There are two ways to watch the Grammys. Plan A: Pick up a sixer of Schlitz and some French onion dip and settle in for a long, lonely night. Plan B: Gather some of your favorite people, rent an extravagantly expensive L.A. penthouse, call up Sammy Hagar and have him send over a case of his Cabo Wabo tequila, enlist singer-cum-Food Network host Lisa Loeb to help whip up a menu for a Tex-Mex feast, and spend three hours generally having the time of your life. Yeah, we chose Plan B too. As did Loeb, rock spouses Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, Brett Anderson and Torry Castellano from the Donnas, comedian David Cross, and songwriter Desmond Child (”Livin’ on a Prayer,” ”Livin’ la Vida Loca”), who joined us for a Grammy-night blowout.
A jet-lagged David Cross strides through the door as other early arrivals gather around the television. Aimee Mann and Michael Penn plop down on a pair of chairs, while Desmond Child shows off a banana-orange cake he made from scratch.
CROSS So we’re all here to make fun of Maroon 5, is that it?
CHILD What? I love Maroon 5! I’m rooting for Maroon 5!
Groans from around the room.
The 47th Annual Grammy Awards officially begin as Best New Artist nominees the Black Eyed Peas take the stage to perform ”Let’s Get It Started.” Everyone is perched in front of a 72-inch wide-screen TV.
MANN Who are these people?
The Black Eyed Peas give way to Gwen Stefani and Eve singing their hit ”Rich Girl.”
CHILD I know Gwen’s legs are longer than that. Is it the wide-screen TV or is it. . .bad thighs? I just wanna know.
CROSS Listen to you! Right out of the gate!
CHILD I’m not accusing anyone of anything, I’m just questioning the technological situation.
MANN This all looks Pirates of Penzance. Is anyone else thinking this is all early Adam Ant? I can only say, Oh no, not again.
CROSS I feel like they’re singing at me — they’re yelling at me.
Best New Artist nominees Maroon 5 begin to play ”This Love.”
CROSS I f—ing hate this song.
MANN I’ve never heard them.
CROSS Just imagine if Cake, matchbox twenty, and Third Eye Blind all got together and changed their names to Maroon 5.
PENN With a little Spin Doctors.
CROSS I like that [Maroon 5 keyboardist Jesse Carmichael] is wearing a peace sign on his arm. He’s the hippie. The band was probably like, ”Don’t wear the armband, you’re going to make us look like d—s. Our whole point is to be very nonpolitical and not upsetting and not have a stand on anything, and you’re going to f— it up with your peace sign.”
CHILD I like that tenors have come back to rock music. It’s been baritones from Creed on.
PENN From Pearl Jam on.
The Peas return to the stage, singing ”Let’s Get It Started” again.
MANN I don’t get this. They’ve put all this music together that has nothing to do with each other.