Before the Grammy Awards last year I highlighted performances by Miles Davis and the double-genre performance by Wynton Marsalis that took more than 10 minutes and would be impossible today … if those categories still even existed. The Grammy Awards are now all about corporate self-congratulation, highlighting the few artists who sell all the records and those who get rich on their backs.
Last year there was outrage when Justin Beiber had “his” best new artist award ‘stolen’ by the amazingly talented Esperanza Spalding (of course, ANYONE in the category was/is more talented than Beiber, but that is beside the point) and an industry vet railed about how people like Eminem and Beiber paid for those awards. He went on to say that it was the duty of the Grammy awards to just shut up and hand out awards to top-selling artists. Huh??
Apparently he never heard of The Beach Boys, The Who or Led Zepplin.
USA Today has a great list of acts that never won a Grammy award. Aside from those acts, Buddy Holly, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Queen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Marley, Diana Ross, Chuck Berry, or The Kinks. Most of those acts had many chances for recognition but were never honored.
Of course, back when most of those acts were putting out their epic works there were far fewer categories … and none specifically for Rock music. Yet it is amazing when we hear from of these current “artists” who think that by having a hit song they are somehow automatically deserving of an award and then get a look at the many of the legends of rock who never got a single trophies. And perhaps best of all… they didn’t really seem to care.
And speaking of not caring, here is the most amazingly bizarre introduction that is of the sort we will never see now on the Grammy Awards…