I watched the 2017 Grammy Awards last night and I'm not sure why. I don't like awards shows (with the single exception of this single broadcast. Coincidentally, the 2017 Grammy Awards were hosted by James Corden, who also hosted last year's enjoyable Tony Awards. Unfortunately, his affable personality could not save this train wreck.) Awards shows are messy, awkward, uneven affairs that go on aimlessly for way too long. The performances are usually bad. The award presenters and recipients are poorly prepared. Aside from that...
As I watched the show (and tweeted along with the rest of the country), a few random observations crossed my mind...
- Ed Sheeran is boring. I am not familiar with his music, but based on the performance he gave last night, I'm not missing much.
- The Grammys aren't quite sure what the word "tribute" means, so they should probably stop doing them. Their version of a tribute to the Bee Gees included karaoke-caliber performances by a bunch of people who apparently never heard of the Bee Gees. The tribute to the late George Michael focused on diva-of-the-day Adele stopping her song after the first verse and insisting that she begin again. If you expected the Grammys to end on time, you can blame Adele for throwing the production ten minutes behind schedule.
- There was a fun take on Corden's popular "Carpool Karaoke" featuring Neil Diamond leading a raucous version of "Sweet Caroline," that was marred by the fact that country songstress Faith Hill obviously didn't know the words.
- I can only imagine the conversation that took place, leading up to Metallica's puzzling performance.
Producers: Hey do you guys want to perform on the Grammys?
Metallica: The Grammys? What, so we can stand there like idiots while you give another "Heavy Metal" award to Jethro Tull?
Producers: Aren't we past that, fellahs? After all, that was 1989 and we gave you plenty of recognition since then.
Metallica: Yeah, for a cover of a Queen song in '91. Y'know, we released five albums before that!
Producers: C'mon, do you want to perform or not?
Metallica: Oh... okay.
Producers: By the way, you'll have to perform with Lady Gaga.
Metallica: We have to perform "Radio Gaga?" Another Queen song?
Producers: No, no. Lady Gaga. The singer. She's very popular. Not with your fans, of course. Oh and James's microphone will have to be turned off during the first verse.
- Every one of us should have someone in our lives that we trust as much as Beyonce trusted that chair.
- John Travolta is, was and always will be "Barbarino."
I actually watched the whole show to see my favorite part of any awards show — The "In Memoriam" segment. This short remembrance is supposed to honor those who passed away since the last awards show. And, as always, there are omissions. This year was no exception. Way too much time was spent on the intro by John Legend, but at least big names like Prince and Leonard Cohen were mentioned, as well as jazz vocalist Al Jarreau who died earlier in the day. However, they forgot big band singer Kay Starr, The Roots drummer Questlove's father singer Lee Andrews, Thunderclap Newman's leader Andy Newman, Phil Kives, the founder of K-Tel Records, folksingers Glenn Yarborough and Oscar Brand, Pete Burns from Dead or Alive and electronica pioneer Jean Jacques Perrey.
Why do I subject myself to this, when I know it only frustrates and infuriates me?
I'll let you know after the Oscars in two weeks.