I was in the media room at the 1992 JUNOS on the night Alanis Morrisette won the award for Most Promising Female Vocalist and recorded the backstage question and answer session with reporters.
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Morrisette had been nominated for three JUNO awards that year: Most Promising Female Vocalist for her debut self-titled studio album, “Alanis”, which was released in April 1991; for Single of the Year “Too Hot” from her album; and for Best Dance Recording.
She won the first of these. In the other two categories she lost out to “Life is a Highway” by Tom Cochrane and to “Everyone’s a Winner” (Chocolate Movement Mix) by the group Bootsauce.
Alanis, the single-name moniker she used at the time, was 18 years old and still in high school. She was attending Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, Canada while making a name for herself in the music industry in the dance-pop genre.
Morrisette explained to reporters back stage how excited she was to win her first JUNO.
“I feel very happy right now! I’m overwhelmed,” said Alanis. “I didn’t expect this and I’ve been working on this for so long and I’ve always dreamed of winning a JUNO. So being here right now is a dream come true.”
Alanis also explained in that interview that she was heading into a new musical direction.
While she would release a second dance album later that year called “Now is the Time”, the change in her musical direction was evident in the album “Jagged Little Pill”, which was released in June 1995 and rocketed her to stardom in North America.
And the JUNO goes to…
The JUNOS are the Canadian music awards. The 1992 JUNO ceremony was held on Sunday March 29 at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto, Canada
The event was broadcast live on CBC television in Canada and actor Rick Moranis was the master of ceremonies.
By my count 36 awards in total were presented in a range of categories from Canadian Entertainer of the Year to Best Video, 14 of them televised.
Alanis Morrisette’s award for Most Promising was one of a few presented at a pre-show ceremony seen only by the theatre audience and, through closed circuit television, by others in the theatre lobby and the media room.
The pre-show ceremony was co-hosted by music VJs Stu Jeffries and Erica Ehm. I found a short grainy video of them on Youtube announcing the win by Alanis, but did not locate a video of Morrisette’s acceptance speech.
After the musicians won, they were escorted to the media room which was located backstage.
The winning artists were introduced, their photographs were taken with their awards and then they took questions from reporters.
I remember how excited Morrisette was. She stood out that night from all the other musicians who were pretty relaxed when speaking to reporters after accepting their award.
When she entered the media room I was near the sound board where my tape machine was hooked up to record audio of all the JUNO winners.
And despite bringing my camera along with me and taking a number of other photos, including photos of the winners in other categories Alanis was nominated in, I missed the opportunity of snapping a picture of the most promising female vocalist winner.
Alanis takes questions
The question and answer session between reporters and Morrisette lasted just over two minutes.
The audio you’ll hear did not air on the radio station I worked at as her music wasn’t on the playlist. I didn’t listen to dance music so had never heard of her until her name was announced as the winner in the Most Promising category.
So I honestly don’t know what prompted me to hit record on my tape machine, but I did and I’m glad!
This audio has been transcribed, so you can read along while listening. As well I have identified the reporters asking their questions and provided a bit of information about them.
Also, a heads up before you click play that there is some feedback, distortion and low audio at times.
Steve Warden MC
Steve Warden was the MC who welcomed Alanis back stage.
There were two MCs that night. John Derringer and Steve Warden were the hosts of “The 6 o’clock Rock Report” on Toronto radio station Q107. Derringer at the time was also the afternoon drive host at the station.
On this night they were both hosting and guiding the question and answer period between the musicians and reporters.
I feel very happy right now! I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t expect this and I, I’ve been working at this for so long. And I’ve always dreams of winning a Juno. So being here right now is basically a dream come true
You seem surprised?
Yeah. I’m very surprised and I’m very happy. (Audio levels off) I guess it was a little obvious but I was quite happy.
Oh well. Never again! I’ll fake it next time. Yeah!
Maybe we’ll take some questions from the floor. If anybody wants to step up?
Denise Donlon VJ
The first reporter to step up and ask a question was Denise Donlon, a VJ from MuchMusic, a Canadian TV channel that played music videos.
She was also, according to the official 1992 Juno Awards program I have, one of 10 people to judge in the Most Promising category.
Where are you?
Okay. So you’ve got uh, your, your JUNO for most promising. And that was more in the dance vain. I understand that you’re switching that now. You’re going to move off in a slightly different direction.
Um. I’d like to. Uh, It’s not going to say that the next album is going to be incredibly different. But I,I would like to think this career of mine could last a really long time. So it’s gonna go through some, some changes along the way. But I would like to go in a different direction slowly but surely along the way.
Unknown Male reporter
I don’t remember this reporter’s name. If you recognize his voice please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give him credit.
UNKOWN MALE REPORTER
(off mic) To reach what objective?
To reach my full potential as a, as a musician I guess. I…
UNKNOWN MALE REPORTER
What song style?
Um, For now it’s going to be um, dance pop oriented. But it could go in any direction right now. I don’t think there’s any real set direction that we’ve decided upon. But, I’m just going to go with what I feel. And, and come up with albums that are coming straight from my heart. So at the time…we’ll see right?
Nick Krewin reporter
Nick Krewin was a reporter for the Hamilton Spectator.
I don’t know Nick and didn’t introduce myself to him. But on the two occasions I saw him interview musicians, the guy owned the room. It was evident he knew their music, who they were, had done his research and came prepared with questions.
Here’s what he asked Alanis Morrisette.
Uh, Alanis, being a uh, recording artist, how has that uh, changed your life at uh, at high school. And how do you feel that this Juno award will, will change that?
Um. It’s changed my life not so much in the hallways at school. Because they’ve known that I’ve been doing this for a really long time. I’ve been getting a lot of congratulations around the hall ways. But um, I think you just lose…lose a bit of that privacy. Which doesn’t bother me because I know that’s what comes along with uh …
And then her voice cuts out on the tape.
Technical problems prevented the taping of the end of Morrisette’s interview, which concluded within moments anyway.
And the rest is history
While there would be many more awards and accolades for Alanis Morrisette, March 29, 1992 was her first big one.
In 1996 she swept the JUNOS: her album “Jagged Little Pill” won for Album of the Year and Rock Album of the Year; Morrisette won for Female Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year; and the song “You Oughta Know” won Single of the Year.
Morrisette would be back again at the JUNOS in March 2015 when she was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
My attendance at the 1992 JUNOS was the second and the last time I would cover an awards show.
My work shift changed from general reporter to morning news anchor and the late nights and early mornings were not a healthy mix.
Still the two times I attended I thought working the media room was a pretty cool experience.
I wasn’t paid to be there. I just went because I wanted the work experience and the learning experience of watching and listening to the professional journalists do their thing.
The first time I went to the JUNOS in 1990 was just to go. The second time in 1992, I wanted to cover what was at the time the big music story in Canada.
It involved singer Bryan Adams and criticism about Canadian content regulations.
But that’s another blog. And I have audio of that too.