The genesis of my Thanksgiving week column has become tradition: I usually begin typing it immediately after I check out of my hotel in downtown Los Angeles. My morning after the American Music Awards technically starts at the after-party. Then there’s an after-after party with my colleagues. That is followed by food, caffeine and a few live morning radio spots to handle. If I’m lucky, I catch about five hours of sleep before I wake up and begin taping my now (also) traditional AMA recap show, including interviews with some of the winners and performers from Sunday night’s show.
Then I finish editing video from the weekend, sneak in a two mile run, shower, pack and head to the lobby.
I’m here now.
Green Day’s drummer Tré Cool just walked by me with a security guard in tow. He tried to play it incognito with a forward-facing beige beret tucked down over a big pair of black sunglasses, but the aqua hair splaying out from the side was a dead giveaway. Coincidentally, I also saw him last night at the official American Music Awards after-party, before I ran into and met the band’s bassist, Mike Dirnt.
“I owned the ‘Dookie’ album on cassette!” I exclaimed. I may have had an alcoholic beverage or two at this point.
“I still own it on cassette!” Dirnt shot back. We snapped a quick selfie and went our separate ways.
It’s nice to have tradition and routine; “typical experiences” like the aforementioned regarding two-thirds of Green Day.
But the unexpected can be just as, if not more, entertaining. I wasn’t expecting to wake up Sunday to an overcast, mid-60s day in downtown LA. Tents were pitched above the red carpet in L.A. Live, the area outside of Microsoft Theatre where the award show took place. Then, something took place that I don’t think has ever occurred in the history of the AMAs.
It rained. Steady, unforgiving rain.
It even brought some wind.
And people here lost it. The tents leaked. Puddles formed in front of the platforms where reporters and producers were frantically trying to adjust.
And as for the celebrities in attendance, to be honest, I think most of them don’t always need an excuse not to walk an entire red carpet. Even with our prime position for arrivals, we didn’t witness many first-hand. Gigi Hadid walked, or rather scurried by, clearly trying to get back inside to go over lines. Her co-host, the very relaxed and jovial Jay Pharoah stopped over to chat. Niall Horan was another one that sticks out; the Irishman talked with us ahead of his performance which was the first time he performed at the AMAs without his fellow One Direction mates.
As for our one-on-one room backstage, it is actually on the roof of a parking garage adjacent to the venue. If an artist wanted to stop by, they had to walk out of the venue.
Into the rain.
We didn’t see too many familiar faces there, either. The very gracious Tim McGraw stopped by (greeting me with a “Hey, Ralphie boy!”). Maroon 5 hit the photo area before the band closed out the show with a performance of “Don’t Wanna Know” – I presume so that they could head home immediately after getting off stage.
After all, the rain along with two events at the Staples Center next door and the AMAs made for quite the traffic predicament in Los Angeles.
But that’s expected around here.
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