March 30-April 1, 2001
Dementia 2001 was the second part of a weeklong series of activities for me. The first part of the week, Amanda and I went to go see The Arrogant Worms perform in Pennsylvania. We saw three shows in two cities. Brittany joined us for the last day, and the three of us went on to Detroit to Dementia 2001.
It seems like every time I fly to one of these conventions, I have a strange plane story. This time, about 15 minutes into the flight, the oxygen masks came down. There were problems with the pressure in the airplane so we had to turn around and head back. Luckily there were no serious problems with the first plane and we were able to get another uneventful flight immediately after we landed.
When we arrived in Detroit, we met up with Beth and Amanda. Amanda had taken a different flight, so she missed all the in-air activity. Beth drove us from the airport to the hotel and was kind enough to be our designated driver all weekend.
Admittedly I didn't spend much time at the actual convention, but I had a great time. I got to see some of the Detroit area, and hunt for hidden treasure in the record stores of Ann Arbor. It was nice to spend quality time with great friends. And it was nice to see everyone again.
The highlight of the convention was of course hearing the guest of honor, Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz speak. Jon has been "Weird Al" Yankovic's drummer since 1981 and archives and saves everything possible. I'm convinced if Jon chews a piece of gum, he saves the wrapper, dates it, and files it should he ever need to know how many pieces of gum he's chewed. So it was a real treat to see Jon's speech and video presentation, especially for a geek like me who loves that kind of stuff. Everything Jon showed had "never been seen before."
The video clips Jon showed had some early footage of an interview with Dr. Demento which included footage of Al singing "Another One Rides The Bus," a food medley from 1985, a medley from 1997, video clips from the Halloween Poughkeepsie show in which Al performed "Fat" in the "Smells Like Nirvana" outfit, and outtakes from recording of "Running With Scissors." The outtakes included an early take of Al singing "Truck Drivin' Song," the initial recording of "The Saga Begins," Jim and Rubén fooling around in the studio, the filming of the cover of the "Running With Scissors" album, and a special treat where Al flubs a line in "Your Horoscope For Today."
Besides Al content, Jon had other video clips of other demented performers, including never aired footage from a Dr. Demento special, rare songs from Tiny Tim and John Paragon, who, among other things, played the son of R.J. Fletcher in "UHF", and many others. It was a nice treat for demented music fans.
You can click on the highlighted words above and below to see more photos.