When I was a kid, I was big into music. Granted, I still am today, but much more so then. And, because there was no internet back in 1997 (look it up!), my exposure was considerably more limited. Which meant that when something like, say, the Grammys would be on television, I was right there for that shit. I rarely liked the stuff that was nominated, and I usually hated whatever won, but I do have sort of a soft spot for the 1997 Grammy Awards: there were performances from Beck, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Fugees (remember them?), uh...No Doubt (I hated them then, and they have yet to rise much in my esteem), and a couple of other groups that were actually sort of decent. I was watching at home, enjoying myself, having a great time.
But then. Oh, then.
Then came the dreaded Waiting to Exhale medley. Whitney Houston, Cee Cee Winans, Mary J Blige, Chaka Khan, Brandy, and Aretha Fucking Franklin stood together on one stage, all of them shouting and screaming and yowling like half a dozen soulful banshees. For ten minutes. It was an insane clusterfuck of noise that haunts me to this day, nearly thirteen years after the fact.
See for yourself:
Awful, yes? Yes, of course. Although, with the benefit of hindsight and the wisdom that comes with age, the question that comes almost immediately to mind is who the hell decided that Brandy belonged there? It would be like Neil Young, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Nick Cave, and Eric Clapton sharing the stage with that dude that played violin for Yellowcard.
Well, I guess that's it.
Columbia University Magazine
1 week ago