Since I became a member of the Grammy Recording Academy in 2017, it has been a dream of ours to attend a Grammy awards ceremony. This year when the ticket announcement arrived in the mail, we were overcome with excitement and joy knowing we had been saving for this and this was our time! The envelope held the seating categories in a map of the Staples C
The tickets went on sale December 6th at
My wife had already booked our hotel and flights as soon as she saw the best deals come accross. This whole time we were headed to LA, but if we were attending the Grammy’s was still up in the air. Now, our trip was all falling into place. Next, question was, “What in the world are we going to wear?” Now for a guy, that was easy. I just sauntered into Men’s Warehouse about 10 days before and let my 9 year old fashionista “help” me pick out a gray tux. My wife on the otherhand had more difficult choices to make. Being the money-conscious planner that she is, she found her amazing dress on the clearance rack at Ross Dress for Less in Corbin, KY for $10. Her jewelry was a TJ Maxx find for $40 total. She decided to go old school glam for her wardrobe and found navy opera length gloves and vintage hair pins to give her the finger wave curl on Etsy. We knew trying to compete with the gowns of the stars was never going to happen and so we just did us…and it worked!
The days leading up to our trip were filled with self-tanning lotion and a few
Saturday seemed like a bit of a blur. I imagined celebrities spending the day in a spa, doing colon cleanses, and having their hair done. What did we do in Jellico, TN? My wife coached my son’s basketball junior pro team and I had to move a fence in our yard after a monsoon of rain washed away part of our retaining wall and we had a fear that our overly-eager-to escape German Shepherds would make a getaway while my in-laws stayed with our kids. Glamorous? We nailed it.
After a late start on Saturday evening February 9th, we made it to our hotel in Nashville about 11 pm to begin our “nap” before our flight left at 6:30 am. My wife woke up around 3:30 am to begin finger waving and pin curling her hair, while I got the last bit of snooze before the alarm woke up. I woke up a bit surprised that she was going to fly the way that she looked, but she took all the funny looks in stride. Only one stewardess asked if we were going somewhere special and she was so excited to hear of our Grammy adventure. I couldn’t help but make a “dad” joke about my wife looking like someone’s Grammie instead of going to the Grammys. It was funny. Really.
As we landed we navigated our way to wait for the Flyaway bus that was our cheapest option to make it to Union Station where we would then ride the subway to our hotel. But first Tacos. And boy did we find a great place!
We then found our hotel. My wife booked the hotel months in advance while they had a 20% discount. This place was amazing. It had all the vibes of old Hollywood glam, but also a modern and hip feel. Everyone else at the hotel seemed to be about our age and a few were younger and in their 20s. This was also the place that held the first Academy Award after party. We were able to sit in the lobby and relax after our travel and the bartender brought us water while we waited for our room to be ready. We had concocted a plan that we would drink lots of water until around 1 or 2 pm so then after that we would stop and then be able to sit through the entire 3 1/2 hour televised portion without getting up to go to the restroom. We had read that once they begin televising, you can only leave your seat when a commercial starts and if you aren’t in your seat before it ends (4 minutes) you are locked out until the next break. We weren’t coming all this way to miss any part of the show, no matter the damage we did to our urinary tract.
Our room was ready in less than an hour and we began getting ready. By “we” I mean that I took a nap while my wife started the process of fixing her hair and applying make up. The final touches took my breath away. We then went to the lobby for a few pictures and called a Lyft. Our driver Arturo had already dropped off another couple at the Staples Center and let us know that with all the road closures, he would get us as close as he could. He dropped us off about 3 blocks away. Still perfect for our heals and tuxedo shoes.
As we walked to the Staples Center we could see two groups protesting. One group was PETA and the other was the Westboro Baptist Church. My wife wanted a picture of the church do to their famously outlandish signs and infamously ridiculous and hate-filled tactics. How funny and sad at the same time. My wife did express concern aftwerward that the PETA group might not be able to tell that her fur coat was fake which explains why she walked so fast away from that group. The road we passed had many limos and black Suburbans and Escalades.
We arrived around
When we got to the door for us to enter we had to go through airport type security and show our tickets. We then got our program. We looked around a bit at all the food options. Hamburgers, pretzels, etc and of course multiple bars. Seeing everyone dressed up and eating fast food was comical. We decided to find our seats so that we could venture out later. We had amazing seats. Yes, we were on the first balcony level, but we have sat in much worse for concerts. We were below the box seats which separated us and the upper balcony which was the lowest tier on the seat choices we could have chosen from. The box seats we discovered later were for corporations like Spotify and CBS. We then made our last trip to the bathroom. Our plan to dehydrate had worked!
The seats filled up fast. The part that soon became our favorite was watching all the seat fillers being herded into their locations and out of the aisles. This was done with precision at each commercial break. When a start returned to their seat, the seat fillers had to find another seat or go to a small section that was completely blocked by a riser the sound guys were on and wait until they were needed again. They had a small screen they could watch the televised version. An announcer would announce the countdown and also ask for applause when the show would start again. It was almost a stampede in order to clear the aisles before the house lights when down and the cameras started rolling.
Watching the show was incredible. For it to be in a huge arena, performances by Dan and Shay and Brandi Carlile brought chills. Watching the set change and to see what was shown on TV on screens to the side of the stage versus what we saw in entirety was great. We really got the best of both a concert and live TV production. We got to
After the show, we trudged out with all the other guests. It’s entirely possible that we walked beside famous people and just were too focused on food, drink, and bedtime to notice. We got another Lyft back to our hotel. We decided that we would eat at Eve American Bistro who’s chef won a season of Hell’s Kitchen. We were not disappointed. We had decided not to pay $200 each for us to go to the Academy after
The biggest takeaway from the night wasn’t the dresses or bright lights. It was about dreams. Artists have dreams of winning over the hearts of fans and academy members to get nominations. Producers have dreams of grooming and forming their artists into winners. Engineers have dreams of being recognized at crafting bands and artists into u
We want to come back to the Grammys. Next time with a Nomination or two.