Thankfully, Mayor Karl Dean didn’t return from the Grammy Awards last week with any wacky ideas.
He is not as yet a Belieber (never say never). He did not arrive at any press conferences inside a giant egg a la Lady Gaga. And he has not, as of press time, dressed as a peacock to serenade some Muppets.
On his own dime, the mayor schlepped to Los Angeles for some schmoozing with music’s biggest stars and The Arcade Fire. It makes sense, of course, for Music City’s executive to take part in music’s biggest night. With some big awards nabbed by Nashville acts, the mayor was as giddy as he could be.
“It was a great day for Nashville,” Dean told The City Paper’s Joey Garrison. “The Grammys underscored that we are Music City and that we are a city that produces music that receives awards in all different genres.”
Butch Spyridon — Nashville’s effusive, enthusiastic Convention and Visitor’s Bureau director and carnival-barker-in-chief — has said in the past that he wants to draw the Grammys back to Nashville for the first time since 1973. The mayor, for his part, emphasized that while the city is positioning itself well to compete for major events, he wouldn’t get specific on any attempts to lure the awards.
Dean had no “formal meetings” with the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences Board of Trust, but he “met people, talked with people.”
“We’ve got a good story to tell — we’ve got to tell it,” he told Garrison. “I’m always promoting Nashville.”
The mayor’s not saying it quite yet, but the Grammys would be a great grab for the city. Since the Grammys were first televised — in 1971 — they’ve been in either New York or Los Angeles every year (except for that 1973 trip to Nashville’s late, lamented 1920s movie palace, the Tennessee Theater). Swiping the statues from those two entertainment capitals would solidify Nashville as the rising star-city Dean says it is.
But with the mayor keeping any specifics on his efforts close to the vest, it’s safe to say it won’t happen until long after Bieber’s voice drops a couple registers.