After numerous decades at the forefront of comedy music, “Weird Al” Yankovic has recently been branching out into performing cover versions of tracks, rather than his famed parodies, with the Foo Fighters’ first major single getting an airing at a Californian gig a few weeks back.
Just a couple of months ago, Yankovic made his guitar-playing debut on stage in New York when he covered Neil Young’s ‘Cinnamon Girl’ at a gig. This new approach to concerts has seen Yankovic incorporate a cover version of a classic track into his encore performance, with artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Badfinger, Elton John, and Led Zeppelin all being covered at recent gigs.
However, at his show in San Diego California earlier this month, “Weird Al” decided to bust out an alt-rock gem, covering one of the Foo Fighters’ first singles, ‘This Is A Call’. While it’s hard to hear Yankovic’s famed voice without some sort of punchline bubbling underneath, he actually does quite a brilliant job of the track, once again proving his status as one of music’s most versatile talents.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Dave Grohl scored the “Weird Al” Yankovic treatment, with the noted parodist incorporating part of ‘I’ll Stick Around’ into ‘The Alternative Polka’ back in 1996, and having parodied ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ with ‘Smells Like Nirvana’ in 1992.
Famously, Kurt Cobain signed off on the idea of Yankovic parodying his song, with the grunge legend notably claiming back in the day that he hadn’t realised he’d made it until he saw the parody’s film clip.
“My manager was having a tough time getting through to his people, so I find out that he’s going to be doing SNL, and thought, ‘I’ll just call him up,'” Yankovic explained to Howard Stern a couple of years back.
“I told [Kurt] I want to do a parody of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ and his first thing was: ‘Is it going to be about food?’ and I said, ‘no, it’s going to be about how no one can understand your lyrics.'”
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“We got the same janitor, some of the same cheerleaders, and a lot of the same crowd,” Yankovic explained of the track’s video. “I don’t know how we found them, but we found a lot of the same people that were like, in the moshing scene.”
“I was talking to an executive from Nirvana’s record label, and they told me that after my parody came out, they sold another million units of Nevermind.”