Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Grammys

Today's PSA: I didn't watch the Grammy Awards but wanted to see the performances everybody's been talking about. Couldn't find them online because the Grammys have been dropping the copyright infringement hammer on anyone who dared post a clip (as is their right). Well, I found them, obviously enough at, so if you want to see Joni Mitchell or Taylor Swift or Billie Eilish or the Tracy Chapman/Luke Combs "Fast Car" duet, a little digging there will turn them up. 

The "Fast Car" situation interests me. First because, from what I've read, straight white male country singer Combs took some heat for "appropriating" the signature song of a queer black female singer-songwriter. Their performance, in which Combs's respect for Chapman and her delight at performing with him were both apparent, just glowed. If it's OK with Chapman, it oughtta be OK with everyone else. 

(Parenthetical note (which is why I put it in parentheses): I remember when someone asked Lindsey Buckingham what he thought of the Dixie Chicks' hit cover of Stevie Nicks's "Landslide." Buckingham took a long pause and then said, "I'm happy for Stevie." Ha!)

I've also been surprised to see "Fast Car" described as a black anthem or a queer anthem, when I always took it as a "poor kids stuck in a crummy life yearn to hit the road" anthem, in the same vein as a Springsteen song. Right there is how you know that song is Art: listeners take away from it whatever speaks to them and their lives. 

I've experienced a bit of that with my books, esp. Mom's Cancer and A Fire Story. People sometimes glean meaning I didn't intend, but if they find something that's meaningful to them, who am I to argue? When I reply, "You're very perceptive, most people don't pick up on that," I may be among the people who didn't pick up on that. I think that's wonderful. 

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