This year's 50th Grammy Celebration was so superior to last year's awards ceremonies that I can barely contain my thoughts as I type. So many highlights. So many great moments. I hope you had a chance to watch the show. In case you didn't here's a bit of what you really missed out on from my seats in the 200 level:
The Time reunited to perform "Jungle Love." Flat out fun. They had the Staples Center grooving. Rihanna joined them half-way through to perform her hits "Umbrella" and "Don't Stop The Music." What became abundantly apparent was how superior the Time's nearly 25 year old song was. Rihanna's performance was helped by being backed by one of the premier funk outfits of all time. Morris Day and Jerome still have the moves and the comedy timing down!
Aretha Franklin and Co. ran through gospel hits ancient and new. They brought Cherch to the show like never before. And when the choir and 'Retha finished with "the Old Landmark" it was time to grab a fan and cool off.
Tina Turner. Ahem. Tina! Turner! Hot dang. I hope that I have that kind of energy when I'm whatever age she isn't! Tina's iron-hot "Proud Mary" was probably the most exciting segment of the night. Beyonce held her own duetting with Tina, but this was Tina's moment. Makes you wish she hadn't retired. Tina danced her butt off in that silver lame outfit. Come back, Tina, come back!
Kanye West and Daft Punk rocked out "Stronger." Looking like a hip-hop version of Tron, Kanye really amped up the crowd. And then when he cooled things off with his tribute to his recently departed mother, "Hey Mama" everyone felt his loss. But when he accepted his award for Best Rap Album did is usual snarky and fabulously arrogant personality returned. His speech was running long and the cut-off cue began while he was thanking his mom. Kanye quipped, "now would be a good time to stop the music."
Even artists I didn't root for or know much about were fun to hear, especially country star Brad Paisley's "I'd Like To Check You For Ticks." Of course, I was blown away by the trio of John Fogerty, Jerry Lee Lewis and the architect, Little Richard. They tore through Fogerty's new song "Revival" and spiced it up with footstomping bridges of "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Good Golly Miss Molly." You know how much I love Richard and he had the crowd eating up that rock and roll like it was 1958!
Of course, the performance I had been waiting for delivered on every level and then some. Cuba Gooding Jr. introduced a cleaned up Amy Winehouse who performed via satellite from a studio in London. It should go down as one of the hottest perfs in Grammy history. Amy tore into "You Know I'm No Good" and segued into her massive Grammy winning hit "Rehab." Art imitating life, imitating art, imitating life. Amy is a powerful vocalist with great stories to tell. I'm happy for her that she got her act together enough to do the show, even from 5000 miles away. I have mentioned before that I voted for Wino in all four major categories (she scored in 3). So I was really pulling for her performance and for her to win. I was certainly applauding loudest in our section each time she rang up a victory and after her singing.
As for my personal experience at the show, much better than last year. Many of the people I voted for won! I even got to congratulate several of last night's winners including Terence Blanchard, Jim Lauderdale and the late Gerald Levert's mom. The pretelecast ceremony was not as much fun as last year in terms of star power, BUT, there was a special segment that featured a performance by the last of the Delta blues giants. Pinetop Perkins and Honeyboy Edwards accompanied Koko Taylor on "Let The Good Times Roll." Oh my. It was about 270 years of musical experience tearing up the joint. Unforgettable.
There are so many other moments I could write about, like Ringo and George Martin on stage; Jason Bateman's hilarious segments introducing the last great American rock band Foo Fighters; or Herbie Hancock and Lang Lang revisiting the 20th Century classic "Rhapsody In Blue." Instead, I'll tell you about My Grammy Moment.
As my beautiful date and I were leaving our seats, I realized we were about to walk past Sam Moore of the legendary Sam & Dave. I had waved to him last year at the pretelecast (I had voted for him in best Trad R&B album, which he did not win). But I seized the opportunity to say hello and tell him how much I appreciated him and his music. Come on, I sang "Hold On I'm A-Comin'" in Liverpool! Sam was genuinely warm in taking time for me. We chatted about his nomination from last year and Amy Winehouse's crazy dance moves. Then he was kind enough to pose for a picture. It was the cherry on top of the sundae. Sam Moore is the original SOUL MAN. There are few artists that I've wanted to meet as much as him. You made the night that much more special, Sam. "And I Thank You!"
Well, I am certainly going to do my best to get A Talent For Loving nominated for Best Urban/Alternative performance. I'll be up against some stiff competition from Gnarls Barkley, I imagine. If it's God's will, you never know!? I don't know how the Grammy folks are going to top this year's show, but I'll be there next year to find out.
This last photo is me and my arm candy (or is it the other way around) in front of the Foo Fighters' outdoor stage. We clean up good.
Peace & Disco Beats