Here's why the Hit Parade Hall of Fame had to be created
From Fox News:,2933,258664,00.html (halfway down the

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 nominating
committee and should have been inducted on Monday night.

According to sources, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, who recently
appointed himself chairman of the Foundation after the death of Ahmet Ertegun,
ignored the final voting and chose Grandmaster Flash over the DC5 for this
year's ceremony.

"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 than
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 four
vote-getters, with Grandmaster Flash finishing fifth when the votes were
counted on the first date ballots were due in to the Rock Hall office.

But when all the ballots were counted a few days later, the DC5 had pulled
ahead. Wenner decided to ignore that and stick with the earlier tally.

"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. "He wanted
to have Aretha Franklin come and perform in memory of Ahmet Ertegun."

The Ertegun tribute, while very nice, was deemed unnecessary by members of
the main committee because the Atlantic Records co-founder will be
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 memorial.
Jann simply sent papers around informing everyone that he was now the
chairman," my source said.

The Dave Clark Five ballot tampering, however, stings the most. The group,
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 fortunes have
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 should be
painful to many who are intimately involved with the Hall, like Paul Shaffer,
who runs the Hall of Fame band and produced and emceed the Smith tribute.

So what happened here? My sources also say that Wenner's motivation may have
sprung from a controversial speech that was delivered by new administrative
head Joel Peresman to the nominating committee last winter.

"He stood up there and told us that we should vote for who we thought would
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 year when
Wenner arbitrarily ousted the long-time chief of the group, Suzan Evans
Hochberg, after two decades of loyalty.

"We couldn't believe Jann stood up there last night and said Suzan was
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 business," a
source said.

Peresman came to the Foundation from gigs booking shows at Madison Square
Garden and with Clear Channel, the radio giant that many feel has strangled
the music business with intransigent radio play policies and suggestions �
actually, government investigations � of payola.

In the old days, such a hire would have been considered anathema by Wenner.

None of this should come as any surprise to those who have followed the
roller-coaster world of the Rock Hall. According to the group's most recent
tax filing, for example, they gave only $9,000 to indigent musicians from
their $11 million in holdings.

Even worse: Wenner sent a tax-free $10,000 to something called Jazz Casuals
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 year.

"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 money."

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 another
$50,000 for legal services rendered. Evans received her usual $300,000 salary.
Peresman is said to be receiving even more.

And then there's the matter of who has left on the nominating committee. I'm
told that nearly half the group is gone, leaving 32 members. Many of the
remaining members are former or current Wenner employees, like Rolling
Stone's Nathan Brackett, David Fricke, Jim Henke, Joe Levy, Brian Keizer and
Anthony DeCurtis.

Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen's manager and a former Rolling Stone writer, is
the chairman of the committee and considered the last truly mediating
influence on Wenner.

There are only three actual musicians: Paul Shaffer, Steven van Zandt and
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 writer and
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 board (Edna
Gundersen and Elyssa Gardner of USA Today are the other females).

"This is the opposite of what Ahmet would have wanted," a source said. "He
liked a big committee that reflected lots of different tastes."