I have met Al in some pretty interesting places but this was definitely the strangest. For those who don't know much about Los Angeles geography, Van Nuys is like the least desirable place you'd want to be in the whole city. The best way to describe Van Nuys is just sketchy. It's not dangerous and you would never feel unsafe, but you always leave the place feeling kind of funny. (Full disclosure: I used to live about 15 minutes from here in North Hollywood.)
I had to essentially sneak in because I don't have a CostCo membership. Luckily a friend let me borrow her ID card. The last time I saw Al in an in-store setting it was the SOL record signing at Hollywood Virgin Megastore (RIP). He came out and they blasted songs from the album, he posed in the Lynwood jacket for a few minutes while people snapped pictures, and anyone shopping in the store would have been subjected to the fanfare.
In this case, Al was literally stationed at the end of the coffeemaker aisle.
I arrived with my friend Pete who has around 2 posts on this forum under the name bandergrove. (
) We walked around and found the display of When I Grow Up on the shelves and each picked up a copy. The table was surprisingly well stocked with the book. We met up with Justin "mrmeadows" Meadows and stood in line. Eventually Meli also showed up. We all sort of did the usual thing you do when standing in a group of big Weird Al fans: talk about Weird Al minutia including speculation on what the new lead single will be and what other songs he may have already parodied. (
When I got to the front, I had to pre-plan what I would have Al write on the book and an employee wrote it on a sticky note. He signed it "To Jon's potential future children."
I asked him how the lead single search was going, and he said he's not going to do "Born This Way." It seemed like he was still racking his brain to figure out what he would do and that he really hopes it happens sometime this year. It's hard to tell whether that was just an act or if he is really that concerned about it because he basically had the same reaction when I asked him about this last August. He did say there would be a few tour legs coming up this year, but no details yet.
I got a picture with Al, and then Pete, Justin, and Meli did. All four of us posed for a WOWAY group photo to commemorate the meet-up. Hopefully I'll get those photos soon. Meli should have a copy too. All in all, it was cool to meet Al again, especially in the middle of a bulk and I'm glad I got an autographed copy of his book for the potential future youngins...