For at least one reason, last night's telecast of the Grammys might have opened better with something other than Lady Gaga and Elton John dueting while made up to look like they'd survived an explosion. It took me back to a really weird day in Portland, something like 20 years ago, when I went from enjoying a Sub Pop band play in a park, to a sports stadium where I watched ZZ Top end a show by guitar-sashaying on their moving sidewalk thingies out to a voltage shack, which then "exploded," so that Billy Gibbons and the other two could guitar-sashay back out for an encore in costumes that were now all ripped-up and charred. I thought it was one of the most ridiculous and embarrassing things I'd ever seen.
Which reminded me that every year while watching the Grammys, I tell myself that I'm not going to watch them ever again because they make me feel so fucking old. And I'm pretty sure it was Steely Dan winning album of the year in 2001 against Eminem when I was first made to feel old, and it's been the same ever since. Hell, this year Billy Armstrong made me feel ancient, not because he's younger than me but because those punks led a capacity-crowd on a chant against my writing after Dookie came out, 16 goddamn years ago. Trey Cool claimed I'd misquoted him, which I hadn't. In fact, the only thing I missed was the rant, because I happened to be in the bathroom at the time it occurred. (Cool was forced to apologize after the show when I produced a cassette of the interview, which I just happened to have in the car. This was before unionized rants against my writing became the regional pastime, so I went out of my way in search of vindication that night.) And J-Lo introducing them? Embarrassing on so many levels, the least of which was her godawful dress. I hate people who can't commit to one length or the other.
I kind of liked Taylor Swift for a tiny moment during her SNL gig (the hosting, NOT the musical guest parts), but what the fuck did she say when she walked up there to accept that first award?! And she butchered "Rhiannon" while old Stevie Nicks couldn't have looked less enthused. I swear I saw her hit herself in the head with her tambourine, probably in hopes of relieving her misery. The only person who looked more miserable in Swift's presence was Lady Gaga, after it was announced she'd been beat out by the boobless wonder. Okay, the people sitting directly behind Lady Gaga were probably more miserable. That was some hat.
So last year, as I lay in a hospital bed on the ante-partum wing at Swedish, a month in to what would turn out to be a two-month stay, I told myself I wasn't going to watch the Grammys that night. But c'mon, I was lying in a hospital bed, so of course I was gonna end up watching it, and M.I.A. goes and makes me feel infirm for being laid up because I was 44 years old and pregnant with twins while she's strutting around on stage on her flippin' due date. Last night I had just begun the internal argument as to whether or not I would watch when, two hours before the broadcast, young Christopher Frizzelle phoned to ask if I'd do it for him and then write whatever I goddamn wanted afterward. (Bet he's sorry now!) So there I was again, hanging out in front of the TV, feeling grizzled, and irritated now as Leonard Cohen's Lifetime Achievement award is mentioned in passing before Pink came out looking like Heddy Lamar in Algeirs...or was it Dishonored Woman...only blonde. And then she was naked. Then she was somehow all wet and slinging water everywhere. And was it just me, or did anyone else wonder if there was there some kind of wedgie clause in the performers' contracts? Lady Gaga, Pink, Fergie, Jamie foxx's dancers—so many had had on outfits that lodged in their butt cracks. Except for Lil Wayne, who sported the exact opposite of a wedgie.
I hate the country bits. Those people can't dress to save their lives. And I can tell you just by looking at them that the Zac Brown Band is a great big bunch of hacky sack hippies. But the Lady Antebellum performance, and the curtain falling on the lady's head? Well, it gave me the opportunity to open up youtube and cackle anew over Bret Michaels getting bonked on the nose by a set piece at the Tonys (here). My husband tells me all the time that I seem to delight in the misfortune of others, and all the time, I tell him that he is absolutely right.
Bon Jovi's performance just reminded me how much I can't stand to look at Ritchie Sambora's stupid, lifted face. He looks like Lady Elaine Fairchild. You know, from the museum on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. They have the same hairdo. Did it have to look like Roberta Flack was reading the lyrics to "Where Is the Love" off a karaoke screen? Then again, the night had dragged on for EVER. So if I seem as fuzzy as Roberta, it's because I am. Take it all with a salt lick. I am, as I said, feeling old. As must Lady Gaga this morning, not even 24 years of age, having to hear all about Taylor Fucking Swift, three years junior, being the youngest person ever to win the Album Of The Year award. And for that reason alone, I swear to god I'm never watching the Grammys again.