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Alfred Matthew Yankovic isn't as catchy as "Weird Al," but then again, in high school, he didn't need any catchy nickname. He was the model student in his hometown of Lynwood, Calif.: straight A's and the senior class valedictorian.

College was another story. Although Yankovic graduated from college with a degree in architecture, he realized he wasn't as good as he wanted to be."I looked around and didn't enjoy it anymore," Yankovic said during a phone call from a hockey arena in Alberta, Canada. "That was a blow to my ego and I didn't know what I was going to do. So I began making music and changed my name to `Weird Al'. "

"Weird Al" Yankovic and his Bad Hair Band - guitarist Jim West, bassist Steve Jay, drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz and keyboardist Ruben Valtierra - will play the Utah State Fairpark coliseum, Tuesday, June 25. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Yankovic, who picked up the accordion a day before his 7th birthday (he's 36 now), had a hobby of making up new lyrics to hit songs - much like Spike Jones and Allan Sherman in the early '60s.

Radio, said Yankovic, is an important part of his life.

"I learned how to play rock music on the accordion," he said. "I took polka music lessons for three years and then decided to do things on my own. So that's how the pop music and polka stuff got together."

Yankovic would sit in his room listening to the radio, trying to figure out the pop tunes, he said. His life changed when the dial landed on the syndicated Dr. Demento show.

"The type of music he played warped my mind and changed the world for me and my accordion," Yankovic remembered. "So I began making these tapes and sending them into the show."

After playing a few of Yankovic's tunes, the Good Doctor began sending the warped genius letters of encouragement.

"I always did music as a hobby," said Yankovic. "I didn't sit down and decide to do `Weird Al' as a career. It just sort of happened and became a monster over which I have no control."

Yankovic's big break came with the release of his self-titled debut back in 1983. The album spawned the single and MTV staple "Ricky," his parody of Toni Basil's "Mickey" and "I Love Lucy."

Yankovic, who is an avid radio listener (obviously), made his own take on Michael Jackson ("Eat It" and "Fat"); on Greg Kihn ("I Lost on Jeopardy"); the Police ("King of Suede") and Madonna ("Like a Surgeon").

His 15th album, "Bad Hair Day," contains "Amish Paradise," a spoof on Coolio's Grammy Award winning "Gansta's Paradise," and "Gump," which makes a play on the President of the United State's "Lump." Recently, Yankovic's new critic's rave is the opening credits to the Leslie Nielson spy spoof "Spy Hard."

Throughout his career, Yankovic has won two Grammys and garnered eight nominations, 14 gold and platinum awards in the United States and Canada, three best-selling videos and his own Showtime and MTV specials, along with his feature film "UHF."

"It's a dangerous business," mocked Yankovic. "Anyone who wants to do it should leave it up to the professionals. And if they don't, I'll have to get someone to take care of them."

As in dust them off?

"Let's just leave it at that," he snickered.