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Yet, since the industry began handing out the golden gramophone trophies in 1959, artists have kept them in a variety of places. While Alicia Keys recently told reporters she kept her Grammys in a box because she didn't want to flaunt them, Sting once said he kept his in a bathroom because he knew people would see them there.
With this year's Grammy Awards ceremony upon us, we asked several past winners what they do with their trophies.
Backstage at the 1995 Grammy Awards ceremony, the former Black Flag frontman was a hit with the media. Casually dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, Rollins -- nominated for Best Metal Performance and winner of Best Spoken Word Recording -- said his plans for the rest of the night entailed sleeping on a futon with his cat.
When asked how it felt to best Gregory Peck's recording of the Bible for the spoken word category, he responded, "My thing was a little fresher."
Today, the man who once told reporters "This Grammy won't change my life much" doesn't know where his trophy is.
"I gave it to my manager," he says. "He and I parted ways years ago. I don't know what he ended up doing with it."
THE EAGLES' DON FELDER
When the Eagles asked Felder to play guitar on their song "Good Day in Hell" in 1974, the band was so pleased they invited him to become a full-time member. In turn, Felder would help transform the Eagles from country rock to California rock.
His most memorable contribution came when he wrote and recorded an instrumental demo -- initially called "Mexican Reggae" -- which became "Hotel California." The Grammy for Record of the Year in 1977 was one of four the Eagles won while Felder was in the band.
"I have a large grand piano that is the centerpiece of my living room, where I spend a great deal of time writing," says Felder, now a solo artist. "All of my Grammys are proudly placed there in the highest place of honor in my home for me to see them daily as well as for anyone who comes over to drool over."
OK GO'S TIM NORDWIND
While at the gym one day, choreographer Trish Sie came up with an intriguing idea for a music video.
Sie, whose brother Damian Kulash sings for OK Go, wanted to choreograph a video using treadmills. Set to the band's song "Here It Goes Again," the video was shot in a single take (after eight days of practice), featuring band members performing a daredevil dance routine on eight treadmills moving at 2 mph in nearly perfect rhythm with the song.
At a cost of $4.99, the video -- which had half a million hits within the first 48 hours it was posted on You Tube -- was easily the cheapest to win a Grammy for Best Short-Form Music Video, which it did in 2007.
"The Grammy now sits proudly on my mantle, guarded by two twin Isis heads," says OK Go bassist Tim Nordwind, who is also a member of the band PYYRAMIDS. "Isis is the patron of magic and nature. My Egyptian head lamps fend off burglars and drunk stumbling friends ... sometimes. Before this perfect homage for the Grammy, it was kept in storage as nothing felt quite special enough. But thanks to my Egyptian heads, my Grammy has a home."
During a trip to Memphis in 1986, the singer-songwriter visited a restaurant called the Hollywood in a small town outside of the city. In the Hollywood -- a former slave commissary -- he met Muriel Wilkins, a teacher, gospel singer and Cohn's soon-to-be muse.
After talking with Wilkins, Cohn was inspired to write "Walking in Memphis," an ode to the city that references Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Al Green and Wilkins.
That tune, off Cohn's self-titled debut album, helped earned him a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1991. Wilkins did get to hear the song, though she died at age 68 not long after its release.
"My Grammy has a prominent place in the music room of our New York City apartment, where I keep my upright piano and my favorite guitars," Cohn says. "It sits on a shelf surrounded by thousands of CDs and enlarged prints of heroes of mine, like Levon Helm and Bob Dylan. The most treasured photo in the room, though, is the one of the late Muriel Davis Wilkins and me on stage at the Hollywood Cafe just outside of Memphis, Tennessee, sometime in the mid-'80s."
The Grammy sits in front of that photo, Cohn says, "right where it belongs."
First a dancer on "Soul Train" and then a member of the R&B group Shalamar, Watley eventually became a successful solo performer, who helped pave the way for future R&B acts like Rihanna and Beyonce.
Having fantasized about being a Grammy-nominated artist as a child, Watley was elated when Little Richard read the winner for Best New Artist in 1987 -- and even more elated when Michael Jackson congratulated and kissed her backstage.
"My Best New Artist Grammy is currently sitting on my baby grand piano amidst a few treasured family photos and (photos) of my two children," Watley says. "Winning the Grammy, especially when I did and for this major category, remains one of the great triumphs of my career."
Initially, Atlantic Records didn't plan to release "Black Velvet," Alannah Myles' tribute to Elvis Presley, as a single. But when radio stations in small markets started playing it, listeners requested more of it.
The song, featuring Myles' sultry vocals, was nominated in 1990 against tunes by better-known artists Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Melissa Etheridge and Janet Jackson.
"When Lyle Lovett and Suzanne Vega opened the envelope to announce the winner, I heard their first words -- 'Black ...' -- and automatically assumed it was Janet Jackson's 'Black Cat,' which had been nominated," Myles says. "To my utter amazement, it had been my name that was called, and I was dumbfounded."
Today, she keeps the statue on a wooden dresser, where it's safe from her Bengal cat, Ariel, but yet still visible to Myles "from the privacy of my own domain."
While the trophy has been broken twice (the statues then were known to break easily), Myles doesn't want to replace it with a newer one, featuring a black base -- an option artists have.
"I love the idea of it being vintage with a wooden base and brass name plaque," she said.
In the '80s, Robert Cray's brand of music -- mixing '60s soul with rural blues -- offered a fresh take on the blues genre, which ultimately afforded him airplay, a tour opening for Eric Clapton and chart success that musicians in the genre seldom found. Cray also had Grammy success, winning five Grammys (out of 15 nominations) from 1986 to 1999.
"My Grammy awards are displayed on a shelf in our home office," Cray says. "But not in a conspicuous spot -- you have to really look around to notice them."
In 2002, Arie seemed on her way to a dream-like night when she was nominated for seven Grammys. But joy turned to disappointment when she left the ceremony as one of the industry's most infamous losers, getting shut out.
The Grammy diss inspired her to write the song "Little Things," in which she described what really mattered to her -- i.e., not the "glitter and gold." Ironically, "Little Things" would eventually result in one of her four Grammy wins.
"I attribute my success in life to three things," she says. "My mother, my family and the creator. So I have two of my Grammys in my Prayer Room, one at my mom's house and I have one -- the one I won with Herbie Hancock -- out for my friends to see when they come over ... because it's just fun."
DEREK AND THE DOMINOS' JIM GORDON
When Eric Clapton's acoustic version of "Layla" won a Grammy in 1993, few noticed that co-writer Jim Gordon wasn't there to accept his award. The reason he wasn't able to attend? He was serving life in prison at the California Mens Colony for murdering his mother in 1983.
While Gordon was a drummer, he wrote the famous piano coda to the original "Layla," recorded by his and Clapton's band Derek and the Dominos. While that second movement wasn't included on Clapton's remake, Gordon was still awarded the Grammy because he co-wrote the original.
Before Gordon was transferred from the Mens Colony, a spokesperson from the Recording Academy, which selects Grammy winners, said he didn't know who accepted the award on Gordon's behalf. And Larry Vizard, a public information officer at the prison, said the award was not in Gordon's cell.
Gordon, diagnosed with schizophrenia, has since been transferred to the Atascadero State Hospital and the California Medical Facility, where he remains. Bill Sessa, a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections, said he doesn't know where Gordon's Grammy is.
YES' JON ANDERSON
By the end of the '70s, the prog rock group Yes was seemingly done. But in the early 80s, members Chris Squire and Alan White got together and formed a group they called Cinema. When vocalist Jon Anderson joined them, the Yes reunion was on.
Their 1983 album 90125 was best known for the single "Owner of a Lonely Heart," the band's only No. 1 single. But also on that album was an instrumental song named "Cinema," named after the group that never was. The song picked up a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1984, but Anderson couldn't attend the ceremony.
"I was in Paris, working on a new album with Vangelis, so I never got my Grammy," Anderson says. "Seems it got lost somewhere -- probably the manager has it in his loo."
Despite never getting his sole Grammy, Anderson says his family provides enough satisfaction at his home in California.
"For some reason it just never bothered me that much ... I get all my awards and rewards right here and now with each wonderful day I'm alive."
LIVING COLOUR'S COREY GLOVER
Being an African-American band that played hard rock, Living Colour had to fight to get its video for "Cult of Personality" on MTV. But its efforts -- and label Sony Records' threat to pull Michael Jackson's videos -- were paid off when the song won Best Hard Rock Performance in 1989.
Yet, even after the band won a second Grammy the following year for its song "Time's Up," life didn't change, says lead singer Corey Glover.
"After the Grammys, I personally got on the subway and went home," he says.
He gave one of the statues to his mother. The other became a door stop in his apartment.
"It was heavy enough to hold my bathroom door open, so ..."
Glover is careful to say that he didn't mean to denigrating the Grammys -- "I'm very grateful and very happy that I have a couple" -- but the statue itself, he added, is merely symbolic. The recognition itself meant more.
"I was there -- that was more important to me," says Glover, who reveals that the trophy is still in a box after a recent move. "That I got to sit backstage, talking to Sting and Garth Brooks, was just as important as winning anything. I was sitting down the aisle from En Vogue and Harry Connick Jr."
Carnes loved the lyrics to Jackie DeShannon's 1974 song "Bette Davis Eyes," about the Oscar-winning actress with the stunning, if not piercing, gaze. But while the original had an obvious old-timey influence, Carnes and her band wanted to record a gruffer, more rockcentric version.
The result was a huge hit. Carnes' version, featuring her raspy vocals, spent nine weeks at No. 1, making it the biggest hit of 1981.
At the Grammy ceremony in 1982, Carnes, dressed in a black tuxedo, black boots and a leopard tie, thanked her band, her producer, her record company and Bette Davis, whom she had befriended.
After "Bette Davis Eyes" earned her a Grammy for Record of the Year, Carnes went on to win another in 1983 for her contribution to the "Flashdance" soundtrack.
"Proudly, I have two Grammys," Carnes says. "They are sitting on top of my piano, which is cool, because that is where I write all my songs."
In that same room there's a photo of Carnes and Bette Davis together.
"I really treasure it," she says. "We had a special friendship. She was so gracious to me."
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