In a new interview with KSHE 95 radio (via blabbermouth.net), the frontman of Jethro TullIan Andersonhas been asked if he had the opportunity to “rubbing Metallica in the face” that his band snatched him, in the ’90s, the Grammy for “Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance”.
As you may know, the nominees for that year’s category were AC/DC, Iggy Pop and Jane’s Addiction alongside Jethro Tull and Metallica.. Those of San Francisco brought a historic bombshell under their armhis first album with Jason Newsted and the fourth of his career, ‘…And Justice for All’ and, in addition, they were triumphing with their first video clip, that of “One”. However, and to the surprise of everyone, including Ian Anderson’s own band, the album ‘Crest of a Knave’ He took the award, without even the band being present at the ceremony. The anger of the fans was capital.
Now, Anderson claims that the San Franciscans didn’t take it as badly as some fans: “Well, I think Metallica took it quite chivalrously. At the time, they did say… when they won the Grammy the following year, like I said they would, they put out a page on Billboard thanking the label, their friends and family for supporting them, the dog, I mean, they thanked everyone, including Jethro Tull for not putting out an album that year. They took it with humor. They took the hit even though everyone was busy telling them they were going to win the Grammy and then unfortunately they didn’t that year. But they were the band of the moment and it was clear that they were going to take it the following year and, of course, they did.
30 years ago, on the 30th anniversary of that day, Metallica drummer, Lars Ulrich He went to his Instagram account to remember that defeat: “30 years ago, on February 22, 1989, we played the Grammys for the first time and it was crazy.”
“It was the first time we were in front of a general television audience. The first time the whole of America was exposed to whatever we do. The first time they had a hard rock and metal category at the Grammys. Also the first time we lost a Grammy because Jethro Tull, unexpectedly for a lot of people, came out on top.”
“But not all was lost. The expressions of disgust from the audience members (beyond Iggy Pop!) were something I will treasure for the rest of my life. And he wore some pretty crazy hair dangerously close to a mullet! Good times!”.
“My opinion is that they didn’t give us a Grammy for being the best hard rock or metal performance, they gave it to us for being a bunch of nice people who hadn’t won a Grammy before.“Ian Anderson admitted a few years ago. “And this was because there was no prize for the best lame flutist in the world, otherwise I would have had to buy a few more chimneys and make more room for my prizes.”
The truth is that, that day, the criticism was more than notorious. In fact, at the time the award was given, both Alice Cooper What Lita Ford, who presented it, were very confused at what was happening. That decision brought consequences, given that, from that year on, hard rock and metal were divided into two different categories at the Grammys. Although it would not be the last year in which an award ceremony would be criticized, this, of course, was the most notorious of all.
The following year, Metallica did win an award, Best Metal Performance for “One”, the single from his album that, the previous year, had been left without his award. At the end of the day, we had to find some way to compensate the band. Since then, his nominations and victories have been multiple. Not surprisingly, the San Francisco band was about to take off, just a few years later, with the ‘Black Album’. From then on, those who rewarded mainstream rock never forgot that James Hetfield’s were a force to be reckoned with.
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Ian Anderson on Jethro Tull’s scandalous victory over Metallica: “They took it with humor”