As for the Awards themselves, the Dixie Chicks cleaned up, winning in five categories - including song and album of the year. The Associated Press notes that their winning all that was especially sweet, as it "vindicates" their rebellion "against a country-music establishment that turned its back on them following 2003 remarks critical of President Bush." Yep, they said they were ashamed that Bush was from Texas, and said it in the UK - this from the girls who go their start playing the Christmas Party at Perot Systems headquarters in Plano. Ross Perot loved them. Well, not just Texans are ashamed now. All is forgiven, and they sound pretty good, even if they don't sound "country" any more.
But everyone agreed the overall program was a bust. Sting and the Police weren't particularly impressive, and the San Francisco Chronicle said the evening reconfirmed the obvious - "that the Grammys are hopelessly stuck in the era of headbands, Pong and unironic mustaches." Hey! Those are fighting words to some of us. But then, the whole thing really is moving into the realm of the quaint, or quaintly retro - kind of like the Miss America Pageant. People still care about such things?
The New York Times pointed out that the ratings were way down, and the problem may be the whole industry. They offered the warning that "the larger travails of the music business will still loom over any good vibes emanating from the festivities. Even a doubling of sales of digital albums failed to make up for the continued downward trek of CD sales." No one is buying the music.
Be that as it may, it seemed best to take photos elsewhere - the Strip was full of trucks hauling away lightning and pavilions, and chairs and tables, from the "after" parties at the famous clubs and hotels. The real heart of Rock 'n' Roll isn't there anyway. It a few blocks east on Sunset, on Guitar Row. Here's that scene, the same morning.