Friday, November 26, 2010

The Grammy Awards - 1984

If one takes a look at the history of the Grammys, it will reveal that Grammy winners are not always the true preeminent artists and recordings of their time. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences started the awards in the late fifties, to be music's equivalent to the Oscars. But many whom you would think have won in the past, never did.
Elvis Presley never won a Grammy for any of his major pop vocal performances, but he is considered to be at the time, the most influential pop vocal artist. Presley won three times for gospel recordings. Chuck Berry has been overlooked. The Beatles only received four Grammys, strange seeing that their music virtually changed pop music and culture. The Rolling Stones, Sly Stone, and Diana Ross have never received Grammy awards. The six or more thousand people who make up the Academy, are so conservative, the usually are not hip enough to recognize the importance of new artists.
It has been long rumored that the Grammy Awards are dominated by by major record companies, which in turn, has turned the award as a sham. Two powers in the record industry - WMG, which contains Warner Brothers, Elektra,Atlantic, and Rhino records, and the Columbia/ Epic group (CBS). It has been difficult for anyone outside of these companies to win. Motown artists, up to this point, with the exception of Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, and Smokey Robinson, were hardly ever in the running.
Now as far as Michael Jackson, the politics couldn't take over the fact that he could not be ignored. He was so popular, EVERYONE agreed he was the most important pop and rock hero. Plus he was a CBS artist. He had been nominated for twelve awards, the highest number for a single performer, up to that time, in Grammy history. Impressive to note, Thriller was up against the Police's Synchronicity, the Flashdance soundtrack, Billy Joel's An Innocent Man, and David Bowie's Let's Dance albums for album of the year.
His date for the evening was Brooke Shields. Michael apparently did not want to go with Brooke. She came by the Encino home expectantly to ask him if he would consider taking her to the show. It is not known if Brooke, who had been a friend of Michael's was genuinely interested in him, or if it was for public relations on her part.
However, he did ask LaToya and Janet what they thought of her request.
"I don't want to take her," LaToya remembered Michael saying. "I really, really don't."
Well then tell her, Michael," she instructed. "Tell her no if you don't want to take her."
"But I can't."
"Why not?" Janet wondered.
"Because I don't want to hurt her feelings, " Michael protested.
After agonizing over the situation, he came back a few minutes later. Decided to take her after all.
This was the famous Michael, Brooke, and Emmanuel Lewis appearance at the Grammys. Brooke protested, and heard saying to Michael "Let's get out of here. People are making fun of us."
It was definitely Michael's night. With the Pepsi commercials premering, he won eight awards.
Winning the Best Album award was particularly sweet, because Thriiler by that time , had sold 27 million albums, and was still number one on the Billboard charts.
Upon winning his seventh Grammy, he took off his sunglasses. Katherine Hepburn, "my dear friend," had told him to he should take off the glasses "for the girls in the balcony."
He accepted one award with the comment, "I have something very important to say... really," and paid tribute to legendary rhythm-blues star Jackie Wilson, who died recently.
Of course, he was the talk of Hollywood that night, and everyone who is everyone wanted everyone to know THEY knew Michael. However, Michael, who hosted a private party at the Rex restaurant in downtown L.A., was uncomfortable being around so many people. After recognizing guest that included Bob Dylan, Tony Curtis, Neil Diamond, Eddie Murphy, Cyndi Lauper, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and others, he and Brooke ducked out and left about 11:30pm.
Michael accompanied Brooke and her mother back to the L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, where the women were staying.
Michael escorted them out of the white Rolls Royce, kissed Brooke on the cheek, shook Mrs. Shields' hand, and got back in the car. "Congratulations Michael, Brooke said with a sad smile. "Must you go?"
"Yeah, I do," he replied. He rolled up the window, and the driver drove off into the night.
My opinion about Michael and Brooke. I believe she was far more interested in him than she would let on, and he, after time , grew to like her back. But as far a romantic relationship, it depends on what Michael perceived as romantic. Remember, he did not have a history with women or girls, but, apparently, he made a great companion once you got to know him. Reflecting on her memorial speech, Brooke had a wonderful relationship with him, the kind any young woman would want with someone of Michael's stature. Perhaps, she, upon looking back, regretted denying publicly just how close they were. Not that it was anything to be embarrassed about, but she could have helped the public understand the kind of man he was better.
Thank you, J. Randy Taraborelli, "Michael Jackson - The Music and the Madness pg. 341-347