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Boston, beer, and Bobby Brown

The 20th-Anniversary BMAs
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  December 9, 2007
Bobby Brown

Last weekend at the Orpheum, Bobby Brown was not indicted but inducted. Near the end of the two-and-a-half-hour Boston Music Awards, Brown took the stage (following a medley of his hits by the Berklee City Music All-Stars), sang “Roni,” and was given his place in the BMA Hall of Fame by three of his kids. “I don’t need Grammys,” he said, “I don’t need music awards, I need this.” Shortly after, Godsmack’s Sully Erna and WAAF’s Mistress Carrie came on and announced that Bang Camaro had won Local Song of the Year for “Pleasure (Pleasure).”

It was a night of good vibes and sharp, sudden juxtapositions. The BMA’s 20th-anniversary show mixed performances and awards presentations — more than a few of the awards going to acts that weren’t present. (A taped Killswitch Engage video came on when the band won Act of the Year.) There were funny bits. D-Tension introduced the Outstanding Funk/Jam Band award by surmising it meant, “If you sound like James Brown and/or Phish.” (Westbound Train won.) The Dogmatics gave the absent Ryan Montbleau the Local Male Vocalist award, but not before bitching about $9 beers.

The Dresden Dolls — Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, both in black skirts — gave Crit Harmon the Local Producer award for Lori McKenna’s Unglamorous, for which she later won Album of the Year. Mike Denneen, who was also up for the producer award (which he’s won four times), praised Harmon out in the lobby — where much hobnobbing took place — and when the Click Five accepted their Outstanding Pop Act award, most everyone singled him out as their producer.

The VIPs moved to the Hard Rock Café party after the show. “This meant everything to me,” said guitarist Bryn Bennett, whose Bang Camaro won two awards. “And I met Nuno Bettencourt [he played three songs with the reunited Extreme], and that’s like meeting your power god.” Former O-Positive singer/guitarist Dave Herlihy said, “Boston’s always been a red-headed stepchild in the industry, but there’s something phenomenal and uncontrollable about Boston, a deep pool of creativity few cities can match. Fuck New York! Fuck LA!”

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