“I was so nervous my foot was shaking on my wah pedal. After the gig someone said, ‘Wow! How are you getting that sound?’” Weird Al Yankovic guitarist Jim “Kimo” West on shaky beginnings, parody rock glory – and his Grammy-winning third act

Jim 'Kimo' West
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Outrageous antics, striking music videos and massive world tours have defined Weird Al since his earliest days as an accordion-slinging songwriter turned parody master.

Albums like Even Worse (1988), Off the Deep End (1992) and Bad Hair Day (1996) were memorable for their humorous takes on Michael Jackson, Nirvana and Coolio’s music.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.