars? That rock and roll can dish it out but can't take it? Hopefully those at the Rock Hall do in fact get the joke.
So please have a sense of humor about yourselves this year and honor rock and roll's class clown. Please induct "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!
Go back to the main Rock Hall page!