abdule fakir, alison krause, caroline kennedy, dave grohl, eartha kitt, four tops, grammy awards, isaac hayes, jamie foxx, led zeppelin, leroi moore, levi stubbs, mpr, ne-yo, neil diamond, paul mccartney, radiohead, raising sand, robert plant, smokey robinson, steffan lessard, sweet caroline, weekly davespeak
Last night, Hubby and I returned from dropping Eldest Son off at school and turned on the television to discover that the Grammy Awards were on. We caught the last hour-and-a-half of the program. Very few awards were handed out during that time. Instead, the show was a series of performances punctuated by the occasional award. Not that I minded, especially since the show featured a variety of artists, both seasoned and new and showcased a variety of styles. There have been past Grammy Awards programs that have leaned heavily on one genre or another for performances, which gets old fast.
Alison Krause and Robert Plant won Best Album for Raising Sand. They were in the lineup of performers at last night’s Grammys. Their voices blend beautifully. Hubby and I agree that we prefer Plant’s work with Krause better than his Led Zeppelin stuff, if only because Zeppelin has been so overplayed on hard rock radio that we’re just sick of it.
Neil Diamond gave a gusty performance of his song Sweet Caroline. I say gutsy because this is the song that caused a flap a while back when it was revealed that Diamond wrote it in reference to a photograph of a then nine-year-old Caroline Kennedy. (“Touchin’ me, touchin’ you“)
Radiohead performed with an awesome student marching band. Dave Grohl looked pleased as punch to be drumming behind Sir Paul McCartney.
Smokey Robinson, Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo performed with the last remaining Top of the Four Tops, Abdul “Duke” Fakir. Last year, Four Tops member Levi Stubbs passed away and the group was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award from the Grammys this year, with Fakir accepting on behalf of the group.
As is customary on the Grammys, a retrospective montage was presented of those in the music business who have died in the past year. Eartha Kitt, Isaac Hayes, lots of names I didn’t know, but there was one I was waiting to see and it never appeared: LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band. LeRoi died this past year from complications of an ATV accident. The Dave Matthews Band won a Grammy Award in the past, so this was a big oversight in my opinion.
Not wanting to rush to judgment, I thought maybe his death had come up in some way during the part of the show I had missed, but my email newsletter from Weekly Davespeak confirmed the ugly truth. LeRoi had been left out. Fans were pissed, as was bandmate Steffan Lessard, who reacted first with disbelief on Twitter:
@dmblauren no way, WTF!! So sad, I mean really??
It just goes to show how full of shit the Grammys have become,
You All make me proud! Truely kick ass, Roi knew that, he loved you all,
This isn’t the first time LeRoi has been forgotten in a memorial retrospective. I was listening to MPR one day around New Year’s and heard a story on musicians who had died in the past year and LeRoi wasn’t mentioned there either.
While DMB’s fans sure didn’t forget, jeez, what a crappy thing to be overlooked by the industry. Which is why awards shows and presentations of any kind can leave a fungal taste in the mouths of a lot of people. Awards are fantabulous for those who win them and they suck for those who don’t. And they really, really bite the big zucchini when you’re left out altogether.
[Addendum: Feb 9, 2009: Just realized I had spelled Robert Plant’s name wrong. Fixed now. My apologies.]