Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson has been speaking with Billboard about his memories of the 1988 Grammy Awards.
While Tull won for best hard rock/metal performance that year, many thought that the award should have gone to Metallica for the track "One:"
"Everybody thought Metallica would win. I was recording in the studio at the time - so we stayed at home. Late at night, the phone rang and it was a breathless Chrysalis Records employee saying, 'You won the GRAMMY!' I said, 'Thanks a lot, but I've got to get back to this mix.' We were thousands of miles away - nothing we could do about it.
"The following day I became aware it had created something of a fury. Poor Alice Cooper, who collected the Grammy on our behalf. He walked onstage to a chorus of boos because Metallica didn't win and a lot of their fans were there. They were upset, as were members of the media. The fact that we weren't really a hard rock band seemed glossed over when we were nominated. But when we won, people got their knickers in a serious twist. I would've been in my element walking onto the stage to boos and catcalls. I'm not sure what I would've said, but it would've been piffy, to say the least."
Anderson notes that he still regards the Grammys as being important:
"My view on peer awards is simple. It's churlish to dismiss them as being unimportant. Any of them - especially the Grammys - is a system based on voting by professionals in the music industry - producers. musicians, record-company people. We got a GRAMMY not for being the best hard rock metal band. We got a Grammy for being a nice bunch of guys who had never won a GRAMMY. It was gratefully received and something I feel quite good about."