The Grammy Awards has had a long history of ignoring hard rock and heavy metal ever since the genre emerged screaming from the womb of late ‘60s rock. Consider that such legendary bands as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath never received a single Grammy Award during their existences and years later were only awarded for live recording from their reunion shows. Last night’s show seemingly went to lengths to include hard rock and metal with performances by Metallica and Queens Of The Stone Age though metal fans have been rightfully outraged about Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman being excluded from the In Memorium montage. in DJ, author and host of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show, Eddie Trunk is one of hard rock and metal’s biggest fans and greatest advocates and has long been critical of the genre’s treatment by the mainstream media in general and institutions like The Grammys and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in particular. We asked Eddie to share his thoughts on last night’s show and why the music still never gets the respect it deserves all these years later.
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VH1: What are your thoughts about the Grammys in general?
Eddie Trunk: It’s clearly a major event for the world of music but it is sorely lacking in the areas of rock and metal and has been for many years. It’s embarrassing the decisions and nominations given for rock and metal. They seem to be totally random and lacking any real logic. As a result they mean next to nothing for an artists’ career these days as far as a bump in sales and profile. I get that it’s a prestigious cool mainstream thing to say you won, but if we are being honest it really means nothing in the big picture for rock and metal sadly. This is not helped by the fact that rarely are these artists represented in the show and most of the rock and metal awards are not even televised. So sure, it’s cool for someone to say they won one for the history of it, but because of how lost they are when nominating it has no real impact.
[caption id="attachment_273539" align="aligncenter" width="615"] Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away this year and was left off the 2014 Grammys In Memoriam montage. [Photo Credit: Getty Images][/caption]
What do you think about Jeff Hanneman from Slayer being excluded from the Grammys Memorial segment?
It’s pathetic. It proves again they just have no clue at all when it comes to rock and heavy metal and they continue to demonstrate it.
How do you feel about Black Sabbath winning the Best Metal Performance Grammy for “God Is Dead”?
Black Sabbath invented heavy metal in my opinion. It’s great that they won but I would think it is more to do with their history and name recognition than anything else. I’m not saying it’s not a good song or album, but everyone knew this would happen because it was by far the most recognizable name for the voters. Good for them, but it was the name and history being celebrated more than anything. I just don’t think everyone that voted sat and cranked up an 8 minute song and said “That rocks.” But I am happy for them if it’s meaningful to them. They are the founding fathers.
Sabbath also won in 2000 for “Iron Man” off the reunion album 30 years after it’s original release. Is it “too little too late”?
It just speaks to the cluelessness of the Grammys year in and year out. A live recording of “Iron Man” was the best metal performance of that year? It’s just absurd and why they just carry no real weight if you are looking at it honestly.
Outside of their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 Led Zeppelin won their first Grammy tonight as well for Best Rock Album for their Celebration Day reunion concert. Thoughts?
Again, it’s absolutely ridiculous! So of all the amazing iconic albums this band made, the first Grammy comes from a live album recorded nearly 7 years ago for a concert film? I’m NOT trying to rain on anyone’s parade but it is just insulting to the history of this band to have ignored their studio work and then honor this now. It’s just dumb, and I like the album!
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Imagine Dragons also beat out both Led Zeppelin and Queens Of The Stone Age (not to mention Jack White and David Bowie) for Best Rock Performance.
I guess this was the attempt to appear cool, hip and cutting edge, but they just continue to look lost sadly.
[caption id="attachment_273439" align="aligncenter" width="615"] Metallica performs with Lang Lang at the 2014 Grammy Awards. [Photo Credit: Getty Images][/caption]
Arguably hard rock and metal was well represented on the Grammys tonight between Metallica and Queens Of The Stone Age performing.
Anytime rock and metal can get on mainstream TV at all it’s a good thing. It would be nice if the producers realized there were more great rock and metal bands out there though besides Metallica and anything with Dave Grohl.
Why do you think hard rock and heavy metal still don’t get the respect they deserve from places like the Grammys and the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?
The Hall Of Fame is an intentional bias spearheaded by their voters, the majority of which still think it’s beneath them and not credible. The Grammys just don’t know any better. They try but just look bad all the time because they have no clue. Since giving the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance award to Jethro Tull over Metallica in 1989 to now, not much has changed. They gave Motorhead a Grammy for a live version of a Metallica cover? Judas Priest gets a Grammy for a live version of a 30-year old song? These are crowning moments in these artists amazing career?? It is just a total joke and I wish they would get a separate committee to handle rock and metal and finally fix it and bring some prestige and weight back to it.