American Music Awards: Lame As Usual

Note fake tattoo on fake rock singer's arm.

Last night (Jan. 27) the American Music Awards, the cheese doodle of music

awards shows, put on a big, boring non-event that, with the exception of a

nausea-inducing camera trick during rapper Nas' performance and the ubiquitous

presence of Toni Braxton's, um, dress (or lack thereof), could have been a

re-run of a ten-year-old program. There was Weird Al, Sinbad, Alice Cooper, New

Edition, Motley Crue, Alan Jackson, the Bee Gees getting an International

Artist Award(?), otherwise known as the Dubious Distinction Honor courtesy of

its namesake, Michael Jackson. Not even the Pumpkins showed up for this one,

and they won an award for Favorite Alternative Artist.

Alanis Morissette

also wasn't there to pick up her two awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Female and

Favorite Pop/Rock Album, because, as we were told numerous times, "she played

250 shows over the past 18 months and is taking a vacation." You can bet her

competition had something to say afterwards, since Mariah Carey got blanked

repeatedly, which Ms. Mottola is getting a little too used to. Little

Richard nearly ran his eyeliner while accepting the AMA Merit Award for his

contribution to the music industry, but, Richard being Richard, he took the

opportunity to once again remind everybody that he invented rock 'n' roll with

his standard tagline: "rhythm and blues had a baby and they named it rock 'n'

roll." A very humble Jewel beat out the Fugees and No Doubt, who together have

been around for more than a dozen years, for Favorite New Artist.

The

"highlight" of the night was the Motley Crue reunion...



The "highlight" of the night was the Motley Crue reunion,

which brought failed solo act Vince Neil back into the fold. "Every time we put

out a record or we did a tour, we changed all the time anyway... We just took

another step, it took a while, but it was a big step," is how Neil described

their decision to get back together and perform "Shout at the Devil" at the

AMA's. Although Braxton kept her fanny covered this time, she did admit that

her parents have qualms about her increasingly bizarre and revealing fashion

choices. "My mom's OK, my Dad sometimes has opinions. He'll just say, That's a

little risquŽ... He's not too happy about them all the time."

The world

finally got revenge on Pat Boone when the saggy grandfather waddled out on

stage in leather pants and a leather vest, his biceps covered with fake tattoos

and presented the award in the Metal/Hard Rock category. Even Alice Cooper was

making fun of him, and that's no mean feat. After the show, the perennially

clueless Boone had this to say about his

a-lot-less-funny-than-it-sounded-on-paper idea to do an album of metal covers:

"I'm not endorsing a lot of elements in metal or any other categories. Stuff

like that repels me, whether it's satanic, whether it's immoral, whether it's

just totally rebellious or hedonistic or whatever it is. It's also in country,

it's also in regular hard rock music, even in pop music." Righto, Mr. White

Shoes.

Tupac Shakur won a posthumous award in the Favorite Rap/Hip Hop

Artist category and Metallica won for favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist.

Unlike in film, where the Golden Globes are considered to be barometers for the

Oscars, the AMA's, whose nominees are drawn from tabulations of radio airplay

and retail sales data and then voted on by 20,000 "members of the American

music-buying public," are considered barometers of nothing in particular.