Friday, April 19, 2024

Secret Emails Show How Rock Hall Shafted Inductee Laura Nyro’s Son


I told you a couple of weeks ago how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–with over $90 million in assets according to its form 990–wouldn’t invite Laura Nyro’s only son to its April 14th induction ceremonies in Cleveland. Gil Bianchini is Nyro’s only child, and is the official heir to her estate. But Nyro–who wrote many hits like “Stoned Soul Picnic” for the Fifth Dimension and “Stoney End” for Barbra Streisand–died in 1999 of cancer. The following year, her partner, Maria Desiderio, also passed away from ovarian cancer. Desiderio turned the estate over to a friend, Patty DiLauria, who had no connection to Bianchini or, really, Nyro. She has refused to give Bianchini any of the personal possessions of Nyro’s left to her by Desiderio.

Meantime, the Rock Hall has sold Bianchini two $100 tickets in the back of the hall for the induction ceremony. Bianchini has to pay his own way to Cleveland and put himself up. Filmmaker Frazer Pennebaker, whose dad, DA Pennebaker filmed Nyro for his famous “Monterey Pop” documentary in 1968, has offered to donate $500 to Bianchini to offset his costs.

And now we have emails between Jann Wenner, who essentially controls the Rock Hall, Joel Peresman, the Rock Hall Foundation’s president, and Bette Midler, who’s performing Nyro’s songs and accepting the award on her behalf. Read from the bottom to to the top you can see Wenner asking Peresman what is going on with Nyro’s induction. Peresman replies that he’s dealing di Lauria “who I believe was Nyro’s partner”–which isn’t true–and that Nyro disinherited her son–also not true. Wenner then conveys these untruths to Midler, who is caught in the middle of this thing. If Midler remains true to form–she’s a mensch–she’ll insist that Bianchini come up on the stage and take his mother’s award. Laura Nyro wrote: “And when I die, and when I’m gone, there’ll be one child born, to carry on, carry on.” I think she meant it.

PS  From the emails it looks like there’s a problem with the family of the late Freddie “Texas Cannonball”  King, who’s also getting a posthumous award.

The emails:

From: Jann S Wenner
Date: Wed, Mar 14, 2012 at 8:18 PM
Subject: FW: <no subject>
To: Bette Midler
This  is the info you asked about.
This is a policy question for the Hall of Fame, not for the individual presenter nor the inductee’s heirs or estate.

—— Forwarded Message
From: Joel Peresman
Reply-To: Joel Peresman
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2012 00:10:49 +0000
To: Jann S Wenner
Subject: Re: <no subject>

I told you about this awhile ago along with the Freddie King family situation. We have dealt for a number of years with woman named Patty De Laura who I believe was Laura’s partner but is the person who Laura entrusted and gave her  estate and all of her materials too and she dis inherited  her son. Patty has always lent us things of Laura s and we are just about done on the agreement with Patty to get all of Laura s materials.We offered this fellow two tickets to attend if he wanted to but nothing to do with coming on stage. Patty is our guest but she also is not coming on  stage. Sort of the same with Freddie King. Lots of people came out of the woodwork as sons and daughters but only one we have dealt  with before who has materials she is giving us and will attend but not come on stage. We will need to fill Bette in on this as there won’t be a person to come on stage and “accept” the award.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: Jann S Wenner
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 18:38:52 -0400
To: Joel Peresman
Subject: <no subject>
What is the story on Laura Nyro’s son. Is he being excluded from the ceremony?  Tell me what’s up.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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