Well, it was another year where the Grammys, once again, showed their lack of respect for rock, and for rock’s fans. Those fans reasonably expected some sort of Foo Fighters tribute, since the band was scheduled to perform, before drummer Taylor Hawkins' untimely death just nine days earlier. The Grammys literally had a timeslot planned for the Foo Fighters, and last week, the Grammy producers even announced that there would be a tribute.
That tribute turned out to be a one-minute-long video, before their annual “in memorandum” segment. You could almost hear the collective “jaw drop” of the rock fans who still bother to tune in. To be fair, organizing all-star tributes isn’t an easy task, and they really aren’t easy when you have just a few days to pull it off. But the Grammys have made last-minute adjustments before: Aretha Franklin famously filled in for opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the 1998 Grammys. Justin Timberlake and Al Green did a last minute duet when Rihanna pulled out of the show in 2009. And, of course, Jennifer Hudson performed an incredible tribute to Whitney Houston in 2012, when Houston died the night before the ceremony. And they could have done something like that last night. Last night, we were disappointed, but not surprised.
The Grammys would not have needed to call in any musicians from out of town to fly to Vegas to perform: they had everyone they needed to do an incredible a version of “Walk,” or “Times Like These” (but probably not “My Hero,” which they used in the video – since that song was recorded before Taylor even joined the band; Dave Grohl actually plays drums on that classic). Here’s the scenario we dreamed up: even if just half of these artists were able to participate, it still would have been a great tribute.