In some alternate universe, “Weird Al” Yankovic could have been a novelty song one-hit-wonder like Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia instead of becoming the greatest parody musician of all time. That’s because he once wrote a song about Pac-Man, and if not for the overly litigious (or maybe appropriately litigious) lawyers working for he Beatles, his Pac-Man song could’ve been the song we all think about when we think about Pac-Man songs. Now, Yankovic is finally releasing his Pac-Man song—a parody of “Tax Man” by the Beatles—as part of his career-spanning Squeeze Box collection.
Nerdist has a piece on the history of the song, and it sounds like Yankovic’s “Pac-Man” could’ve predated “Pac-Man Fever” if he had been able to release it. Instead, it only popped up for a week on Dr. Demento’s radio show, at which point a cease-and-desist letter arrived telling Dr. Demento that he couldn’t play it anymore. In the years since, though, Yankovic has befriended George Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison, who helped grease the wheels a little bit so Yankovic could get clearance to include the song in his box set.
You can hear “Pac-Man” at this Nerdist link, and the Squeeze Box will be available later this year.