Hit Parade Hall of Fame
had to be created
From Fox News:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258664,00.html (halfway down
Rock Hall Voting Scandal:
Rock Group Actually Won
According to sources knowledgeable about the mysterious
ways of the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, British Invasion group The Dave
Clark Five and
not Grandmaster Flash finished fifth in the final voting of the
committee and should have been inducted on Monday night.
According to sources, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, who
appointed himself chairman of the Foundation after the death of
ignored the final voting and chose Grandmaster Flash over the
DC5 for this
"Jann went back to a previous ballot instead of taking the final
vote as the
last word," my source insisted. "He used a technicality about
the day votes
were due in. In reality, The Dave Clark Five got six more votes
Grandmaster Flash. But he felt we couldn't go another year
without a rap act."
R.E.M., Van Halen, The Ronettes and Patti Smith were the top
vote-getters, with Grandmaster Flash finishing fifth when the
counted on the first date ballots were due in to the Rock Hall
But when all the ballots were counted a few days later, the DC5
ahead. Wenner decided to ignore that and stick with the earlier
"We begged Jann to allow all six acts to be inducted. But he
insisted that he
couldn't because there wouldn't be enough time," my source said.
to have Aretha Franklin come and perform in memory of Ahmet
The Ertegun tribute, while very nice, was deemed unnecessary by
the main committee because the Atlantic Records co-founder will
memorialized in New York on April 17.
"But Jann wanted to do his own tribute. It was insane,
especially since he
took over Ahmet's position on the board before Ahmet even had a
Jann simply sent papers around informing everyone that he was
chairman," my source said.
The Dave Clark Five ballot tampering, however, stings the most.
part of the British Invasion of the '60s, should have been
inducted long ago
for their hits like "Glad All Over," "Bits & Pieces" and "Catch
Me If You Can."
Making them wait has turned out to be a huge mistake, as their
not been great.
In December 2006, sax player Denis Payton succumbed to cancer at
age 63. Lead
singer Mike Smith has been paralyzed since 2003 after falling
off a ladder at
his home in Spain.
In August 2005, a terrific fundraising effort for Smith at B.B.
King's in New
York was supposed to be the prelude to finally recognizing the
group that had
several memorable hits in the mid-'60s.
Wenner's cruel axing of them from the show and the Hall of Fame
painful to many who are intimately involved with the Hall, like
who runs the Hall of Fame band and produced and emceed the Smith
So what happened here? My sources also say that Wenner's
motivation may have
sprung from a controversial speech that was delivered by new
head Joel Peresman to the nominating committee last winter.
"He stood up there and told us that we should vote for who we
be most commercial, and who be best on the TV show," a source
said. "It was
outrageous. Some people tried to stop him and asked him to
leave, but he
wouldn't. He said, 'I'm not leaving.' The director is never
supposed to speak
to the nominating committee."
Peresman came to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation last
Wenner arbitrarily ousted the long-time chief of the group,
Hochberg, after two decades of loyalty.
"We couldn't believe Jann stood up there last night and said
retiring. But when the seating plan went crazy the other day,
Jann called and
begged her to come in and help. Peresman knows nothing about the
Peresman came to the Foundation from gigs booking shows at
Garden and with Clear Channel, the radio giant that many feel
the music business with intransigent radio play policies and
actually, government investigations � of payola.
In the old days, such a hire would have been considered anathema
None of this should come as any surprise to those who have
roller-coaster world of the Rock Hall. According to the group's
tax filing, for example, they gave only $9,000 to indigent
their $11 million in holdings.
Even worse: Wenner sent a tax-free $10,000 to something called
in San Francisco. It's really just the archives of Ralph J.
Gleason, the late
jazz writer who periodically wrote for Rolling Stone in its
early days. It
was the only donation made by the Foundation to any group last
"Again, outrageous," a source said. "With all of Jann's money,
he could have
just sent a check. He didn't need to use the Foundation's
By contrast, the Foundation gave only $53,000 to the Rock and
Roll Hall of
Fame Museum in Cleveland. Attorney Allen Grubman's law firm took
$50,000 for legal services rendered. Evans received her usual
Peresman is said to be receiving even more.
And then there's the matter of who has left on the nominating
told that nearly half the group is gone, leaving 32 members.
Many of the
remaining members are former or current Wenner employees, like
Stone's Nathan Brackett, David Fricke, Jim Henke, Joe Levy,
Brian Keizer and
Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen's manager and a former Rolling
Stone writer, is
the chairman of the committee and considered the last truly
influence on Wenner.
There are only three actual musicians: Paul Shaffer, Steven van
Robbie Robertson. Three are female. One of them is black. There
are only two
other black members: journalist Toure and Reginald C. Dennis
Wenner, I'm told, "weeded out everyone he didn't like." He even
got rid of
the veteran New York Post and Vanity Fair writer Lisa Robinson.
Wenner almost bumped Claudia Perry, a Newark Star Ledger sports
former pop music critic. After a scuffle, she managed to hang
on, which was
good news. As a black woman she fulfilled two minorities on the
Gundersen and Elyssa Gardner of USA Today are the other
"This is the opposite of what Ahmet would have wanted," a source
liked a big committee that reflected lots of different tastes."