Quillnews tended to take pop music more seriously than was entirely healthy in the early years, but over the past three decades, much of your editor’s musical energies went into instructing two offspring in the curriculum commonly referred to around Quillnews’ nest as 2C2RK -- The Collins College of Rock ‘n’ Roll Knowledge.
So it was recently that Quillnews daughter, a scientist and artist, sat your editor down and, using a combination of MP3 and Rhapsody, instructed her father in the nuances of Green Day, among many others, and the new album American Idiot. So when Green Day performed and won rock album of year, Quillnews felt fulfilled that rock knowledge lives on.
Seeing Jack White and Loretta Lynn was a revelation, as well. Quillnews son, your editor’s IT guru and a biz entrepreneur once of Austin, of Cambridge and now of Portland, some time ago joined his sister to coach Quillnews on performance characteristics of White Stripes, the minimalist rock duo from Detroit who in fact were excellent. So when seeing Jack White of White Stripes climb the stage with partner Loretta Lynn, 69, to celebrate their win for best country collaboration in the excellent Van Lear Rose of their song “Portland, Ore.” well it was a good night for 2C2RK juju. As White noted on stage, country radio may have ignored it, "but look who's number one now. ... You're an American treasure, Loretta. God bless you."
The Grammys delivered. A good wrap-up is here. Ratings for the CBS broadcast of the 47th annual Grammy‘s was lowest since March ’95; too bad for music fans. U2’s Bono was dead right, when he said the show staged was the best Grammy’s ever. It was. The opening multi-band performance, the southern rock medley from the surviving members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers teamed with Redneck woman Gretchen Wilson, and all-pro Tim McGraw were treats.
In your editor’s opinion, as good as these performances were, they were second tier compared with a career highlight performance by Melissa Etheridge in her reprise medley with youngster Joss Stone of Janis Joplin’s classics: “Cry Baby & Piece of My Heart.” To properly date Quillnews, know that your editor saw Joplin in person with Big Brother & the Holding Company at their performance in Newport in ’68.
Etheridge, long rock tabloid fodder for her off stage living arrangements, has been a Quillnews favorite and killer performing artist for years. Her “Come To My Window” is a 2C2RK standard. Still, seeing her boldly grab center stage in her glam make up, tasteful jewelry and wardrobe, and her post-chemo hair do, and just own those Joplin songs was a heart pounding treat. Wow. Her’s was truly a great, even heroic, performance. McGraw's winning song's title "Live Like You're Dying" said it. But Etheridge showed why rock lives.