Dylan and son make Grammys a family affair

The music Oscars were more schmaltz than cutting edge, says David Usborne in New York
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The Independent Online
FOR THE producers at CBS television it was occasionally scary. For the British music industry it was surely not bad. But no one came out from Wednesday night's Grammy awards show in New York more burnished than the family Dylan.

It was a night of like father, like son. Virtually overlooked by the Grammys until this week, 59-year-old Bob Dylan won three awards at the ceremony at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Better still, his son, Jakob, took home two Grammys for the work of his own band, the Wallflowers.

Dylan Sr's prizes all came from his 1997 album Time Out of Mind - his first top 10 album in almost 20 years - including best album of the year. Jakob's were both awarded for the Wallflower song "One Headlight".

Other top awards went to Shawn Colvin, whose poignant ballad about a distraught mother who burns down her house, "Sunny Come Home", was record of the year. Paula Cole, meanwhile, was named best new artist.

Organised by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Grammys are often criticised for favouring big-lunged schmaltz over cutting- edge. Sir Elton John receiving best male pop vocal performance for the Princess Diana tribute, "Candle in the Wind 1997" seemed to fit in that tradition.

Two other British winners in New York suggested a less mainstream Grammy culture, however. Radiohead snared the alternative album award with their OK Computer. Many US critics were startled that Jamiroquai knocked out Hanson, the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac and No Doubt for the best pop group title.

In what seemed a slight to rock, however, only mainstream performances made the show itself, broadcast by CBS to a world-wide audience of 1.5 billion. Jamiroquai were not there, while Chemical Brothers, Tool, Radiohead and the Wallflowers got their prizes in a pre-awards ceremony not broadcast.

CBS controllers were twice given the kittens. First, a naked-chested man with "Soy Bomb" scrawled on his torso charged the stage while a totally unphased Bob Dylan peformed his single, "Love Sick". And then as Ms Colvin was attempting to accept her award, a member of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan seized the microphone to declare their music better than Puff Daddy's.

Next year, suggested Grammys organisers Michael Greene, he might arrange for a front-of-stage mosh-pit for those unwilling to behave.

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