Yesterday afternoon, “Weird” Al Yankovic wrote on his blog about recording a song called “Perform This Way,” a parody of Lady Gaga’s anthem “Born This Way.” But it wasn’t a wacky Weird Al story; it was sad. According to Al the Big Monster herself denied him permission to release the song. So the curly-haired parody master regretfully threw it up on YouTube so his fans could at least hear it.
A few hours after the post, the world got good news. It turned out Gaga is gaga for Al. Apparently, her manager made the initial call without asking Gaga. The parody is now green-lit and will be the lead single on Yankovic’s next album. Crisis averted. That was a close call for Lady Gaga. She almost joined the humorless group of musicians who are too insecure to withstand Yankovic’s inoffensive, lighthearted jabs at their persona. Artists like…
Sir Paul claims to be a fan of Yankovic’s albums. However, he doesn’t love his work being placed under the Weird-scope. Yankovic approached the second Beatle with the idea of parodying Wings’ “Live and Let Live” with a song called “Chicken Pot Pie.” Being a vegetarian, McCartney found it disgusting and denied.
The pretty Brit granted Yankovic permission to parody his breakout hit “You’re Beautiful” with “You’re Pitiful.” But the people at Blunt’s label, Atlantic Records, didn’t like it and talked him into changing his mind. The song was pulled from “Straight Outta Lynwood,” but was released online and “Weird” Al plays it in concert.
“Amish Paradise” is still one of Yankovic’s biggest hits, but the “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper claims he never approved it. The dreaded MC said his label gave legal permission, but he didn’t. That didn’t stop him from cashing the royalty checks Yankovic’s song sent him. In 2006, Coolio and Weird talked it out and they’re cool now.
Like Sir Paul, Page is a Yankovic fan. However, when Weird approached him with the idea of recording a polka melody of Led Zeppelin tunes, the guitarist said no. Why you hatin’ on accordions, Jimmy? While he denied the polka, Page did allow Yankovic to re-record a sample of “Black Dog” for “Trapped in the Drive-Thru.”
The original Guy Gaga is “Weird” Al’s Moby Dick. He has been trying for decades to parody one of Prince’s songs, but is denied every time. Every few years, Yankovic pulls up his suspenders and approaches Mr. Purple Rain again, just to see if he’s learned the definition of humor. To date, the answer is still no.
Of all the people on this list, Slim Shady has to be the most surprising. He talks more smack than all NBA players combined. You would think he’s bulletproof, but it turns out his Achilles’ heel is silliness. Although Eminem let Yankovic parody “Lose Yourself” with the song “Couch Potato,” he denied him permission to make a video for it. Marshall thought it’d be harmful to his image.