Grammys backstage highlights: A humbled Justin Vernon, giddy Adele
How the Beach Boys would pull off a reunion tour and album, what Adele's ex thought of the success of "21," if Grammy producers planned to pan to Chris Brown or Rihanna for a reaction shot during their respective performances and whether or not Lil Wayne was arrested at the ceremony (that was an Internet hoax) were some of the burning questions on reporters' minds at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.
There were some answers: Al Jardine promised the Beach Boys' forthcoming album would rival "Pet Sounds"; Adele assured us she thought the lad that provided the source material for "21" would be "very happy" for her wins. And there were some questions -- namely: What do you ask the winner of best album notes when they are awkwardly thrown to the wolves in the press room? (Sorry, no answer for that one.)
Here are a few vignettes from the backstage action:
Adele’s ‘peaceful’ recovery
One of the lingering questions leading up to the Grammys was if the British soul singer would be ready to perform after treatment for a vocal cord hemorrhage in early October.
The injury forced her to cancel a 10-date sold-out U.S. tour just as her tour de force disc “21” was shattering sales records.
No one was more excited for her triumphant return and clean sweep of awards than the 23-year-old as she floated into a room full of applauding reporters all curious about her recovery.
“It’s actually been really, really peaceful. It’s been a bit traumatic … but being silent in such a nosy world was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise,” she giggled. “Thank God my voice healed and I stuck to all the rules they gave me. I’ve never been happier. I’m just glad to be back.”
“I’m so mouthy … so I’m glad to be forced to be quiet.”
Justin Vernon doesn’t regret Grammy snub, felt unworthy of win
Kanye West should take note. Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon snubbed the show beforehand and still found plenty of Grammy love -- especially when the laid-back folkman took home the win for best new artist on Sunday.
Vernon had the Net buzzing when he reportedly rejected an offer to perform because Grammy producers wanted him to do a to do a collaboration with another artist, which he refused -- he did at least say the proposed artist was awesome. A source told Pop & Hiss that the fallout came from the singer being disappointed that producers wanted him on a satellite stage solo, and not with his full band -- "Homie don’t play that."
“I don’t regret it,” Vernon said of the decision backstage. “There [were] so many people doing great music up there. Bonnie and Alicia stole the show for me. It was everything I wanted to hear.”
The Wisconsin-bred band bested front-runner Nicki Minaj for the best new artist trophy and took home a win for alternative album, and each time Vernon displayed a humbled sense of disbelief that was much more endearing (and adorable) than Taylor Swift’s exhausting OMG! face.
“At some point I got really nervous. Maybe because I feel like I didn’t deserve to be here. This is the biggest night in music but a very small Staples Center. There’s much more music than that.
Trey Parker glad he has Mormon fans
The first question for “The Book of Mormon” co-creator Trey Parker wasn’t how it felt to take home a Grammy for musical theater album. Instead, he was quizzed on how Mormons have reacted to the show’s lightning success.
Parker, along with fellow “South Park” creator Matt Stone, have seen their debut Broadway musical -- a profanity-laced look at missionaries in AIDS-plagued Africa -- take the Great White Way by storm.
“We actually are very happy to find that Mormons like the show,” a laughing Parker said (Stone didn't attend Sunday’s ceremonies). “For some, its like their ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ We know when they are there because they laugh at some of the stuff others don’t.”
When asked about creating the book for the unapologetically politically incorrect show, Parker quipped that though he was good at conjuring up “catchy little ditties,” it was still an overwhelming process.
“Writing comedy songs is hard. As big fans of musicals, we wanted to do a show where the songs really matter,” Parker said. “Writing songs that are plot-driven is really hard. It was such a complete collaboration. You’d start with this cute little song and it would become this [big number].”
“You need people in the room to write songs,” co-composer/lyricist Robert Lopez chimed in. “Because if you’re by yourself, [there’s] no one laughing.”
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy
Photo: Adele at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times