Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

5 treasures inside the Colorado shop where the Grammys are made

January 25, 2018 Updated: January 28, 2018 at 3:55 pm
0
Caption +
John Billings holds an old Grammy given to him by Les Paul in his Ridgway, Colo., shop Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

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:

John Billings, the Grammy Man, works with a mold in his Billings Artworks shop in Ridgway, Colo., Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. Billings and his three employees make every Grammy Award by hand. Each award takes about 15 hours to make and this year they will make about 350. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

- 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."

Reject pieces of the John R. Wooden Award sit ready to be melted again in John Billings' Ridgway, Colo. shop Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

- 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.

John Billings holds an old Grammy given to him by Les Paul in his Ridgway, Colo., shop Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)  

- 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.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 

Exclusive Subscriber Content

You read The Gazette because you care about your community and the local stories you can't find anywhere else.

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber? Get Access | Already a digital subscriber? Log In
 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.