Grandmaster Gets Fox Flash
The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame says there is no truth to Fox News gossip columnist Roger Friedman’s recent story that The Dave Clark Five actually racked up more votes than Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five for induction.
Friedman’s source claimed Jann Wenner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Chairman and Rolling Stone publisher, insisted Flash be inducted despite the vote count. Allegedly, Grandmaster Flash came up six votes short but Wenner thought it was time a rap act made it in.
At the story’s core was a supposed speech by new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman, the former talent buyer for Madison Square Garden. Peresman allegedly told the nominating committee last winter that it should vote for the most commercial artists, ones who would look good on television.
"It was outrageous," an unnamed source told Friedman. "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 told Pollstar the allegations are not true.
"It’s kind of sad that this kind of spirals out of control – allegations at a B-level gossip column. We have, and we have had for years, very specific processes in place for the sending out of the ballots, when they’re supposed to be back, and that’s how things are followed. That’s how we’ve done it for 20 years," he said. "The five people that were inducted last Monday are the people who had the top five votes. Plain and simple."
He said the ballots went out in the second week of October and "it was very clear they needed to be back by the 17th of November. … When it ended, that’s when the votes were tabulated.
"I mean you could keep counting ballots until today if you didn’t cut things off, but you have to have a cutoff to do these kind of events," Peresman said.
"If these sources are so sure of themselves and are such inside sources, if they had any class, they’d step forward or come to us and say, ‘Hey, I think this is wrong and this is why I think it’s wrong.’ But that’s not the way it goes."
Peresman also said the allegations about Wenner are not true because Wenner isn’t a member of the nominating committee.
"It’s as democratic a process as possible," Peresman said.
He said it’s unfortunate when false stories disrespect those who don’t deserve scrutiny, such as Grandmaster Flash or The Dave Clark Five. However, he said the controversy is good in one respect because it shows the passion and interest fans have for music and the Hall of Fame.
And The Dave Clark Five could make it in next year, he said. "It’s never a closed book."