[Slowhand] interesting article
mangs88 at verizon.net
Sat Mar 17 00:42:31 EDT 2007
scandal in rock and roll hall
Posted by: "thomas.carnacchio at verizon.com" thomas.carnacchio at verizon.com carnco123
Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:37 am (PST)
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
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
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
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
"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."
If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going. -
Professor Irwin Corey http://www.myspace.com/feralduck
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