Rock & Roll Hall of Fame co-founder and former chairman Jann Wenner has gone on record denying what he’s been accused of -- blocking artists like Foreigner, Styx, Boston and REO Speedwagon from being nominated for induction.
Here’s what Wenner had to say on Marc Maron's WTF podcast when asked about that:
Wenner: "I don't control that. I'm not on the nominating committee."
Maron: "You have nothing against Foreigner per se?"
Wenner: "Nothing against Foreigner per se. In fact, I was very good friends with Mick Jones. But, you know, Foreigner's name has never come up to be nominated."
Maron: "REO Speedwagon no?"
Wenner: "No. You know, there's that era, not them, not Boston."
Wenner: "Styx? No."
Two former members of Foreigner and Styx say Wenner is the roadblock to their nomination:
Former Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm said:
"I know that at some point when a lot of our compatriots were being nominated and accepted into it, I believe that our manager at that time and Mick [Jones] went to see the head of the Rock Hall of Fame and had a discussion with him, which led to some heated words. And, as that discussion ended — it might have been [Rolling Stone founder] Jann Wenner, who actually was a very good friend of Mick's -- I think he told Mick and our manager that it'll be a cold day in hell before Foreigner gets in the Rock Hall of Fame. And sure enough, I bet you 20 years has gone by since that." [Courtesy of Sleeve Saturday]
Dennis DeYoung said the same for his former band, Styx.Dennis said, "The only person in Styx that had any relationship with Jann was James "JY" Young... But...JY and Wenner had a falling out over a promise he made to JY concerning Styx being on the cover of Rolling Stone. That as we know never materialized. None of us ever got the details... Could that have been a contributor to our omission is anybody’s guess but outside of that, looking at the list of inductees, our accomplishments qualifies us by an objective measure. But objectivity may not be a factor cause it ain’t. If this sounds like sour grapes, so be it. Sue me."
Mick Jones said, "It's a peculiar system they have up there. I'm not quite sure how it works. We have the credentials, it's just I don't know whether they pay much attention to that or what they do. But it's certainly more about something else than it is about music for me."
This year's class -- Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, Eminem, Judas Priest, Carly Simon and Dolly Parton -- will be inducted in to the Rock Hall on November 5th.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]