‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Explains Why He Has Never Parodied Bruce Springsteen
In a career spanning more than 30 years, “Weird Al” Yankovic has carved out a significant niche in rock history for his parodies and pastiches of popular hits. However, there is one major rock legend whose work he has never touched. In a new interview, he explains why he has yet to tackle a Bruce Springsteen song.
“That’s one of those cases where it’s just never worked out for me to do a straight-on Springsteen parody, for whatever reason,” Yankovic told ScreenCrush. “Either the timing wasn’t right or he didn’t have a big enough single at the time my album was coming out. Or I just flat out couldn’t think of a clever enough idea for one of his songs. So, yeah, that seems like a glaring omission, but I never got around to doing that. But it’s not because he doesn’t have a good sense of humor, he’s got a great sense of humor.”
Yankovic, whose new album, ‘Mandatory Fun,’ was released today (July 14), said that he and Springsteen’s paths have only crossed on one occasion. “He’s really cool,” he continued. “I got to meet him very briefly after he stepped off stage. I was invited to one of his shows and I got to say hi and shake his hand, very briefly, which was a thrill. In fact, there was a Rolling Stone cover story on him — and this is back in the ’90s — and they were talking about how he was on stage complaining about his poor record sales.”
The concert Yankovic referenced was on June 5, 1992, which was broadcast nationwide on the radio from Hollywood Center Studios as the final rehearsal of the ‘Human Touch’ tour. During ‘Glory Days,’ Springsteen poked fun at the commercial failures of his ‘Human Touch’ and ‘Lucky Town’ albums, which were released on the same day a few months earlier.
“In the crystal ball, I see romance,” he said. “I see adventure, I see financial reward. I see those albums, man, I see them going back up the charts. I see them rising past that old Def Leppard, past that Kris Kross. I see them all the way up past ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, even…Wait a minute. We’re slipping. We’re slipping down them charts. We’re going down, down, out of sight, into the darkness.”
Springsteen’s music has been parodied on a few occasions. In 1979, the ‘Sesame Street’ creative team wrote ‘Born to Add‘ and, four years later, released an album of that name which parodied ‘Born to Run’s’ cover. At the height of Springsteen popularity, Cheech and Chong had a hit with ‘Born in East L.A.,’ a parody of the title track to ‘Born in the U.S.A.‘ The song was later turned into a movie.
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Tells Diffuser All About ‘Mandatory Fun’