So it's hardly a surprise to learn the late Minnesota-born music icon never granted "Weird Al" Yankovic permission to get silly with his songs. Speaking with People last week, Yankovic, 56, detailed his decades-long desire to parody Prince.
“I had a parody of ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ that was about The Beverly Hillbillies,” the four-time Grammy winner told People. “And I wanted to do something funny with ‘When Doves Cry,’ and ‘Kiss.’ For ‘1999,’ I wanted to do an infomercial where you could get anything you wanted by dialing 1-800-something-1999.”
Many artists consider it honor to receive the "Weird Al" treatment, with Kurt Cobain -- who's not exactly known as a goofball -- apparently saying, "You haven't really made it until there's a Weird Al spoof."
Paul McCartney was tempted to grant permission, but his vegetarian beliefs got in the way of Al's purposed "Chicken Pot Pie" re-imagining of "Live and Let Die." Yankovic says Prince is pretty much the only artist who has refused to bless his song parodies. Even Prince's arch-rival Michael Jackson was down to clown.
Alas, we'll never hear a polka-infused remix of The Purple One's lusty jams.
“It’s too bad,” Yankovic lamented to People. “I hadn’t approached him in about 20 years because he always said no, but I had this fantasy that he’d come out with a new song, I’d have a great idea, he’d finally say yes, and it would erase decades of weirdness between us. But that’s obviously not going to be the case.”
Al's Mandatory World Tour will hit the State Theatre in Minneapolis on August 19. He recognized our critic's hot dog costume last year at Mystic Lake Casino. Your friends at City Pages extended interview requests last week to Yankovic's reps, so stay tuned for the definitive interview about Prince and "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota."