Report from The GRAMMYs: Attending Star-Studded Producers & Engineers Gala Honoring Industry Icon Jimmy Iovine
Instagram snap of Lana Del Rey and me at The GRAMMYs P&E Gala (source)
My GRAMMY Week officially kicked off last night with The Recording Academy's private Producers & Engineers Wing celebration at the legendary Village Studios in Santa Monica. Special guest of the night was industry icon and Interscope founder/president Jimmy Iovine who received a special merit award for his achievements and contributions to the world of popular music.
The Village Studios is a fantastic little studio complex where many hit records have been created. It's a three-story building with smaller and larger studios that are all connected with small hallways and narrow stairways. People were mingling inside the building and in a small parking area next door where a tent was set up for refreshments. There was also a small Red Carpet arrival area for some of the event's high profile people on the guest list (including lots of Iovine's friends and artists).
I set myself up right in the Red Carpet area early on in the evening to make sure I wouldn't miss anyone. Mary J Blige came early and was her very gracious self. She was followed by Neil Portnow (President of The Recording Academy), Taboo (of the Black Eyed Peas), Colbie Caillat and film producer Brian Grazer.
A gorgeous looking Lana Del Rey made a quick stop at the Red Carpet as well to have her photo taken. She was quickly ushered away but she stopped for a moment to say hello and take a photo. Lana and I have corresponded since 2008 when she first sent me her music, but I had not met her in person yet. She's beautiful and she was sporting a little diamond tooth for the GRAMMY occasion. "It's all diamonds!" she said with a big smile.
A few minutes later people moved inside to the main room of The Village Studios to honor Jimmy Iovine. He was introduced by a special performance of Interscope artist Skylar Grey who performed an acoustic piano medley of her songs, "I Need A Doctor," "Coming Home" and "Love The Way You Lie." Simply beautiful. NARAS President Neil Portnow welcomed Jimmy Iovine to the stage after playing a movie compilation that showed us a glimpse of his incredibly impressive body of work. From producing Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks, and from his launch of Interscope to his Beats By Dre venture.
Jimmy Iovine had written down his thank-you remarks on some notes he carried with him on stage, but he decided to just "freestyle" it and thank everyone. He talked about his special relationship with Dr Dre, his deep admiration for Mary J Blige, shared a funny anecdote about Diddy and he quickly discussed the changes in the music industry. He said, "the reason I stopped producing and started Interscope is because everything changed (. . .) I don't understand Pro-Tools. It's all science fiction to me." He added, "But what the younger generations doesn't have is great stories, and I have lots of those."
Iovine concluded and introduced a special perfomance of Lana Del Rey who performed a flawless performance of "Video Games." Iovine had nothing but props for the singer who just sold over 800K copies of her debut album. Iovine said, "She reminds me of a young Stevie Knicks. She has a very special talent."
Also in attendance at this very small gathering were artists Dr Dre, Diddy, Will.i.am, Sheila E, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Jam, Polow da Don, and industry executives Ron Fair and Martin "Cherry Cherry Boom Boom" Kierszenbaum.
February 9, 2012 | Permalink