29 years ago today, the rock world was scratching our collective heads after the announcement of the winner when the category for Hard Rock/Heavy Metal was introduced for the first time at the Grammy Awards.

The nominees were: Metallica “And Justice for All”, AC/DC “Blow Up Your Video”, Iggy Pop “Cold Metal”, Jethro Tull “Crest of a Knave”, and Jane’s Addiction “Nothing’s Shocking”.  What was shocking was that Metallica had just brought out the heavy artillery performing “One” live on the show.

We thought for sure that winning a category with word Metal in it was a sure bet for the band that had created what would go on to be one the best metal albums of all time!

Then the awkward “and the Grammy goes to” moment came from presenters Alice Cooper and Lita Ford…”the winner is, Crest of a Knave, Jethro Tull.” Nothing against this album, we absolutely loved it here at the Blimp! WBLM cranked out Jumpstart, Steel Monkey, and Farm on the Freeway on the Maine airwaves. It’s just that this historical moment really made us rockers question if the folks at the Grammys were truly in touch?

This may be one of the biggest upsets in Grammy history. Metallica got their well deserved recognition 3 years later in 1992 when they won Best Metal Performance. Hard Rock and Metal rightfully got their own separate categories.

Watch Jethro Tull perform Farm on the Freeway live. Ian jokes in the introduction that this song is from “the Grammy winning album, the Heavy Metal/Hard Rock album…not.” See, even he thought it was silly.

We count 11 appearances in Maine by Jethro Tull going back as far as 1969. Thanks for all the wicked killah prog-rock over the years on-stage in Blimpville, Ian!

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images


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