Grammy producer apologizes for Metallica, Caesar glitches

LOS ANGELES —

The longtime producer of the Grammy Awards is offering apologies to Metallica and Shirley Caesar after a technical glitch and a misprint marred their inclusion on the show.

The mic for Metallica’s James Hetfield wasn’t initially working when the band took the stage to perform with Lady Gaga, and Caesar, a lifetime achievement award honoree, was misidentified during the televised ceremony when a photo of another gospel star, CeCe Winans, was shown instead of her during a montage clip.

“These kinds of things are horrible when they happen,” Ken Ehrlich said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. “That’s one of the risks of live television.”

The Metallica glitch, for which the band has blamed a dead microphone, resulted in Hetfield making a decision to improvise and use Lady Gaga’s mic.

Ehrlich has heard a different story from his crew about the problem.

“My guys say that the mic cable was connected,” he said. “My guys’ theory was that ... one of the extras (on stage) accidentally kicked out the cable that went to the mic.”

Still, the end result was Hetfield’s singing couldn’t be heard for the first part of the performance.

“Obviously, we apologize to the band,” Ehrlich said, calling the mishap “awful.”

He added that he’s worked with Metallica for years, so to see that happen was personally upsetting to him: “You hurt.”

In the case of Caesar, the gospel legend, Ehrlich had a better understanding of what happened. When preparing for a clip to run of her for the show, footage of a classic Caesar, Winans and Whitney Houston performance was used, and Winans was mistakenly shown.

Ehrlich said he usually checks such footage but didn’t get a chance to this year, since he was busy with the show and the Recording Academy’s tribute to the Bee Gees, which taped in Los Angeles on Tuesday and will air at a later date.

“We obviously want to apologize to Shirley Caesar,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that happened.”

Caeser released a statement Wednesday thanking Ehrlich for the apology and added, “these things happen sometimes.”

Ehrlich was also frustrated that the mistakes have overshadowed some of the great performances that occurred on the show, including Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Adele, who had her own hiccup when she restarted her tribute to George Michael.

“When you do a three-and-a-half hour live show, it’s fraught with danger,” he said. “It was an adventurous show in many ways.”

Ehrlich has produced the Grammys for years and has also produced other events, including the Emmy Awards.

___

Online:

http://www.grammys.com

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • 3

    wanderlust

    Microphones use XLR (Cannon) connectors, which have very firm locks on them. It takes a coordinated, deliberate effort to un-connect them, pressing a button and pulling them apart at the same time. You don't just kick them apart.

  • 1

    Blacklabel

    How about the presenter prior to Metallica playing? She was so busy pushing her own political agenda she didnt even make the time to announce Metallica or the name of the song. That is totally unacceptable.

  • 1

    Robert Dykes

    They also played a Metallica song when Megadeth won best metal song and went to collect their award.

  • -1

    Nessie

    Unforgiven?

  • 0

    Arthur Clark

    I love rock music, but my favorite group Metallica.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    She was so busy pushing her own political agenda she didnt even make the time to announce Metallica or the name of the song. That is totally unacceptable

    Ahh but in today's politically charged atmosphere, criticizing anyone, constructive or otherwise, is a PC no-no, if THEY are pushing their own political agenda at the time of their errors. Particularly if it is coming from one side of the political spectrum that is...

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