WEIRD SLIM SHADY
Weird Al Yankovic is going to be doing a parody of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” on his next album. It is just remarkable that Yankovic is able to keep plugging away despite vast changes in popular music over his now 20-plus-year-old career.
Update (19:31): A post on Amish Tech Support (via Inoperable Terran) put me in mind of this: Way back in 1991, the group 2 Live Crew did a rather raunchy parody of “Pretty Woman,” the Roy Orbison hit. Orbison’s people sued and lost. The court ruled that parody constituted “fair use” and there was no need for Orbison to give permission. (The first source I found on Google.)
Update (19:38): Laurence responds via e-mail that
If I’m not mistaken, Weird Al likes to seek permission of his subject before parodying them. Not only does this avoid legal hassles, but many artists are flattered by the fact that he wants to paordy them, they recognize that it might boost their own sales, and they often provide him with keyboard programming or even sit in on the studio sessions to perform.
Didn’t Mark Knopfler perform on the Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies song for UHF?
This is my recollection as well. My take is that Al is a class act and doesn’t want to offend the “artist” in question. He has pretty much said that he wouldn’t have done the Coolio parody if he’d realized it was a problem.