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Death permeates Grammy lifetime achievement awards
Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:54 AM EST29
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By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Music greats such as Joan Baez, The Doors and The Grateful Dead won lifetime achievement awards on Saturday, although many of those honored did not live long enough to receive them.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which handed out the honors, will bestow another set on Sunday at the Grammy Awards, the music industry's biggest bash.

"The thing about a lifetime achievement award is being here. We made it and we're alive," said the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, who stood with co-drummer Bill Kreutzmann to receive the honor on behalf of the psychedelic group.

"I wish the rest of my brothers in the band could be here," said Kreutzmann.

Jerry Garcia, the band's frontman and most famous member, died in 1995. The Grateful Dead suffered several other deaths over the years.

Doors' guitarist Robby Krieger was the sole member to appear at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, although family members of late singer Jim Morrison were on hand.

John Densmore, the band's drummer, thanked the academy in a videotaped message, during which he recited Morrison's "American Prayer" poem.

"Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings," Densmore said in reciting the poem.

Krieger said Morrison would have been proud.

"People think he was anti-establishment, but in reality he wanted to be bigger than the Beatles. He would be very honored," Krieger said.

Opera legend Maria Callas was also honored posthumously, while jazz innovator Ornette Coleman, who received a standing ovation, mused about the meaning of life and death for several minutes.    Continued ...

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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