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A Music Fan Should Never Watch the Grammys

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- The Grammys are for people who absolutely hate music.

They have to be. What person who loves music would subject themselves to this annual punishment and flagellation? What individual with any degree of music knowledge would subject themselves to awards handed out by a body as culturally tone-deaf at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences regularly proves it is?

For anyone associated with music who has no horse in this race -- and even for those who do -- the Grammy Awards is a tedious exercise of patience that almost routinely exceeds expectations for just how awful it can be. Disdain for it isn't built along lines of taste, preference, race, class, creed or heritage. For everyone who has to endure the recording industry's annual pat on the back, it's just a reminder of how out of touch it is with its listeners.

This is the same awards show that overlooked hip-hop until its 1996 installment, when it somehow picked Naughty By Nature's long forgotten Poverty's Paradise over 2Pac's Me Against The World, Goodie Mobb's Soul Food and outstanding solo efforts from the Wu Tang Clan's Gza, Raekwon and Ol' Dirty Bastard. It's the awards show that ignored new R&B from 1968 through 2012 and only picked up "traditional R&B" in 1999. It's the show that only gave Elvis three trophies in categories he competed in -- all three for gospel records. The King has some great company, as the Grateful Dead, Sex Pistols, Janis Joplin, the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Bon Jovi, Patsy Cline, Elvis Costello, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cream, the Doors, Guns N' Roses, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield, Queen, the Ramones and the Who never took home Grammys during their most fruitful years. NARAS voters didn't recognize Presley's rock accomplishments until it gave him a lifetime achievement award in 1971. That's well after his prime and just six years before he died.

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Speaking of 1977, the Grammys decided to mark the year that punk and disco broke by naming Debby Boone's You Light Up My Life the song of the year during its 1978 installment. The Grammys don't discriminate when it comes to outright ignoring the listening public and handing its gleaming gramophones to whomever it chooses.

It was a lesson this writer learned at age 12. Heading into junior high school and having just discovered Pantera, Megadeth and Metallica, I was naturally curious about which album would win the first Grammy for hard rock/metal performance. Metallica's ...And Justice For All had been released a year earlier and the video for One featuring scenes from the film version of Dalton Trumbo's Johnny's Got His Gun were getting steady airplay on MTV at the time. It seemed like a lock to just about everyone.

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