LOS ANGELES (AP) â€” The excitement backstage â€” even among the older folks â€” showed the 6-inch trophy was somethingÂ more than just another piece for the mantel.
“I thought you’d only get this at 75,” said former Beatle Paul McCartney, winner of the lifetime achievement award. But in this business they’re getting younger and younger. I think Debbie Gibson is getting one next year.” (The winners did not include the Gordon Hartmann Band of Madison, whose “Polkaholic” album was nominated in the best polka category.)
After taking their trophies on the stage of the Shrine Auditorium, some of the victorious musicians swept through the cavernous backstage area to answer an onslaught of questions from reporters gathered at five different media stages, divided by blue curtains.
Bonnie Raitt, the big winner with four Grammys, was ecstatic.
“I feel like the guy that just beat Mike Tyson,” said Raitt, whose awards included best female rock vocal performance and best album for her “Nick of Time” LP.
Raitt, known for her mixture of blues, ballads and rock, said she finally feels she is getting recognition since her album recording debut in 1971.
“The critics and peers said finally she made a great record,” Raitt said, shaking one of her statues.
The 40-year-old Raitt said she applauded the nominations this year of many veteran rockers, such as the “Rolling Stones” and “Traveling Wilburys.”
“A lot of people over 40 got nominated, so I guess we haven’t been put out to pasture,” Raitt said.
Some of the musicians were asked what they might have become if not for their musical careers.
The Texas-born Henley, sporting a gray suit, bolo tie and black boots, said he would have been a rancher. Henley was nominated f o ur times and won for male rock vocal performance for his “End of the Innocence” album.
Actress and singer Bette Midler stoutly said she wouldn’t have any career if not for music. “I like to sing more than anything; it’s transporting,” Midler said. “I feel at my most creative when I’m singing.”
Midler and producer Arif Mardin captured the song of the year for “Wind Beneath My Wings,” a ballad featured in Midler’s movie “Beaches.”
Rap singer Young M.C., who graduated from the University of Southern California last year with an economics degree, said accounting would be his profession, if not for music.
Young M.C. garnered an award for his “Bust a Move,” rap song, and said the music industry is gradually realizing the significance of rap music.
“You’ve got to crawl before you walk,” said the rapper.
Anita Baker said she was amazed at her triumph in the heavily competitive rhythm and blues female performance.
“Janet deserves it more than me,” said Baker, who won for her ballad “Giving You the Best That I Got,” which was pitted against Janet Jackson‘s “Miss You Much” and Aretha Franklin’s “Through the Storm.”