Jann Wenner - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Controversy

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Controversy

Wenner, who co-founded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in 1983, has endured quite a bit of controversy during his career as it relates to his involvement in the organization. Fans and supporters of several artists, which include Chicago, Deep Purple, The Doobie Brothers, Kansas, KISS, The Monkees, Electric Light Orchestra, Yes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Motörhead, Jethro Tull, Linda Ronstadt, The Marvelettes, Chubby Checker, Mary Wells, The B-52s, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rush, Dokken, Warrant, Ratt, Queensryche, Mötley Crüe, Rory Gallagher, Journey, Judas Priest, Dio, Foreigner, Iron Maiden, The Guess Who, Bachman–Turner Overdrive, The Moody Blues and Jan and Dean, have placed a large amount of blame on Wenner for keeping them out of the Hall of Fame. They claim Wenner has lobbied to keep them from consideration and nomination to the Hall based on personal bias and a dislike for their music. Supporters of Beatles/Mersey Beat champion and manager, Brian Epstein, also feel that he has been unfairly precluded from nomination for honor in the Non-Performer category. This omission has given rise to much speculation as to the possible reasons for Wenner's consistent snubbing of Epstein's arguably inestimable contribution to the infrastructure of rock and roll.

In June 2007, Monkees bassist Peter Tork came forward and alleged to the New York Post that Wenner is excluding the group:

"doesn't care what the rules are and just operates how he sees fit. It is an abuse of power. I don't know whether The Monkees belong in the Hall of Fame, but it's pretty clear that we're not in there because of a personal whim." Tork believes Wenner doesn't like the fact that The Monkees, who were originally cast as actors for a TV sitcom, didn't play their own instruments on their first two records. "Jann seems to have taken it harder than everyone else, and now, 40 years later, everybody says, 'What's the big deal? Everybody else does it.' Nobody cares now except him. He feels his moral judgment in 1967 and 1968 is supposed to serve in 2007.

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