On Working The Grammys When You Want To Win A Grammy

February 25th, 2003

Dishes are stacked in the sink, dirty closed piled by the closet, the bed needs making, the rug needs shaking, garbage needs taking out. It’s not such a pretty scene here at 447 West 56th, 4E. But it’s home, and it feels good to be here after what feels like weeks of work. Which is, of course, hyperbole.

I mean, of course I’ve been working for weeks. Years even. But the big Grammy push is over, I’ve made it through the other side. Now I just need to get MTV News up to speed on this Iraq stuff — which we mostly are — so I can get my ass out of town with my dad and brother.

So, the Grammys. When I was 22, and soliciting contributions to record my first CD, “Bloom,” I sent out a letter to friends and family saying something about “And maybe someday I can thank you from the Grammy podium.” That was once my dream. My plan, even. I found the show in general kinda’ boring (despite being on the spot at work for 14 hours).

Our red carpet preshow was a little painful, in part because everyone had already been on E! the hour before, and also because I know how it’s supposed to go (I have the script), plus I was Johnny on the spot with live polling and stuff. We had our first true commercial within the preshow which I co-produced with a terrific producer named Jane Mun and some folks over at Sony. It looked great, like a real web site, which was nice.

Once the show started, it was great to see Simon and Garfunkel together, even if they had zero repoire. The Joe Strummer tribute was good. But most everything else was by the numbers, and kinda’ listless. Of course, I’m used to the absurdist pyrotechnics of the Video Music Awards, I was happy to see earnest, well crafted singer-songwriterism prevail: John Mayer, Norah Jones, Michelle Branch.

As always, though, it was a little heartbreaking — maybe it always will be? — to feel so close, so far. And there was an extra little twist of the knife: John Mayer thanked a guy named Rashon Blumberg as he accepted his Best Male Vocal for “Your Body Is a Wonderland” (not the best song on that album, but a good one). Rashon is a friend of a friend who I lobbied unsuccessfully to manage me years ago when I first moved to New York.

So, I worked until about 3AM; Ken and I were the last ones out. Then went to the bar we always go to on 46th after awards shows to get bombed. But everyone else was leaving. So I had a few (three beers in an hour), and dragged my sorry ass home for a few hours sleep, before doing it again.

Now some 36 hours later, the MTVNews.com audience is gobbling up out coverage, which is rewarding, and bodes well for my career as a dot com middle manager, but… well, you know.