Metallica and Jethro Tull were nominated for the first “Hard Rock/Metal Performance” Grammy Award in 1989. Ian Anderson, the leader of Jethro Tull that won the Grammy award against Metallica that year, answered questions about this issue in an interview on KSHE95 Radio Station.

As you know, Metallica was founded in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield and is considered one of the 4 big bands of Heavy Metal. Metallica, which achieved a huge fan base and success with their third album, Master of Puppets, won many awards for which it was nominated.

They won their first awards at the 1992 MTV VMA for “Enter Sandman” in the Best Metal Music Video category. The Grammy-winning band won their first Grammy in the category of “Best Hard Rock Song” for “…And Justice for All”. Metallica, which has been nominated for 17 Grammy Awards so far, has won the award 10 times.

‘Well, I think Metallica Were Actually Very Gentlemanly’

In an interview with KSHE95, Ian Anderson gave information about Jethro Tull‘s new plans. Continuing the interview, the host asked if he had ever had a chance to rub in the face of Metallica after Jethro Tull won the 1989 “Hard Rock/Metal Performance” Grammy award against Metallica.

“Well, I think Metallica were actually very gentlemanly,” he said. “At the time, they did say, when they did win the Grammy next year, as I predicted they would, they took out a page in Billboard thanking the record company, their friends and family for supporting them, the dog — I mean, they thanked everybody, including Jethro Tull for not releasing a new album that year.

“They had a sense of humor about it. They took it on the chin even though everybody was busy telling them they were gonna win a Grammy and then, unfortunately, that year they didn’t. But they were the hot new act, and surely they were gonna win it the following year, and, of course, they did.”

‘Yes, That’s a Grammy. It’s Mine, And I Earned It’

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre was also one of those who shared his thoughts on the same issue in the past years.

When the interviewer Mitch Lafon said, “I want to ask you one thing coming from the Metallica fan perspective; we all know about this ‘Crest of a Knave’ thing – Metallica doesn’t win the best heavy metal album [but Jethro Tull does in 1989]. Has the controversy overshadowed the fact that you had a great album? How do you look back on this?”, Martin replied:

“Well, it wasn’t a controversy in my household. [Laughs] Let’s put it that way. And I’m looking at my Grammy right now, it’s up on the top shelf in my studio.

“It’s there so that people who come here to work for me look at it and it pisses them off. And I’m like, ‘Yes, that’s a Grammy. It’s mine, and I earned it.’ I don’t say it, but I think it…

“I was at home, it’s midnight, about to go to bed, and I get a phone call saying, ‘You’ve won the Grammy.’ And I go, ‘Oh…?’

“But we come across as being rude because we weren’t there to receive it, and that’s the bad thing, that’s the only negative thing about it – that I would have loved the occasion and if I ever get a chance of doing something like that again, I don’t know…

When the interviewer added, “Whether or not Metallica deserved it, that’s a whole other debate, but fans have talked about it as if Jethro Tull didn’t deserve it and the album wasn’t good enough. It’s like, ‘No, the album has its merits, it’s a good album.’ So talk about whether Metallica deserves to win, but don’t say Jethro Tull’s not good,” Martin responded:

“Yeah, Tull always turned their back on that sort of thing, but you know what? I’m very happy that I got it.

“Everybody likes a pat on the back. They might shrug it off or just pretend that it’s not cool, but we’re all human, and we all like to be told we’ve done a good job.

“But there’s a little present, and even deep down, you’re smiling.”


  1. I am sorry Crest For A Knave is a terrible album. I would be ashamed of winning an award for best heavy metal album for something that is not even remotely metal. I thinks it’s rather sad they even accepted them.

  2. I am sorry Crest For A Knave is a terrible album. I would be ashamed of winning an award for best heavy metal album for something that is not even remotely metal. I thinks it’s rather sad they even accepted them.

    I will never forget this happening. It’s also the last time I ever watched an awards ceremony.


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