rockstar in training: stop! grammy time!

March 9, 2011

A year ago in the 2nd week of February I was playing my first out of town show with The Revenge of Ricky Williams and releasing our first independent EP, Past the Legal Limit a week later. Our first radio airplay followed a week after that. This year, I’m attended the 53rd annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles!  Okay, you’re surely like… what the hell is going on? How’d she manage that? Isn’t Pam still, “In traning?”  Let me start at the beginning.


Rockstar in Training: Stop! GRAMMY time!

Words Pam Newman

I have kept a personal blog on since 2007. It’s all the normal personal fare: pictures of myself, lolcats, general tomfoolery.   The GRAMMYs also have a blog on Tumblr. They’ve been blogging since 2009, and update about all sorts of Recording Academy-related things. I remember noticing they had a blog last year around Awards Season, because the 2010 GRAMMYs fell on my birthday, and I wanted to go really badly.

Well, the GRAMMYs partnered up with Tumblr for a contest giving away two tickets for the awards.

And no duh, it was a blogging contest! Entrants were to write about their favorite music memory. The contest started when the GRAMMYs posted the details on their blog and ended at midnight that evening.

Just a couple days before the contest was posted on tumblr, a fan of my music asked if I’d seen any good concerts. Dude, I totally have!

The story that I told her was the story I ended up writing about for the GRAMMYs ticket contest. It was this time I saw the Rolling Stones for free back when I lived in Philadelphia. 

I started writing it around 11:15pm and finished a little after 11:30pm. I figured there really wasn’t any way I would win. I mean, everyone wants to go to the GRAMMYs! There were some good entries to the contest, too.


As good as all the other competitors were, the judges decided that I should win! Hell yeah! When I read the email telling me I actually won, I screamed and jumped around my house like a nutcase. All the, “Yay! Oh my gawd! Aaaaahhhh,” business going on didn’t phase my mom’s cat, nor did it prompt the neighbors to call the cops. That concerns me a little bit… but maybe they could tell they were shrieks of joy. Possibly they assumed I was getting some?


So I decided to give the 2nd ticket to my mom, considering that she is awesome. Also, it would ensure nobody would get a stick up their ass about how I should have taken them instead of so-and-so. Nobody argues or whines (much) when you say, “I’m taking my mom with me to the GRAMMYs.”

I won the tickets on Wednesday, and the GRAMMYs were that Sunday. So, we got our shit together really quick and flew out to Los Angeles!

I’ll fast-forward through the trip for you. We got to LA, and then I attended a Tumblr meetup party (Read: Nerds drinking together. I am a huge nerd, in case you didn’t know). I met some cool people and was given my tickets and a cool pair of SPF 300 GRAMMYs hangover shades.

Then Saturday happened!

They hooked me up with the right to walk the Red Carpet! I strolled on down and did an interview with the GRAMMYs live team!  I also spoke to some other press, but I don’t think my winning the GRAMMYs tickets and being an independent rock artist was more interesting to many of them than Lady Gaga in a giant egg or Justin Beiber still existing.


 After our red carpet treatment, my mom and I attended the Pre-Telecast GRAMMY awards in the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Recording Academy gives out 109 awards, and only a few are televised. During the day of the televised event, they give out ALL the awards. The pre-telecast is pretty sweet. It was catered with some fancy-shmancy food, which was totally free for everyone. We drank free bottled water and watched Tia Carerre win “Best Hawaiian Album.”

Later, after we decided we wanted to go where they show the televised event, I saw Tia, just hanging out! I got a picture with her. She’s still just as beautiful as she was in Wayne’s World.


 We got to our seats in the Staples Center, which were nosebleed quality, but still it was thrilling to be there. We were sitting among some people who were nominated for awards given out during the day, and some other people who were just excited to be there, like us. I was taking pictures of everything, and my phone battery was not liking that.

The awards were pretty cool. Janelle Monae was the highlight of the televised event for me. Eminem gave a killer performance with Dre and Skylar Gray. Rihana performed TWICE and was on point both times, looking gorgeous even from 4 stories up.

I did a lot of live-blogging during the televised event, and my phone’s battery was on it’s last legs. When the announcer said that Justin Beiber was going to perform next I went to go charge my dying phone in the ladies room.

I mean, really. Ugh.

My takeaways from the GRAMMYs? Other than an awesome free show and a trip to a warmer climate in the middle of February… I think I may join the Recording Academy. If you’re a musician (or anyone involved in the recording industry) there are lots of benefits to you. You have to have various quantifiable qualifications to become a voting member (and membership is more expensive) but I can become a member, and a part of the Recording Academy’s network just by paying a fee and filling out a form.

I think I’m going to do it. The networking aspects seem really valuble. Everyone I met during the pre-telecast was very friendly, immediately gave me their card and urged me to keep in touch or add them on Facebook.

It’s really encouraging that so many industry professionals are not only friendly, but want to include someone they know nothing about.

All in all? The GRAMMYs were the shit! I can’t wait to go back next year. 🙂

Your Rockstar in Traning,