Demos

Questions & Answers with the one and only Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Weird Al's drummer since 1980!

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bermuda
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Re: Demos

Post by bermuda »

This is the first I've heard that Al might have considered a Led Zep polka.

The U2 Polka had the hits you'd imagine it would, as of early 1988 that is. I don't think I should be more specific without Al's permission.

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Re: Demos

Post by Skippy »

Fair enough. That covers up to Joshua Tree, so the obvious list would be:

Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
With or Without You
Pride (In the Name of Love)
New Year's Day
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Gloria
I Will Follow

It's possible that some of the other singles were more popular than I remember, but those seem like the clear backbone. Immediately, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" sticks out as a suitable closer (just imagine the repeating "What I'm looking for/What I'm looking for..." leading us out.)

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Re: Demos

Post by mrmeadows »

Interesting. Was the U2 polka scrapped for artistic reasons (e.g. as stated, Al just decided he didn't want a polka on this album) or legal/permission issues involved in being able to use the U2 songs?

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Re: Demos

Post by bermuda »

Oh, just the occasional legal/permission type issues, except in this case, it took down a whole polka!

I'll bet U2 misses the few thousand $$ they could've made! :oo

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Re: Demos

Post by mrmeadows »

Wow. What could have been! :sadeyes:

So did U2 take themselves a bit too seriously circa 1988* and just "lighten up" years later when they allowed the BHD parody? Or was it more their label or agent doing the blocking back then, a'la James Blunt/Atlantic?

*I realize the answer to this question is somewhat obvious.

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Re: Demos

Post by minnick27 »

Yeah im thinking this is a sarcastic answer.
Talking about music is like fishing about architecture- FZ

bermuda
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Re: Demos

Post by bermuda »

mrmeadows wrote:So did U2 take themselves a bit too seriously circa 1988* and just "lighten up" years later when they allowed the BHD parody?
Whether or not their position changed, permissions on medlies vs. single songs are handled differently. They were obviously good with one, but not the other.

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Re: Demos

Post by bizarreblair »

Jon,

You have made my week! I cannot express how vindicated I feel with your confirmation. When I mentioned this here years ago, no one believed me, and I couldn't remember exactly what you said when you talked about this. But since you have confirmed this, I'll go ahead and get a little more specific since people are asking...

I think you said that U2 changed their minds about being paid for the portions of the songs that comprise the polka versus being paid for the entirety of each song... As you touched on, the royalty payment situation is different for a parody versus a polka because Al gets special permission to pay the writers for the percentage of their song within the polka, which is also a percentage of the album. And if those permissions were denied, the polka would be impossible to release because the costs to pay for the full use of each song would outweigh the money made on the entire album.

Not sure how spot-on that is, but that is my understanding. Comment or don't as you see fit. It is this arrangement that makes me nervous about the future possibly not having albums because the rest of the album has to pay for the polka. But perhaps this would be a situation in the future where, if you want the polka, you have to buy the album as a whole on iTunes.

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Re: Demos

Post by Skippy »

bizarreblair wrote:But perhaps this would be a situation in the future where, if you want the polka, you have to buy the album as a whole on iTunes.
I could see that model working. Release parodies as they're recorded to be more timely (maybe have an original or two that gets released at the same time) and then later collect them all up and release as a "proper" album with a polka that isn't available individually. iTunes still has the Complete-Your-Album feature, right? (Honestly don't know; haven't used it in years.) With that, anyone who bought the stuff as it came out (i.e. everyone here and all other reasonable beings) wouldn't be forced into buying it all again just for the polka, but you couldn't get the polka without having paid for all of the other songs at some point.

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Re: Demos

Post by bizarreblair »

Did you guys record "Snack All Night" or "I'll Repair For You"?

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