John Billings, 71, has spent more than half of his life making the Grammys. At his shop in Ridgway, he keeps mementos from his colorful career.
"It's a different little place," he said inside the 2,000-square-foot Billings Artworks, or Grammy Row, showing The Gazette around before Sunday's 60th Grammy Awards in New York City. "This is a lot of my life, all of this stuff."
Here are five pieces that stood out:
- On a shelf is a Grammy with a bent horn. "John Legend's," Billings says. "His nephew dropped it, so I end up with these. Replacing them is easier than repairing them."
- Videos and photos went viral in 2010 when Taylor Swift dropped a Grammy from the four she was trying to cradle. The busted trophy was returned to Billings and signed "oops."
- Billings also makes the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to college basketball's best male player. He remade Michael Jordan's 1984 trophy and sent it, fixing and keeping the original that Billings says movers broke.
- The face of another MJ, Michael Jackson, the face of the Jackson 5 singer, is seen in a Motown ID card. Billings says a cousin of Jackson's gave it to him.
- From a mantle, Billings takes a Grammy and turns it over to show the bottom of the base. "Dear John, your work is super," it reads, signed Les Paul.