Perhaps it was because he recorded my very first song or because he was generous enough to give me a blurb for a book that received a nomination this year that I was invited to Clive Davis’ infamous pre GRAMMY Gala. It’s the place everyone who’s a somebody wants to be and last night I was a somebody.
I had no plus+. I’m actually Ok with that. I’m comfortable on my own—and because I don’t have to be an attentive date, I usually wind up spending a bit of time in a bathroom stall merrily tapping away at a blog.
When I arrived (fold up ballet flats in my purse), I had no idea what to expect. The front of the hotel was roped off. Security was abundant.
I was depressed when I started writing my book—not quite sure where I fit into the world of the music business any more or if I fit in at all. I kept thinking it’s poetically ironic that I’m at this party.
I wasn’t having a good hair day. It was looking a little Melania. Too flat on top for me. You simply can NOT replicate what it was you did the week before when it turned out great. There are too many variables. Oh well. It is what it is.
But it didn’t matter. Maybe it was the medallion around my neck, or maybe it was actually noted somewhere, but after checking my wrap I was prompted to walk in a certain direction: through the Sheraton lobby. Spectators and fans waited on both sides for their favorite star to arrive. I’m sure they were wondering 'who the hell is she?'
What am I doing here? There must be some mistake. Keep walking Shelly. Keep smiling like it's not.
Around the bend, Tally, a lovely young intern from Belmont University, lead me to the Media queue with umm, Jennifer Hudson and Ryan Tedder who I said hello to and reminded him that we wrote a couple of tunes together way back before it all, well, you know…and how his cat would bite my toes while we worked. He said, Oh yeah, and that his cat’s name was Chamberlain, and that he’s sadly gone now. :(
The line was moving. Before I knew it I was faced by a frenzy of photographers and journalists. Again, what am I doing here? I did that hand on your hip thing that all the girls do. I don’t know why. I just did it. I guess it makes you look like..I dunno…the rest of the girls? Some of the photographers called my name and snapped some pics. Some didn’t care. Some of the journalists pointed a mic my way and asked me some questions. I was grateful. I’ve done this before I have. I can do it again.
Then, I heard “Shelly, It’s me, Michelle!” Do I know her? She said, “I’m from Variety. I wrote that piece about you.” OMG. That’s her!! She and I talked at length on the phone right after my nomination. She said she was going to write something favorable about being the underdog. It was published on Friday with a headline that read: “‘Failed’ Songwriter Goes up Against Bruce Springsteen.”
Needless to say I didn’t share it. She noticed the horrified look on my face when I made the connection. She swore it was her editor who titled the piece. Fucking editor. I’m on the red fucking carpet. Do I look like a failed songwriter to you? Anyway, I believe her. I do.
They started filing us into the ballroom for dinner. I can’t find my gold ticket. Are you kidding? Shellaaaayyyy! What is WRONG with you? I waited this long to get invited to Clive’s party and I lost my ticket? Call Tally! She’ll save me. She’s my fixer. Ah...there it is…inside one of my ballet flats!
I’m in. Hello Beyonce. Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Seinfeld, Rob Reiner, Martha Stewart, Khalid, some famous athletes whose names I can’t recall.
Clive greets us at the podium. I can only hope that when I’m 85 I am still as passionate about my work as he is. Thank you for having me, Mr. Davis. I am truly honored.
Many introductions. Barry Manilow kicks it off. It gets better and better. Just as I think it simply can’t get any better than Gladys Knight, on comes Alicia (gorgeous without make-up) Keys.
There’s so much more to report but it’s 9am here in NY (the morning after) and I have to be at the Red Carpet for the Premiere (Pre-Telecast) Show at 2PM. I need a lot of time to try to get my hair to see it my way today.
At the end the party last night, I exited the same way I came in. The same fans were still lining both sides of the lobby. I heard them scream once in a while. I made sure my medallion was on the outside of my ensemble.
Tomorrow I may turn into a pumpkin. But I’m a somebody tonight.
I walked out into the NY night. For 2 blocks. Then I leaned against a post, changed into those ballet flats, and got a slice of pizza.