5 Most Bizarre Grammy Moments
Some people watch the Grammys for the A-list performances, the fabulous rocker fashion and, well, the awards, but often, it's the truly bizarre and awkward moments that make for the best viewing. Some of them are forced by the show's producers (like the matching of all-star musicians from various genres for seemingly random and totally ill-advised medleys), and some happen naturally and without warning. The best of them -- like Arcade Fire's 2011 show-ending performance and Album of the Year presentation -- encompass both. Check out our tally of the 5 Most Bizarre Grammy Moments.
Acting "typically me," as he admitted, Eddie Vedder turned his acceptance speech following Pearl Jam's 1996 Grammy win (Best Hard Rock Performance for the Vitalogy tune "Spin the Black Circle") into a nihilistic rant. "I don't know what this means ... I don't think it means anything," he mumbles, adding, "That's just the way I feel. There's too many bands, and you've heard it all before." Hey, you said it, Eddie. Not us!
Is there some Grammy rule that any guitar-playing rock band with members under the age of 50 must be accompanied by some sort of weird sideshow distraction to liven things up? Who knows what the connection was between the Smashing Pumpkins hit "1979" and the gyrating, synchronized dancers who joined them onstage. It hardly ruined the moment -- Billy Corgan and co.'s run-through of their biggest hit still landed on our list of 10 Best Grammy Performances -- but it did come across as a bit forced.
In retrospect, this one may be more more sad than anything. Back in 2008, Amy Winehouse's domination of the Grammys was historic -- she was the first British woman to win five in one night, including the biggie Record of the Year -- but also pretty damn awkward. As the cameras cut to Winehouse and her crew onstage at some undisclosed secret location, from which they appeared via satellite, the stunned singer was like a deer frozen in headlights for a full 10 seconds before reacting in any way. It was as if Winehouse simply wasn't ready to win those Grammys -- she probably never would be -- and was glimpsing her post-Grammy future and inevitably sad decline. Some people are probably better off without Grammys.
EDM had a breakthrough year in 2011, so what better way to celebrate it at the Grammy Awards then to have dome-headed dubstep DJ Deadmau5 perform a medley with ... the Foo Fighters? Maybe that doesn't sound all that bizarre, but get this: A few hours before the performance, frontman Dave Grohl seemed to openly dis digital music during the Foo's acceptance speech for Best Rock Album. Grohl said that "the human element of music is what's important" and disparaged music made "in a computer" -- which, it just so happens, is where Deadmau5 makes his.
As if the crazy strobe lights, wild stage antics and the music of the dozen or so members of Arcade Fire rocking the hell out like their lives depended on it at the 2011 Grammys wasn't enough, someone decided to have some BMX bikers with cameras strapped to their helmets cruising around the band while it played. Right, 'cause, as the Pumpkins proved years before, guitar rock is sooo boring. But the real awkwardness comes when, moments later, Barbara Streisand announces the Album of the Year winner -- the biggest award of the night -- and can't figure out if The Suburbs is the name of the album or the band.