Grammys’ Ken Ehrlich “apologizes” to Trent Reznor: “I’m sorry he’s upset”

Grammys exec producer offers backwards non-apology to Trent Reznor for cutting out from his performance with Queens of the Stone Age

Trent Reznor - Nine Inch Nails - Atlanta GA, 10 May 2009

File photo: Trent Reznor – Nine Inch Nails – Atlanta GA, 10 May 2009

In a curiously left-handed “apology” – the kind your mother would probably slap you for because what it says is “I’m not really sorry at all” – Grammys executive producer Ken Ehrlich has told The Hollywood Reporter “I’m sorry he was upset,” after they asked “What’s your response to Trent Reznor’s anger at the last number being cut off?”

That of course is a reference to the Nine Inch Nails’ live-incarnation front man and overall creative force  posting a justifiably angry tweet just following the ceremony on Sunday night, right after he must have discovered that despite heavily hyping the all-star joint appearance of NIN with QOTSA, Dave Grohl, and Lindsey Buckingham, Grammy producers and CBS chose to cut away from the performance and instead play sponsor ads and promos for their own show, complete with voiceovers, while the band was still live on stage. While Nine Inch Nails was able to completely finish their own song – a combined ensemble of NIN’s live band plus Queens, Grohl, and Buckingham – the second song, Queens’ “My God Is The Sun,” sung by Josh Homme and Queens with Reznor on piano, was cut away with about a third left to go and covered with ads, credits, and promos for another CBS show. In his defense, Ehrlich went on after his “apology” to claim that “The number was about five, six minutes long, and we got to within a minute twenty of the end. We got as close as we could possibly get.” Actually, as close as you could possibly get would be to get it. The article is somewhat bizarre in other ways – besides Ehrlich’s apparent satisfaction at insulting Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter at an afterparty, he makes an oddly proud mention of how much Cognac he drank and with whom. As though anyone is impressed about who he gets wasted with.

“Did you ever see the guys in Daft Punk without their robot gear?” I did, yeah. … At their party, two in the morning, a little buzzed on cognac, I said to Thomas [Bangalter], “You look a lot better with that f—in’ helmet on.” –Ken Ehrlich

 “I really don’t drink, but about an hour from the end of the show, Jay Z keeps a little bottle of cognac underneath his seat, and takes a taste. So I came down there a couple of times during the show and he filled my cup. By the “In Memoriam” segment, I was feeling pretty good. By the time I got to the Daft Punk party at the Park Plaza Hotel, I wound up back with Beyonce and Jay Z, who offered me another shot of cognac.”–Ken Ehrlich

Hey here’s a thought: next year, spend less time sneaking out to take a few nips and more time minding your production so that the people you invite to appear – the people who generate ad revenue for you – don’t get kicked off without warning in the middle of their act. That’s what you’re paid for, isn’t it, Mr. Ehrlich? Producing? Try to do better in the future. This year was embarrassing for you.

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Article and photo by Maryelle St. Clare