When presented with four words — Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl — Jack Black’s mind leaped to food. “It’s a strange combination but it’s one of those that could end up being delicious,” he told Rolling Stone before the Beatle and Foo Fighter took the stage at last night’s Grammy Awards. “I’m sure the first time they put peanut butter and jelly together they were worried but then they tasted it and we like, wow!”
As for McCartney, he revealed he’s making his U.S. festival debut at Coachella this year for one simple reason: he was asked. “I heard it was a really cool festival, and the dates worked, so I could do it,” he said. “Everyone tells me it’s a beautiful location, it’s a really great show and great audience. That’s enough for me.” As for his set, “I don’t know. I’m just going to play whatever seems right on the day. I never plan it too much.”
While McCartney will surely give a few thousand concertgoers some incredible memories at the fest in April, he gave one famous fan a thrill last night. “I had a chance to meet Paul McCartney just now,” B.B. King told Rolling Stone. “I met all the Beatles except him until today!” (Catch photos of the big names mingling behind the scenes in our Grammy backstage gallery.) King also reminisced about his first-ever Grammy win, for “The Thrill is Gone.” “Glenn Campbell and I were sitting back, just having a little chat and a little taste at the same time. Miles Davis was on first, and he had a tune called ‘Bitches Brew,’ and he won. So it seemed to me that every time somebody would win, our congratulations was Glenn and I would have a little sip,” he said with a chuckle. “All of a sudden they call my name: ‘Thrill is Gone,’ B.B. King. I didn’t hear it. So Glenn smacked me and said, ‘B, you won!’ And my knees turned to jelly. I couldn’t get up.”
Robert Trujillo was the only band member repping for Metallica when they scored the award for Best Metal Performance (Lars Ulrich was skiing in Utah, James Hetfield was hanging up north and Kirk Hammett was vacationing in Hawaii), but he was psyched nonetheless: “This is pretty special for me. Join Metallica, get a Grammy!” Trujillo admitted he couldn’t really discern the difference between the Awards’ Hard Rock and Metal categories, though. “It’s almost like all the bands that were in the hard rock category could actually classify as metal,” he said.
Hard, metal or otherwise, Disturbed’s David Drainman argued that more rockers from either category are needed at the Grammys. “I don’t think they give rock its fair share by any stretch of the imagination, and the truth is that they’re really neglecting a big part of the Grammy constituents,” he told RS. “The majority of the country states that are red, they’re either fans of country or fans of rock so there certainly needs to be better representation for our genre. We’ll continue to fight the good fight.”
A far mellower Jason Mraz had a more Zen take on the ceremony: “There’s shitloads of music made every year and that they threw my happy little hippie song in this little group of people being acknowledged at this little party, then I’m stoked,” he told us. “But we got great seats so we’re already winners.” So how did he prep for music’s big night? “I got up early today, it was like Christmas. I made sure to do a long yoga, have some me time, I even did a lot of writing just to sort my thoughts. I took the garbage out because I wanted to be present today.”
Speaking of writing, newcomer Estelle — who performed her hit “American Boy” with Kanye West — said working with ‘Ye can be difficult. “Kanye is particular, very particular. But I don’t think it’s to his advantage,” she admitted. “I think when he’s sitting around he works on his best. He needs a break. Genius, crazy, it’s the same thing.” Sometimes approaching genius is scary, even for Grammy winners. “I wanted to meet Prince but I was scared,” Carrie Underwood said. “You don’t just walk up to Prince and say hello.”
Al Green was able to whip up a little genius in exactly two hours and 40 minutes: that’s how much time he had to prep for his Grammy performance with Justin Timberlake, a last-minute fill-in for Rihanna. “That’s what we do!,” he said backstage. “It’s just spontaneous. You don’t have time to make it up. I’m from the same hometown that Justin is from, so we eat candy off the same block.”
Mickey Hart was eager to chat about musical chemistry, too. Speaking about the Dead’s upcoming tour, he said, “We’re just going to go out and try to find that magic again. Without that, it’s not worth doing, after 40 some odd years.” He added, “We’re waking up the dragon, there’s no doubt about it. If it wasn’t for Barack Obama, we wouldn’t really be playing together. We found out that we really do love each other and we miss each other, and there’s no feeling like that in the world.”
Check out Rolling Stone‘s Grammy hub for all the latest reports and photos from music’s biggest night.