The “Weird Al” Yankovic Visual Retrospective: Lights, Camera, Accordion! To Be Released On November 15

On November 15, 1984 Publishing will publish Lights, Camera, Accordion!, a 256-page hardcover book presenting more than 300 color photographs of “Weird Al” Yankovic. All were hand-selected by Al’s drummer and photographer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, from Schwartz’s personal collection of 35mm color photography and restored from the original negatives. Since meeting Al in 1980, Schwartz has taken more than 20,000 images of the musician.

From behind-the-scenes shots taken on the sets of Al’s iconic videos for “Like a Surgeon,” “Amish Paradise,” “Gump,” “Smells Like Nirvana,” and the Star Wars parody “The Saga Begins,” to studio sessions, stage photographs, tour bus antics, and even personal shots, Lights, Camera, Accordion! is the ultimate photographic essay of Weird Al’s undisputed comedic genius. Schwartz grouped his photographs by album/tour/year, and included ample anecdotes and previously unheard stories throughout.

“It’s been another wonderful trip down memory lane for me, this time in living color,” says Schwartz. “We’re currently on a six-month, 125+ date tour and I’ve been sharing the book’s progress with Al and the band, and they’re as excited about it as I am! The fans have been very loyal to us for the last 40 years, and I know they’ll enjoy this book as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.”

“Wow wow! I’ve seen most of these pictures before, but it’s so nice to have them all in such good quality and in the same place… just a wonderful package,” comments Yankovic.

Fellow comedian Drew Carey penned the book’s foreword. “There are shots of Al in the studio. Eating pizza. Having fun with his friends. Recording the ‘Amish Paradise’ video. Performing ‘Like a Surgeon.’ When I first saw it, I thought ‘Wow. He looks like he’s having fun with his life.’ And because I know him just well enough to write the foreword to this book for free, I can tell you that he’s always like that. He IS the greatest,” says Carey, who guest-starred in Yankovic’s 1999 “It’s All About the Pentiums” music video.

Lights, Camera, Accordion! is a follow-up release to Schwartz’s popular black-and-white volume Black & White & Weird All Over, which focused on his use of black-and-white film in the first few years of Yankovic’s career. During that period, and until 2006, Schwartz mostly shot on 35mm color film, which is represented here.

Aside from the 256-page stand-alone hardbound volume, a limited edition deluxe boxed set featuring a copy of the book with alternative artwork and blue gilding, Bermuda’s signature, twelve 9”x12” prints, six postcards, a 35mm bookmark containing stills from the “Bob” music video, and other exclusive pieces of ephemera will be available on 1984Publishing.com. The box set is limited to 350 pieces and is priced at $99, while the book itself retails for $40. Pre-orders for the box set begin at 1 PM EST on Monday, August 1, 2022.

Published by Larry Fire

I write an eclectic pop culture blog called THE FIRE WIRE that features articles about books, comics, music, movies, television, gadgets, posters, toys & more!

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