Home > Musings > The Most Brilliant Night of My Life

The Most Brilliant Night of My Life

I’ve always had a strange relationship to music.  My parents didn’t listen to anything popular – it was all classical or some folk music like Judy Collins or Ravi Shankar.  They actually had The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album – but only because my parents didn’t know The Beatles’ music and had heard they’d played with Ravi Shankar.  They HATED that album.  The other music they had, and that I actually liked, was Allan Sherman and Tom Lehrer.

When I got a bit older I was pretty much not allowed to listen to anything that played on the radio.  Not that I liked it all that much; my best friend was a raving Michael Jackson lunatic – I couldn’t see the appeal.  But somehow I was allowed to listen to Weird Al, and from a young age thought he was awesome.

Even in my teenage years, I never really fit in music-wise.  I didn’t listen to the radio, so I didn’t realise a lot of the music I listened to wasn’t even from that decade.  I listened to Bowie, Bauhaus, The Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes. . .and Weird Al.  He was the most normal thing I listened to and probably kept me most in touch with popular music and culture.  When I was a teenager and didn’t fit in he helped me understand myself, that not fitting in was OK and that you can find your own way to fit in.

Then I spent several years living in non-English speaking European countries and had neither the money nor the inclination to keep up with popular music again.  ((Did you know that in France they have to (or at least had to) legislate what percentage of music airplay is from French artists?  And they have to do this because French pop music mostly sucks, so it wouldn’t get airplay otherwise.))  When I finally surfaced in the UK I had totally and completely lost touch with popular culture in the English speaking world.  This might not sound so bad, but when you look at it from a cultural literacy point of view it’s quite isolating.  Weird Al helped me reconnect.

So Weird Al has been a part of my life for a really long time.

After 18 December 2009 my life made even less sense than usual.  This is the day when, after struggling through years of IVF and finally being told I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, my son died at 14 weeks 2 days gestation.  I thought infertility was difficult before then, but after that even life seemed impossible.  I honestly think the only thing that kept me alive from month to month was attempting another cycle; and sometimes the only thing that could get me through a day was listening to Al Yankovic.  Although other things that are meant to amuse just rubbed me the wrong way and made me feel even worse, his music and his way of writing has been with me too long to not be comforting and familiar.

So mid last year when I found out he would be coming to Australia again, I was counting down the days until tickets went on sale.  When tickets went on sale on 26 November, I was refreshing the website ready for those first tickets.  And got fantastic seats for my efforts!  Then went off and had the transfer that resulted in Sparky.  I listened to Weird Al to help me get through that two week wait and all the endless weeks of waiting and drugs and spotting and highs and lows since.

So this helps explain how excited I was Friday morning, when the ‘sleeps to Weird Al’ had finally counted down to 0. And I had a great day. Met up with Meg for lunch, got a book my husband had ordered for me, we celebrated the decommissioning of an annoying information system at work. Then went to a quick dinner with my husband, one of my best friends and my brother- & sister-in-law, all excellent people. And then it was FINALLY time for the concert! We had fantastic seats; 2nd row centre. In my mind even better than 1st row as there’s no possibility of being embarrassed when he comes into the audience. And still photographs without flash were allowed; I was in heaven.

And Weird Al was excellent. He’s not one of those singers who when you hear him live his voice is pathetic without the usual electronic studio tinkering. He’s a performer. His live show has many costume changes so between songs he had all sorts of snippets from Al TV and UHF and all sorts of other things. The songs he performed ranged from some of his classic stuff to newer hits and included a medley of some of his parodies just to squeeze more in.

I took photos like a lunatic. I ‘only’ uploaded 98 to Flickr. Impressed with how restrained I was? And my camera attracted his attention. I thought a couple times while he was on stage he was singing some things straight at me.  After he’d finished the gurgling bit in Smells Like Nirvana, he threw his cup to me.  But when he came into the audience it was certain. It was hilarious (and of course embarrassing); even in the second row he put his foot in my lap.  Sounds like love to me; too bad we’re both married, eh?

By the end of the night I was so happy.  I was tired, my face hurt from smiling, buzzed, exhausted, lost most of my voice (no idea how – was I singing?!), but happy.  I have no idea when I last felt happy.  It’s been a long, long time.  And strangely enough I’m still riding that wave.  I don’t know how long it will last, but while it does I’m going to enjoy it!

The Stage from My Seat Craig's List Smells Like Nirvana White & Nerdy Wanna Be Ur Luvr The Saga Begins Medley: Gump Good Bye Hobart, I Love You All

Categories: Musings
  1. sooz
    30/03/2011 at 2:08 am

    Yay!! I’m so glad that you got to meet The Man! Sounds like you had a great time. I recently heard an interview with Weird Al and he was so intelligent and caring — he really impressed me. Great photos, too!

  2. 30/03/2011 at 6:02 am

    Wow you got completely awesome pictures! It sounds like it was amazing! 🙂

  3. a
    30/03/2011 at 1:48 pm

    Never washing your lap again, are you? Sounds like a great time. And I’ll bet Sparky comes out loving Weird Al.

  4. 31/03/2011 at 5:51 am

    Well, aren’t you the lucky one? First a great ultrasound of Sparky and then personal attention from Weird Al himself? Hope the good times just keep on coming!

  5. 31/03/2011 at 6:20 am

    *LOVE* this post. 🙂

  6. AnxiousMummy
    31/03/2011 at 10:16 am

    I love how you describe his music helping you through your darkest times. It is so wonderful you are now on the other side and have plenty of opportunities to be happy! I know it was so heartbreaking to lose Blobby but it is great to have a blue spark of new hope inside you 🙂 I loved all your pics, I am not familiar with all the songs but it sounds like a fab show. xxooo

  7. 31/03/2011 at 3:52 pm

    Good on you for having an awesome time! It sounds like I grew up in the same household as you, only I was treated to Greek music. Today, the CD shelf only has a small portion of my music and the rest my husbands. For me, my darkest days during IF were watching episodes of the re-invented Battlestar Galactica. Watching those episodes again I can now smile and know that finally I’m on the other side. I’m sure Al made you feel the same.

  8. Bec
    31/03/2011 at 7:28 pm

    hilarious pics! so fabulous to hear you happy, drink it in, you deserve it.

  9. 01/04/2011 at 9:51 am

    Ah – that’s the post I was waiting for! Thanks for sharing your background & connection to him, and amazing photos. That man was definitely making love to your camera (and you) in Wanna Be Ur Luvr by the looks of those photos. So glad it brought so much happiness for you!

  10. Mel
    03/04/2011 at 5:56 am

    Oh my G-d, I think I love you even more now for loving Weird Al this intensely.

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