Well, we know that Black Sabbath picked up a Grammy for Best Metal Performance yesterday before the awards show began, and in telling you about it, suggested that the awards show was still worth watching, as Metallica was set to play with Chinese pianist Lang Lang, and the show was slated to end with Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Lindsay Buckingham and Dave Grohl performing. Both of those things happened, but those that tuned in might have been disappointed – especially after the exclusion of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman when noting people that passed last year.
We’ll start with that. While it was nice that the passing of Deftones bassist Chi Cheng was noted, we’re sure we weren’t the only people dumbfounded by Hanneman not being noted. Not only have Slayer been nominated for five of the awards over their 30 year career, but they’ve won two (in 2006 for “Eyes of the Insane” and in 2007 for “Final Six”). With no offense to those that died in 2013, for record executives, disc jockeys and Mac Daddy from Kriss Kross to be noted and for a TWO TIME GRAMMY WINNER to not be is ridiculous, and the Grammys should be ashamed of themselves. Hell, even when they teased Dave Grohl’s performance as coming up, they showed him in a Slayer shirt from 2012’s Grammys.
Metallica’s performance of “One” was, well, interesting. Pianist Lang Lang was certainly impressive, and Metallica sounded pretty solid as well. But the two disparate genres being mashed into, er, one, it just felt like something wasn’t quite right. Lang got to lead off the performance with some impressive playing. He also got a solo before the song built to it’s double-time end. But Metallica tried classical once before, with 1999’s S&M, and it’s not like that wasn’t successful, but they didn’t necessarily need to revisit it.
And as for the much-hyped collaboration between Nine Inch Nails, QOTSA, Grohl and Buckingham, non-trendy rock and roll has been more or less banished from the Grammys, with the rock performance Grammys given before the ceremony (Led Zeppelin won that one, their first Grammy ever, btw). So to shoehorn both bands into a quick medley of Nine Inch Nails’ “Copy of A” and Queens’ “My God is the Sun” as the show ended should have been expected. But to obscure the last half of the performance with promotional consideration messages and credits, then to have the end completely cut out was an insult to the genre. Buckingham sounded great, the pairing of the two like-minded alt-rock bands was excellent, and once again, the Grammy organization seemed to not care, as the event ran a little late. Trent Reznor noticed the snub, tweeting “Music’s biggest night… to be disrespected. A heartfelt FUCK YOU guys.”
Music’s biggest night… to be disrespected. A heartfelt FUCK YOU guys.
— Trent Reznor (@trent_reznor) January 27, 2014
It’s not like we’re expecting the Recording Academy to wise up any time soon, and the rest of the ceremony was actually pretty watchable. Yet the exclusion of Hanneman from the notable musician passings and the show-closing performance cut short and obscured shows that it’s not like the awards are going to start showing respect to rock and metal any time soon.