Sunday, February 08, 2009
Tonight - The Grammys - And We Don't Care...
I remember back around 1980 or so, The Go Go's were nominated for a Grammy Award. None of my punk rock friends nor I really cared about this dubious mainstream honor, but at the same time, it was an indication that lots of people out there noticed what you were doing.
Belinda Carlisle is pictured above standing next to a cardboard cut out of Elvis Costello, one of two punk rock era artists to actually win a Grammy Award. EC however won his Grammy in 1998, a good 20 years after the punk rock fact and he won it for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for a recording he did with classic pop master Burt Bacharach.
Needless to say, although I believed that perhaps the Go Gos were one of punk's Grammy winners, a search of the Grammy website for past winners turns up ZERO for notable punk rockers, many of whom are in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and museum of discarded leather pants.
I remember the Go Gos Grammy thing pretty vividly because a few weeks later, at one of my annual April Fools Parties (for those of us born in that month), Plimsoul Peter Case, (an April Fool himself) who was at the time dating Go Gos guitarist Charlotte Caffey described to me the whole hanging backstage at the Grammys experience which included a chance meeting with The Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis who had recently recovered from open heart surgery and was there downing beers like water.
That brings me to remind you that last year, Peter Case was nominated for a Grammy in the FOLK category for his fantastic album Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John. Peter also is recovering from recent open heart surgery (he wrote about it in his own blog on petercase.com, so I'm not revealing a secret, and if you'd like to send him your well wishes, you should drop by his blog and leave a note)
Blondie were nominated early on - the track "X Offender" from their debut eponymous album received a nod but not the statue. I also could have sworn that "Call Me" won some kind of Grammy... but perhaps it too was just a nominee.
Much to my surprise, platinum selling artists Joan Jett and Billy Idol are also absent from the Grammy winners list! And so are the Ramones who are however in the Hall of Fame.
Another Hall of Fame punk rock artist that doesn't show up in the Grammy winners list:
It boggles the mind. Well, my mind at any rate.
The Clash long form video "Westway to the World," directed by Don Letts, who was Mick Jones's partner in Big Audio Dynamite and an important figure in UK punk rock was a 2002 "Best Long Form Music Video" winner. But that award went to Letts, who for all the great work he's done, including the documentary Punk Attitude, seems to ignore the contributions of California punk rock, or at least think of us as an afterthought.
Green Day, who wear their admiration for the Ramones on their collective sleeves, have won three Grammys - in 1994, 2004 and 2005... in dubiously important big categories. Well, good for them... but... but... but... what about the artists who influenced them, and moreover, made the airwaves safe for the Green Days of the world?
No respect I tell ya! But it really really doesn't matter and I don't care. I don't think anyone should care either. Who wants acknowledgment from a body of people whose taste you don't agree with?
I will not be watching the Grammy Awards tonight. Whatever you do tonight, have fun.