published Thursday, January 30th, 2014

City Beat: You kids get off my lawn

Another Grammy Awards show has come and gone and, for the first time in forever, I watched, and not just for a few minutes here and there as I might have in the past. We watched every second, from Beyonce's opening number, which was memorable because she didn't wear pants, to the network-shortened closing number featuring a collaboration with Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age, that might have been the night's best performance.

This wasn't some sort of penance, where I was working off a bunch of wrongdoings. It was by choice, simply because it was entertaining. Not all of it, mind you. In fact, some of it was pretty lame. Robin Thicke with Chicago, for example, was hard to watch. Almost as hard to watch as Kris Kristofferson looking lost while performing with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton.

Sadly, one of the lamer moments was Ringo Starr warbling through "Photograph." It's always hard to watch an idol struggle, which is a very good reason why former stars are reluctant to come out of retirement for special events.

Seeing him join former Beatle bandmate Paul McCartney was a mixed bag. They haven't shared a stage in five years, so the nostalgia points were off the chart, but Ringo didn't add much with his drumming. The less informed might be tempted to stick the 71-year-old Macca in that ready-for-the-pasture category, but they'd be wrong.

He's just off a massive, mind-blowing worldwide tour, and the song they did on Sunday, "Queenie Eye," is from his latest CD and is good. And he won a Grammy for Best Rock Song for a number he co-wrote with the guys from Nirvana.

The real fun was keeping up with social-media comments during the broadcast. This was the 56th Grammy Awards Show, and I would bet everything I own that for each of the previous 55, large numbers of people said, "This music stinks," or "These young kids today have no idea what real music is." These comments are always enlightening, especially when they are preceded by "I didn't bother to watch."

That's not to say it hasn't been true, or wasn't true this year in some cases, though this might have been the first time people said things like, "All those people getting married was cool/contrived" and "The robots were cute/stupid." Daft Punk was and are really good.

As they have in each of the previous years, the Grammys got some things right and some wrong, but it was fun to watch for a change.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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