Poodle Hat has a listing of who did what in each songs, and going through the booklet, it seems like Ruben Valtera only played the keyboard in a few songs. Was he unavailable for most of the recording sessions for this, or did he already play in a handful of songs for each album (since Poodle Hat is so far the only album to feature credits for each individual song)?
I also noticed that Ruben wasn't in the band photo. After he appeared in the band photo in Running with Scissors (albeit with his face unseen), I thought that he would start appearing in all band photos from now on. I would ask if he will be in the group photo in Straight Outta Lynnwood, but I know that there are fans here who do want to see any spoilers. Of course, it does make a bit of sense that he wasn't in the band photo in that album if he only played the keyboard in a handful of songs.
Questions & Answers with the one and only Jim West, Weird Al's guitar player!
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Jim's not answering questions here right now (not for a while, actually). Ruben was out of town with another commitment the day of the photo shoot for the band photo. He WAS invited to participate. A few times I've seen Al, or Al's publicity materials, refer to him as the "touring keyboardist." But I don't see anything wrong if Al wants to use a variety of keyboard players on his records. That's what he did for the ten years when it was just Al, Jon, Steve and Jim, after all.
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