For those about to rock, Grammy dismisses you.
In general, rock music these days is treated as something of a fringe concern by the voting members of the Grammy Academy.
No one took offence to the apparent disregard more than Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who took to Twitter after CBS pulled the plug early on a rockestra finale at the end of Sunday’s late-running broadcast, which resulted in a truncated showing of a high-watt fandango involving Queens of the Stone Age, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Dave Grohl and the Nails.
“Music’s biggest night … to be disrespected,” Reznor tweeted in the direction of the network and/or the awards show organizers. He tacked on a “heartfelt” middle-fingered expression of contempt, for emphasis.
The supergroup managed to perform NIN’s Copy of A and a fair bit of Queens of the Stone Age’s My God Is the Sun before the network ran promos and rolled credits as the music continued in the background. This has happened in the past – to Arcade Fire in 2011, for example – and it’s generally considered that the finale spot is not a top billing, especially after a satiated audience had just heard the announcement of the night’s most prestigious prize, the record of the year. (Won this year by Daft Punk, for Random Access Memories.)
None of the albums considered for the record of the year were part of any Grammys rock categories, except Imagine Dragons, which won best rock performance for the single Radioactive, but was not considered “rock” enough for nomination in the best rock album category. That award bizarrely went to Led Zeppelin for Celebration Day, a live album by a defunct group, from a one-off reunion concert in 2007. Best rock song went to Cut Me Some Slack, a track by the Grammy-worshipped Paul McCartney and the former members of Nirvana, from Dave Grohl’s documentary soundtrack Sound City: Real to Reel.
Black Sabbath won the trophy for best metal performance, but the talk involving the legendary British group focused on the incoherent ramblings of singer Ozzy Osbourne, who joined his bandmates on stage to introduce Ringo Starr. The winning entry from Sabbath was the questioning rocker God is Dead? One could ask the same question of rock.