There are some bonafide music industry legends lined up for Sunday’s Grammy show – Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand. But towering above them all, per usual, will be current Sony Music maestro Clive Davis, whose Saturday night party at the Beverly Hilton is a bigger deal for the artists than the show itself.
Earlier this week, the New York Times did a brief Q&A with the 78-year-old Davis on the occasion of the Grammy Museum in downtown LA christening a 200-seat auditorium in his name. Along with explaining how hard it has become to say no to some of those who want to attend his party (“This year I really can’t go out to public restaurants”), Davis had some interesting thoughts on the state of the music industry. He says while the singles industry has come back with a vengeance, the radio end of things is in bad shape:
What I do find challenging is that radio is more restrictive these days, in changing Top 40 to rhythm, almost totally and exclusively. It’s fine to have dance music, it’s fine to have rhythmic music. But we must have our troubadours. We must have our poet laureates. We must have our new Dylan’s and new Springsteen’s.
Davis knows a thing or two about the Boss. He recalled during Wednesday’s naming ceremony how he once took Lou Reed to the Bottom Line in 1975 to see the up-and-coming singer.