Weird Al a keyboard short of a full band

The Herald
October 18, 2003
by Michael Gadd

The Herald

POP music satirist Weird Al Yankovic appeared one man short at Newcastle Airport yesterday.

He arrived in advance of tonight's Civic Theatre show with his band, management, wife and daughter, but his keyboard player Rubén Valtierra was apparently "detained" at Gold Coast Airport, Coolangatta.

Yankovic told The Herald: "I'm a little concerned about the whereabouts of my keyboard player.

"I think he may have said something to one of his fellow passengers."

Weird Al, in person, appears nothing less than a nice guy.

"I hope he wasn't arrested, he's probably being cavity searched as we speak while trying to convince the authorities he isn't a terrorist, just a musician," he said.

Queensland police were unable to shed any further light on the issue and airport security could not be reached for comment.

Yankovic is in Australia for the first time since he was sent here to promote a starring role in the cult feature film The Vidiot From UHF in 1989.

After a demanding run of promotional appearances for his Poodle Hat tour he has met near-capapcity crowds.

Tonight's show at the Civic Theatre, the final appearance of the tour, had about 100 seats remaining and is expected to be sold out by the time the curtains go up at 8pm.

Yankovic said he treasured the differences between Australia and the United States.