He took me to see Weird Al for my birthday, even though he’s not a huge fan. (Neither of those is the reason. The first was a boyfriendly obligation as far as I was concerned, and I knew that he would enjoy the show more than he thought he would.)
Al closed with a little ditty called Albuquerque, which was a great treat for me because it is a very unusual song and he didn’t perform it during his last tour, except in Albuquerque.
I was standing at this point, bouncing and singing along. Rob was still sitting, which I forgave him for, because he’d never heard the song before. On the way back to the car, he asked what the deal was with Al and Albuquerque. “It’s just one of his songs,” I said.
Four hours or so later, when we were back home (the concert was in Yakima, more on this in a moment), Rob said, “That was a pretty crazy story. He was living in a basement and then he won that trip to Albuquerque, and his plane crashed, but he just went to the hotel, instead of getting treated for his injuries, and that guy came to his door…”
I thought maybe Rob had been sitting in his seat, wondering when this song was going to finally end, bewildered as to what his girlfriend sees in the artistry of Weird Al. But no. He was listening to the lyrics. I mean, what else could a girl ask for?
Actually, I asked if he could grow his hair out like Weird Al’s. When Rob was in high school, he had a really scary long frizzy mohawk. Since his hair was curly, I thought if he grew it out, he could put some product in it and it would be like Weird Al’s.
Rob said, “You’re not really into that, are you?”
Uh, no. Of course not.
The first time I saw Weird Al in the state of Washington, it was at the Puyallup Fair and I’d lived in the state for 9 months. It surprised me that during the song, Smells Like Nirvana, the crowd erupted in cheers after the lyric, “A garage band from Seattle.” The same happened the following year, at the same venue.
This year, I saw Al in Yakima, because he happened to be playing there on my birthday. What’s a 4-hour drive both ways? I fully expected a similar reaction to the line about Seattle. But, nothing.
Evidently, the folks in Central Washington don’t identify with the birthplace of grunge rock like those of us west of the Cascades.