Ok....umm, where to start? I guess the beginning is good.
My friend Evan and I were the first ones to arrive at the studio, and we sat and waited for around 20 minutes while other people arrived. Then they let the few of us that were there on time into the cafeteria, were we did more waiting and more and more people arrived. Eventually I met Narelle27 [who is super nice, btw] and we were led into the studio [passing Al's dressing room on the way]. The four of us [myself, Evan, Narelle and her husband] got seats front and center. Adam Hills spent some time chatting with the audience, asking if anyone had come down from the country, if anyone had come from overseas, and because he was excited to have Al on the show, he asked if anyone had gone specifically to see Al. Our hands were the only ones to go up, and Adam noticed our clipboards with the petition pages and pointed them out to Al. Narelle and I explained that we were collecting signatures for the Rock Hall campaign, and Adam was pretty excited at the idea. He said he wanted to be the first one there to sign it, so I handed him my clipboard. He then said that he thought Al should sign it first, and gave it to him, so I have a page signed "Al Yankovic - Lynwood, CA" with his signature, but he signed it "Al Yankovic". Adam continued to chat with the audience, and we were all laughing and getting into it, then I notice that Al was looking at me, I mean right
at me. So I looked back
The show was really fun. Al did this game were they have to sing random sections of text to the tune of a song, and he was given a pocket thesaurus. He took it saying something like "I'm used to the hardback but this will do"
They had a bit of a chat about his parodies, and he mentioned that he considered parodying the Gnarls Barkley song 'Crazy' and one of the guys on Al's team was suggesting lyrics, and Al said "this is my life, everyday" [referring to being given parody ideas]
The show went down without too much input from Al, partly because the other guest, the singer from Punk-Reggae band The Slits, just wouldn't shut up and had no idea what was going on half the time.
They played clips from the SLN, Fat and W&N videos and the show went out to Bob, which Adam introduced as a VIDEO. Al was so sweet, he stayed sitting at the desk and watched the video, mouthing the occasional lyric. Then the crazy lady from The Slits got up and sang a Jamaican song a Capella, and Al did a crazy boneless boy type dance in the background.
The show ran overtime so we were ushered out of the studio fairly quickly, even though we wanted to wait for Al. We went and stood in the corridor by his dressing room and waited for him, but he was ushered into the VIP greenroom from another corridor, so we only saw the back of him. Narelle asked if we could go in, mostly for the benefit of Evan and myself as we haven't met Al before, but she [the person we asked] said she could lose her job if she let us into the greenroom, and that it was unlikely that we'd catch Al on his way out. We left it at that and went to the reception, where Narelle asked the security guy at the door if Al would be coming out that way/where he would be leaving from, and he said if we waited around he'd probably come through there.
So we waited, for about 10 minutes. Then Al came out and said hi to us [there was only the four of us, and a security guard at the desk]. He shook my hand, and I asked how his flight was, then we got autographs and photos, and I spoke to Jay Levey [and now that I think about it, I have no idea how I recognised him, I must have seen a photo somewhere] and told him we'd be at the Melbourne show, he said he'd see us there. Then Al said something about seeing us if he didn't have to leave right away, and I said "yeah, because you're in Canberra the next day", and he said "really? Well we might have to leave right after the show then" and we had a chat about how long it takes to get there and whether he was flying or going on the bus which is an 8 hour drive. We must have been chatting for about 10 minutes, which wouldn't have happened if there was more people there. I also asked him whether he thought Bob was a video, and he said "it's whatever you want it to be", and then he said that he'd better say "no comment" in case his answer got back to Dave Rossi.
Al left and got into a car with Jay, and Evan and I walked out into the car park, deliberately heading towards the exit for vehicles [it was a one-way entrance/exit system] and Al waved to us from his car as they drove past us.
Al was such a nice guy. I was a little bit worried he wouldn't live up to the image I had in my head from other people's stories, but he was just the nicest guy. He took the time to talk to us, even though he must have been really tired.
The tsunami of immediacy will wash away the flood of grief, and reveal a layer of naive optimism underneath