Rockers Finally Grow Statuesque as Their Very First Annual Awards Honor Richards, Clapton & Co.
updated 06/19/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/19/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Televised live from a stage of toppled Stonehenge-style Styrofoam columns, the first annual ceremony was a reunion of longtime rocksters: Robert Palmer, Lou Reed, David Bowie (with his new band, Tin Machine), Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper and Keith Richards, who won the Living Legend Award. Relatively fresh faces on the scene included Newcomer of the Year winners Living Colour—hard rock's biggest black band since Sly and the Family Stone. There were some notable absentees, among them: Lead Male Vocalist, Bono; Most Valuable Bass Player, Sting; and Most Valuable Drummer, Phil Collins. Madonna was another no-show, and her Lead Female Vocalist Award incited a chorus of boos from the audience—a statement, producer Bill Zysblat speculated, that she's more pop tart than rock queen.
After a group jam of Richards and Clapton's favorite," I Hear You Knocking," the musicians repaired to a downtown nightclub where they were joined by celebs of lateral status: Sean Penn, Grace Jones, race car driver Danny Sullivan, Phoebe Snow. It was very exclusive, but not, as the Palmer song goes, "Simply Irresistible." "I'll have more fun," sighed Ric Ocasek's date, model Paulina Porizkova, "when I go home."