Announcing Al April and the Medium, Weird Trip Campaign
As all of y’all may have noticed, I am a fan of American pop parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic. He’s been an important part of this site since day one as the subject of the elegantly titled the Weird Accordion to Al, my obsessive, song-by-song analysis of Al’s discography.
In the Weird Accordion to Al, I have written extensively of my love of Al’s originals and pastiches, so you can imagine how unbelievably excited I was by the announcement of Al’s 2018 Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, during which he will be leaving the sets and costumes and video screens at home for more intimate performances where he’ll perform originals instead of the parodies that have made him a household name.
This was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. It was like when I discovered that the Republican National Convention and the Gathering of the Juggalos were being held on consecutive days mere hours away from one another, so that it would be possible for an intrepid Juggalo journalist to cover both in the space of a very eventful week’s time.
The RNC/Gathering trip, which resulted in 7 Days in Ohio, like Al’s tour, requires a fair amount of time, planning and expense. I funded the RNC/Gathering adventure via GoFundMe. It was an amazing experience that went a long way towards giving me the self-confidence to launch something like Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place. It also raised enough money that I was able to move my wife and son and dog out of my in-laws’ basement and into an apartment of our own just like real adults!
I had such a good experience with GoFundMe the first time around I decided it to use it to fund the week-and-a-half long jaunt between my old hometown of Chicago and my new hometown of Atlanta in Al’s April tour as well. As someone who has written two road books about music, the idea of doing it all over again, this time behind Al and a tour unlike anything he’s ever done before is irresistible.
I plan to get a whole lot out of these days, these shows and this experience. I plan to write about it extensively in these here pages, either for the Big Whoop or as its own separate thing, and to include a meaty section on the tour in the book that will eventually come from the Weird Accordion to Al, and to hopefully get a freelance assignment out of it as well.
That’s why I am launching the Medium, Weird Trip campaign to fund by April adventures on the road with Al and his fans. If you like me and Al, you’ll be getting a lot of great original content but, as with the 7 Days in Ohio campaign, you will be getting physical items of some value as well. Of course you can always just give me money, and not expect anything in return as well, if that's your bag, you Christ-like exemplar of compassion and generosity, you!
One of the big inspirations for The Weird Accordion to Al was the release of the Squeeze Box box set. So for this campaign, I’m going to offer all fifteen albums in my private Squeeze Box collection autographed by Al and myself for two hundred dollars. That’s a little steep, but these are one-of-a-kind collectibles. A number of Al’s CDs have never even been released on wax before this project, and the box set itself has nearly sold out, so this is some rare stuff me and Al will be signing. There will also be twenty-five dual-signed copies of Weird Al: The Book for fifty dollars, which is not a bad price at all (and also, once they’re gone, they’re gone) and eventual copies of the Weird Accordion to Al book signed by me.
I myself am a “Weird Al” Yankovic collector, and everything I’m offering is stuff that I myself would love to have.
I’m hoping very much for a repeat of my successful 2016 campaign. It should be a win-win situation all around. I get to have an amazing experience that I chronicle for posterity in various forms and y’all get awesome, unique collectibles in addition to helping a dude living out the dream of both the Al-obsessed 12 year old I used to be and the Al-obsessed 41-year old I am now. April is my birthday and the birthday of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Place, and I could not imagine a nicer present than to contribute to this here campaign.