On a big night for Adele, she had a lot to say backstage — as did the rest of the Grammy victors. Hear what you didn’t see on the Grammy broadcast below.
Adele’s Big Night: While her millions of fans may have worried about her recovery from surgery, Adele called the procedure “a blessing in disguise.”
All About the Grammys
SLIDESHOW: Best of the Show
SLIDESHOW: Red Carpet Highs
“Everything is so noisy in my world. I’m so mouthy, it was quite nice to be forced to be quiet,” the radiant singer, who took home a ceremony-leading six Grammys, said backstage. “I found great happiness while I was ill.”
However, don’t look for a sequel to the new Album of the Year just yet.
“Now I’m too busy being happy,” she said.
Rolling in the Phonebook: Adele may have won both Song and Record of the Year, but her producer said she could “sing the phonebook.”
“She’s got a total gift, which makes my job very easy,” Paul Epworth, who took home Producer of the Year, said backstage.
Epworth said Adele’s initial reticence to work with him was overstated.
“I know full well she liked a bunch of records that i did 10 years ago, so our tastes are more similar than maybe she realized,” he said. “We sat in a room and talked about Dr. John and Tom Waits and found this middle ground between us. She has a gift for bringing out things in producers they don’t usually do.”
Ryan Tedder wants Azealia Banks and Lana Del Rey to “collide”: “I’ve been canceling a lot of more expected writing sessions to do stuff that just freaks me out that i think’s cool,” he said backstage in the wake of his success with Adele. “Azealia Banks scares me. Lana Del Rey scares me a little bit. Not in a bad way. “
He promised a track that would include both two new artists, though he kept mum about the details.
Bon Iver‘s Grammy decision: After turning down a Grammy performance, Best New Artist and Best Alternative Album winner Bon Iver wouldn’t have changed the choice.
“I don’t regret [not performing],” frontman Justin Vernon said backstage. “There were so many great people doing plenty of great music. Bonnie [Raitt] and Alicia [Keys] stole the show for me, it was like everything i needed to hear. Doing an Etta song, that was great.”
However, the indie musician said he was “thankful” for those who’d voted for him at the ceremony.
“It means a lot and makes me want to dig deeper and try harder,” he said.
The Boys are back: The Beach Boys, who showcased their 50th anniversary reunion during the show, have started recording new material at a studio in Los Angeles. Brian Wilson is writing songs with Joe Thomas; they collaborated 14 years ago on “Imagination.” Mike Love and Al Jardine hyped the new music, with Love singling out the new track “That’s Why God Made the Radio” for its great harmonies and Jardine noting backstage, “I came in late to the sessions but the recordings are on par with ‘Pet Sounds.'” Wilson simply said, “It’s a thrill to get together,” and said fans could look forward to seeing a lot of him on the road.
McCartney listens up: Paul McCartney‘s “Band on the Run” may be one of his best-loved solo releases, but the former Beatle had never listened back to the album until it came time for last year’s remaster.
“He did have final approval,” mastering engineer Sam Okell told reporters backstage after the new edition won Best Historical Album. “We sat down in the studio with him and listened to the whole album. He turned to me afterward and said, ‘That’s pretty good, yeah?’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty good.’ He said, ‘I’ve never listened to the album,’ so that was kind of special.”
Getting the party started: Concerned that audience would not greet the opening segment with high energy, executive producer Ken Ehrlich had the audience rehearse five minutes before the show began.
“Stand up now and show me you can stand,” he implored the crowd. “Tonight you’re going to kick some serious ass.”
He earned a joking earful from Paul McCartney on the former Beatle’s way to his seat: “Who let you in?”
Getting “Layla” tips: The Best Surround Sound Album award went to Elliot Scheiner and Bob Ludwig for putting the legendary “Layla” into 5.1. Celebrated for the stellar guitar work of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, Scheiner and Ludwig said the real hero on the project was the original producer, the late Tom Dowd. Dowd’s notes, on track sheets, were with the original masters.
“He had exactly what EQ he used and what compression, if any,” Scheiner said backstage. “I had the benefit of knowing what he did. You don’t see that anymore. Everybody thinks you’re going to steal something, so it’s refreshing.”
Bonnie Raitt goes indie: Raitt’s new album will be the first on her own label.
“It’s coming out in April, it’s called ‘Slipstream,'” she said backstage. “The answer to that question is I love the math, and I’ve been around long enough that I don’t have to start from scratch.”
Among her collaborators: NRBQ’s Al Anderson and Bill Frisell.
“We went in for two or three songs [with Frisell] and did almost a full album’s worth and some of that will come out later — [there are] four songs on the record. A lot of long guitar jams.”
Whitney Houston‘s influence: Melanie Fiona, an R&B winner on Sunday for her collaboration with Cee Lo Green, called the late singer, whose untimely death was a major subject of the Grammys, “the first voice” in her life.
“My mom used to play her in the crib,” she said. “I would not be here as a nominee or as a winner without her presence in my life, so it’s very emotional for me… I feel so proud to say that she was such a huge influence of mine and i can attribute a lot of my success to her.”
What are the Civil Wars, anyway?: The band won a country award and the folk album award, so the press corps asked, which are you? “We’re not really sure what or where we fit,” Joy Williams said backstage. “It’s flattering,” John Paul White added. “We decided to only be about music we dearly love. Otherwise, what’s the point?”
Teacher’s pet: Christian singer Brandon Heath, a three-time nominee on Sunday night, had a hot date for the awards show: his high school choir teacher, Bobby Jean Frost.
“She encouraged me to audition for the Grammy jazz ensemble and that was the beginning for me in music,” he said backstage. “I really wanted you to meet her, it’s an honor to have her with me.”
The 79-year-old Frost, now retired, used the opportunity to speak up for music education.
“We have a very active music program in Nashville and it’s about to get even more active. We are establishing a director of music education for the public schools,” she said.
Truckin’ with love: The Tedeschi Trucks Band may be an 11-piece act, but for its namesakes, the group is a family affair.
“It’s a blessing to be in a band with my husband. I get to see him every day and not be on a cell phone,” Tedeschi said backstage. “That’s No. 1.”
She went on to say that the group’s formation had been a lucky break amid its members’ crammed individual schedules.
“Derek obviously is one of the busiest [musicians], with Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers and his solo career, and I was busy having two children as well as my solo career,” she said. “Finally the timing lined up.”
All in the family: The Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Blues Album Grammy made us wonder, how often have husband-wife bands won Grammys? A few came to mind: Louis Prima and Keely Smith at the first Grammys in 1959; John Lennon and Yoko Ono won album of the year after his murder; Johnny Cash and June Carter won the 1970 country vocal performance Grammy; Paul and Linda McCartney won for music made in 1974 and 1979; Alan and Marilyn Bergman won two for “The Way We Were”; and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill took home trophies in 2000 and 2005.
Trucks, guitarist in the Allman Brothers Band, is in the rare category of winner for one band and lifetime achievement for another one in the same year. “It’s pretty strange being 32 and being part of a lifetime achievement award,” he said. “The common thread is that they’re groups. The current lineup of [the Allmans] is the longest standing lineup in their history and [while] it’s me and Susan’s name, it’s an 11-piece band. Same idea — no smoke and mirrors.”
Jazz’s new document: Bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White have begun work on a film about their band with Chick Corea, Return to Forever. While they intend to chronicle Return to Forever’s four-decade history through reunion tours of the last few years, the film will also address jazz since Miles Davis went electric in the late 1960s.
“Ken Burns’ ‘Jazz’ covered jazz really well up until the Miles Davis era,” Corea said of the film’s intended subplot. “We all came up through the Miles era, we’re always talking about Miles and if there is one stable point of the second half of the 20th century, it’s Miles. That’s another element of the film.”
Kirk Franklin’s fear: When it comes time for Grammy night, Franklin, who won his eighth and ninth awards at the ceremony on Sunday, doesn’t like to know who the competition is.
“I don’t even ask, it makes me nervous. I know there are so many great artists out there,” he said backstage, looking calm and retro-chic in a bow tie and peak lapel suit.
Will Booker T. Jones work with Neil Young again? “Neil calls you,” he said backstage of his “Potato Hole” collaborator. “It’s possible. He still has my phone number.”
The musician credited his preparation with the ability to have performed with such a range of musicians over the years — he still practices 30-60 minutes per day.
The Grammys’ biggest hustler: While most producers would describe themselves as busy, they’d be hard-pressed to beat Judith Sherman, who won Classical Producer of the Year.
“I work on about 12-15 [albums] a year. I have a very good assistant,” she said backstage. The award was her third Grammy, but familiarity hasn’t made the moment less exciting.
“I’m still shaking,” she said. ” It never gets old, In fact, it gets better.”
Classical comes to Staples: Looking glamourous in a gold and silver dress and a glittering necklace that’d impress hip-hop heavyweights, Best Classical Solo winner Joyce DiDonato was an unlikely performer at the pre-broadcast awards.
“It’s a rare sight to see an opera singer there,” she said backstage.
However, her youthful influences weren’t all arias. She joined the chorus of praise for the late Whitney Houston: “Good singing is good singing — I’m a child of the ’80s and she was a soundtrack to my adolescence. She was one of the first examples of great singing, not only in her vocalizing but the way she used the words and the way her heart spilled out of her… I have a lot of opera friends and we were all heartbroken to hear the news.”