Beck Regrets Denying “Weird Al” Yankovic Permission to Parody “Loser”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

As they say, hindsight is 20/20. And the latest artist to feel the sting of reflection is Beck Hansen, the alternative rocker who performs under the mononym Beck.

In a recent interview with Audible, Beck revealed that he regretted denying Weird Al Yankovic permission to parody his 1993 hit song, “Loser.”

“‘Weird Al’ Yankovic tried to do a version of [‘Loser’]. It was going to be called ‘Schmoozer’,” Beck said in a preview of the interview. “I regret denying him permission to do it. I think it would have been an amazing video. I’m actually really sad it didn’t happen.

Beck’s reasoning for turning down the award-winning parodist? He was afraid that Weird Al’s involvement with the song wouldn’t allow people to take him seriously.

“I had a lot of people who were veterans in the business telling me at 20, 21, 22, ‘You should go back to school,” Beck continued in the interview preview. “You don’t really have the talent to do this. The songs, as they are, aren’t going to work. They’re too rough. They’re too raw. They’re not real songs. These are kind of, like, sort of hodgepodge ideas.’

“[‘Loser’] wasn’t really taken seriously at all. And when it came out and it was popular, it still wasn’t taken that serious at all. I mean, you can go back to the press of the day. I just remember myriad articles and headlines of, ‘One-hit wonder joke band Beck,’ ‘Novelty act.’ I remember there was a review in a big paper in L.A. once, and it was not a lot of kindness. I felt very dismissed and kind of, like, a bit of a footnote,” he concluded.

While it can be easy to see where Beck was coming from at the time, he’s more than proved himself to the music industry since then. Beck has won eight Grammy Awards to date and several MTV Video Music Awards over the course of his eleven studio album releases. He’s certainly no “Loser.”

Check out Beck’s interview preview with Audible below.

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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