Tweet NoTaco4U: And the winner for Best Metal Performance is....{{{{CRICKETS}}}}...circa 1988

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And the winner for Best Metal Performance is....{{{{CRICKETS}}}}...circa 1988

Lest we forget that Metallica was totally blindsided by Jethro Tull for Best Metal Performance at the 1988 Grammys and this my friends was a total shocker for everyone. Especially me. I can tell you that back in those days we didn't have blogs or email or even cell phones. I remember my phone was ringing off the hook with my metal head friends calling me about the shocker. It was like "Hey man, did you see that fucking shit?" I can still hear that phone bell ring in my ears. We were mocking Jethro Tull all week at of my friends even stole his sisters flute and carried it around the campus, playing it air guitar style. People were pissed at school. This was cigarette curb chatter for 2 solid weeks! kids throwing cigarettes at passing cars and stealing Jethro Tull cassette tapes at the Sam Goody music place...It was a crazy time.

I decided to post the following as an excerpt from's view on this Grammy debacle, since it's almost exactly what I would have written...and it's also a good chuckle.

It could be argued that without Metallica, there would never even have been a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. It had been nearly 20 years since Black Sabbath pretty much invented heavy metal, but most agree that Metallica perfected it, and spawned a whole genre of imitators. This was the award that Metallica built, giving it to anyone else would be unthinkable. Plus, their bass player had just died, and the Grammys rarely fail to jump at a sentimental opportunity like that. They should've just mailed the damn awards to Metallica and called it a year. Right?

And the Winner is ...Jethro Tull.

What the fuck?!?! That was pretty much the universal response when Tull's name came out as the winner of the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance. Seriously, Jethro Tull? Like, "Aqualung" Jethro Tull? There is an old saying that goes "you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you'll never fool anybody into believing that a band that has a motherfucking lead flautist is even kind of metal." Or something like that.
Sure, Jethro Tull could crank out tunes about dragons and ancient beasts with the best of them, but that doesn't make them Dio for fuck's sake! Did we mention the lead singer played the flute? THE FLUTE! Granted, these days every metal band on earth has an album floating around on which they are backed by a symphony orchestra of some sort, but that shit wasn't going down in 1988. Metal at that time meant you stood on stage, played as loud and fast as humanly possible in between shots of Jack Daniels, swung your shoulder-length mullets in unison when appropriate and just rocked the fuck out. That's what Metallica was all about at the time. If they had dared to take the stage wearing fancy ruffled shirts and vests and started monkeying around with flutes, there would've been a riot. Speaking of riots, the fact that one didn't break out when Jethro Tull was announced as the winner of the Grammy for Best Metal Performance is a minor miracle. Like no other band before or after, Metallica was robbed at the 1988 Grammy Awards, marking the first and last time anybody would ever feel sympathetic to the plight of Lars Ulrich.

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